About the Quills

2020 Quill awards winners on stage. Image courtesy Mat Lynn

The Quill Awards for Excellence in Victorian Journalism are the premier media awards in Victoria.

The Quills were established by the Melbourne Press Club in 1995, with 10 awards. This year we celebrate the best work in 32 categories across a range of platforms and reporting areas.

The best category winner of the Quills is selected as the Gold Quill winner, with a $7,500 prize provided by principal sponsors Monash University and Virgin Australia.

The 2021 Quills features a new award, the Quill for Excellence in Science, Medical and Health Reporting, sponsored by University of Melbourne.

The Club also selects a Young Journalist of the Year, supported by the Wilnic Family Trust. Each year's prize winner is given the opportunity to attend one of the world’s best journalism conferences, the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in the United States. 

Each year, the Melbourne Press Club honours a journalist or journalists whose career has left an extraordinary mark on Victorian and Australian journalism. The honour, presented at the annual Quill Awards dinner as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, is bestowed at the discretion of the MPC board. Previous recipients include: Colin Duck, Bruce McAvaney, Barrie Cassidy, Dulcie Boling, Les Carlyon, John Fitzgerald, Laurie Oakes and Michele Grattan (joint winners), Geoff Wilkinson, Niki Savva and Robert Gottliebsen.

Since 1998, the Quills presentation night has included the Grant Hattam Award, supported by the Herald & Weekly Times, in honour of the media lawyer Grant Hattam, who died that year. This award was renamed in 2004 to the Grant Hattam Award for Investigative Journalism, with expanded criteria.

A number of sponsored categories have been established over the years to recognise important causes and issues in contemporary Victorian journalism, including Coverage of Women in Sport, sponsored by VicHealth; Excellence in Indigenous Affairs Reporting, sponsored by Federation of Traditional Owners; Excellence in Science, Medical and Health Reporting, sponsored by University of Melbourne; Grant Hattam Quill for Investigative Journalism, sponsored by HWT; Reporting on Disability Issues, sponsored by the Victorian Government; Reporting on Multicultural Affairs, sponsored by the Victorian Government, and Road Safety Reporting, sponsored by TAC.

Judging panels for the Quills are assembled by the Melbourne Press Club, drawing on present and former journalists, editors and other relevant professionals.

Since 1995, the prestigious national Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year award has also been presented at the Quills dinner. The Perkin award was established in 1976 in honour of the legendary Age editor of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The inaugural national Harry Gordon Australian Sports Journalist of the Year Award was also introduced at the 2015 Quill Awards (held in 2016). The award was created to celebrate the memory of legendary journalist and Herald Sun editor Harry Gordon, who passed away in 2015.

Return to the Quills homepage

Apply to join the Melbourne Press Club

Membership is $85 for journalists, $110 for associate members and $40 for students.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Keep up to date with all our events, announcements and special offers.