An expose of systemic wage fraud across the national 7-Eleven retail chain won Adele Ferguson the highest honour in Victorian journalism, the Gold Quill, in 2015, for the second year running.
Adele Ferguson’s Gold Quill acceptance speech
Ferguson – a senior business writer and columnist at The Age and the Australian Financial Review – is the first journalist to win consecutive Gold Quills. She won the 2014 Gold Quill for her expose, with ABC Four Corners colleagues, of the financial advice scandal of the Commonwealth Bank.
The winning entry
Watch Four Corners program '7-Eleven: The Price of Convenience' on the ABC website
The judges praised Ferguson’s reporting as “an outstanding feat of investigative journalism.”
“It triggered the resignation of 7-Eleven’s founder and chairman, Russ Withers, high-level inquiries and big compensation payouts,” the judges said.
“The story was especially compelling because it revealed the wholesale exploitation of some of the most vulnerable migrant workers in Australia; it gave voice to the voiceless.”
Monash University Dean of Arts Professor Rae Frances and Press Club CEO Mark Baker presented the Gold Quill
The Gold Quill judges were Melbourne Press Club CEO Mark Baker, Seven News presenter Jennifer Keyte, Monash University’s Associate Professor Philip Chubb and ABC Breakfast presenter Virginia Trioli. The Gold Quill carries a $7500 prize. It is supported by the Melbourne Press Club’s Principal Sponsors Monash University and Virgin Australia.
Shortlisted for the award were The Age’s Nick McKenzie & Richard Baker, Annika Smethurst, of the Herald Sun, and Caro Meldrum-Hanna, from ABC Four Corners.