For the first time in the award's history, judges have bestowed the highest honour in Victorian journalism, the Gold Quill, on the work of a photographer.
Michael Willson of AFL Media was recognised for his iconic photograph of AFLW player Tayla Harris in action.
'The Kick' by Michael Willson, AFL Media
The judges said "this is a photo for the ages."
"One that will be long remembered. One that turned the tide of public commentary on women’s football, women in sport generally, and attitudes to women across society. This high quality image froze forever this emblematic moment and triggered a national conversation that would otherwise never have happened.
"Published around the world, Michael Willson's perfectly framed snap triggered a global social media storm, and has even been turned into a statue.
"This unforgettable image of Tayla Harris inspired and fuelled the significant growth of young women joining up to play footy."
The Gold Quill carries a $7,500 flight prize supported by the Melbourne Press Club’s Principal Sponsors Virgin Australia and Monash University.
The award was presented at the Melbourne Press Club’s 25th annual Quill Awards dinner in Melbourne on Friday 6 March 2020.
A total of 32 individual Quills were awarded to recognise the best journalism of 2018 in print, television, radio and online.
The 2019 Gold Quill winning entry