2020 Quills: The Gold Quill

Russell Jackson of ABC News has won the 2020 Gold Quill for his feature on the life and career of Aboriginal AFL player Robert Muir.

Judges' citation

Covid may have been THE story of 2020. But so too was racism. And, particularly here in Melbourne, racism in sport. Russell Jackson’s piece on the 1970s Aboriginal AFL star Robert Muir is a compelling and confronting insight into the impact of racism. It uncovered little known facts about a talented and controversial footballer, spurned by his own club, and long maligned by the footy world. The writing is first-class; with the Judging Panel describing it as a beautifully crafted piece. Russell’s meticulous research, and the clear trust he built with Robbie Muir, comes through in every line. As well, the impact of this superb piece of journalism cannot be overstated. It has transformed Robbie Muir’s life, sparked long overdue apologies, and contributed significantly to a wider community conversation. It is – simply put – outstanding.

The winning entry

Primary piece:

The persecution of Robert Muir is the story football doesn't want to hear, ABC News, 23 August 2020

Secondary pieces:

Tigers legend Merv Keane has found new purpose after unimaginable loss, ABC News, 26 July 2020

Héritier Lumumba reclaimed his name and found strength in African history. Will it change Collingwood and the AFL?, ABC News, 5 December 2020

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