About the Quills

2011 Quill awards


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 29 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 Club also selects a Young Journalist of the Year. 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. The Wilnic Family Trust and Josephine Nicholls support this award. Josephine is the widow of David Wilson, who headed The Age Insight team for 10 years.

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 each March as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, is bestowed at the discretion of the MPC board. Previous recipients include: Mike Sheahan, Derryn Hinch, Mal Walden, Dulcie Boling, Keith Dunstan, Peter McFarline, Les Tanner, Peter Game, John Sorell, Harry Gordon, Claude Forell, Les Carlyon, John Fitzgerald, John Lamb and Bruce Postle (joint winners), Laurie Oakes and Michele Grattan (joint winners), Geoff Hook and William Ellis Green (WEG) (joint winners), Geoff Wilkinson, Niki Savva and Robert Gottliebsen.

Since 1998, the Quills presentation night has included the Grant Hattam Award, sponsored by the Herald & Weekly Times, in honour of the media lawyer Grant Hattam, who died that year. From 2004, this award was renamed the Grant Hattam Award for Investigative Journalism, with expanded criteria. The award will be made to the entrant judged to have made an outstanding contribution to investigative journalism. The work will uphold the right for journalists to publish or broadcast in the public interest under difficult circumstances, which might include legal restraints.

A number of sponsored Quills have been established over the years to recognise important causes and issues in contemporary Victorian journalism, including the TAC Towards Zero Quill for Road Safety Reporting, the Victorian Government Quill for Reporting on Disability Issues, and most recently (in 2018) The VicHealth Quill for Coverage of Women in Sport.

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. It carries a $20,000 prize courtesy of The Age.

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. The award recognises excellence in sports journalism across all codes and all parts of Australia and carries a $7,500 prize.


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