2020 Quills: Quill for Recognising Excellence in Indigenous Affairs Reporting

Belinda Hawkins, Andy Burns, Rebecca Armstrong and Ian Harley of ABC Australian Story have won the inaugural 2020 Quill for Recognising Excellence in Indigenous Affairs Reporting Quill. The winning piece, 'Making His Mark', is an exploration of the journey of Indigenous AFL star Marlion Pickett to the 2019 Grand Final, told by Marlion and members of his family. 

Judges' citation

A clear winner in this category, this story allowed Marlion and his family to tell their story in their own voice.

Marlion’s story, like many stories of Indigenous sports champions, is mostly told in sporting terms. But this story was about Marlion’s journey of facing adversity, including drugs and jail, and was relayed openly and powerfully. It is a story that is too common among indigenous communities because of entrenched disadvantage and racism. Marlion’s courage in telling it allowed the audience to share a journey that many Australians know little about.

The story also powerfully touched on the institutional barriers facing Indigenous Australians. Richmond’s leaders spoke revealingly about how they had to break down these barriers and their own prejudices if Marlion was to get his chance. This story also compelling explored the power of family.

Marlion’s story is ultimately one of overcoming adversity and fighting for change and how Australia can benefit by recognising how much our First Nation people contribute when given a chance. It should inspire us all.

The winning entry

Making his Mark | Marlion Pickett, ABC Australian Story, 2 March 2020

From prison to premiership: Why all of Australia is cheering on Richmond Tigers' Marlion Pickett, ABC Australian Story, 2 March 2020

Richmond Tigers Indigenous stars kick back with Year 7 students, ABC Australian Story, 8 March 2020

Highly commended

Charlotte Grieve, The Age, Gomeroi Heritage

Miki Perkins, The Age, Indigenous Affairs Portfolio

Please note: the above link/s may not comprise the entirety of an entry submitted for consideration.

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