Burns was a Rhodes Scholar, academic, foreign correspondent and editor of The Age for eight years. He made the courageous decision to publish material from illegal NSW police telephone taps that exposed a sinister network of influence between criminals, members of the judiciary and lawyers. Burns defended his paper against ferocious political attack form the Federal and NSW governments and civil libertarians. The stories provoked seven separate inquiries, including a Royal Commission, two separate trials of High Court judge Lionel Murphy, the prosecution of dozens of crime figures and changes to the law on police phone tapping.
Watch the video tribute (0:52)
Creighton’s son Creighton Burns receiving award on his behalf (1:17)