Vale: Liz Jackson

Former ABC journalist and presenter Liz Jackson, best known for Four Corners, has died aged 67.

Jackson struggled in recent years with Parkinson’s disease and on Wednesday died peacefully in her sleep while on holiday in Greece with her husband, Martin Butler, by her side.

“She is deeply loved. We are overwhelmed with grief at her loss,” the family said in a statement.

“Liz was an inspiration to many and a legendary figure at the ABC, committing her life to public interest journalism. We are enormously proud of her work.

“Liz was also the most wonderful Mum and Granny, to us she will always be our best friend, confidant, storyteller, chef and with a mean forehand.

“She is deeply loved. We are overwhelmed with grief at her loss.”

“We are profoundly saddened by the death of Liz Jackson, our wonderful friend and colleague and one of Australia’s finest journalists.”

Jackson joined the ABC’s Radio National in 1986, and from 1993 worked on Four Corners, with a year as presenter of Media Watch in 2005.

She won nine Walkley Awards, including the 2006 Gold Walkley and three Logie Awards.

After she left ABC in 2013, her health collapsed. She was losing her physical strength and her ability to write, and was suffering from crippling panic attacks.

Her most recent Walkley, the 2017 Documentary Award, was for A Sense of Self, telling her own account of her descent into Parkinson’s disease.

“What I’ve relied on throughout my career and throughout my life, is my capacity to think straight. And it’s the fear of losing my sense of intelligence and responsiveness and losing a sense of who you are,” she said at the time.

ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie said: “Liz Jackson was one of the greats of the ABC, an incredible journalist who inspired all around her and who Australians turned to with complete trust.

“Her work has informed and shaped this country. Her enormous talent, fearless integrity and unflinching courage will serve as a beacon for many generations of journalists and storytellers to come.”

ABC Director of News Gaven Morris said: “You could not be around Liz without being fired by her passion and in awe of her courage. She had extraordinary talent as a storyteller, accompanied by a deep humility.

“Liz leaves a momentous legacy. We will never forget her.”

Of her brave documentary to film her battle with Parkinson’s disease she said, “In many ways, this is the hardest film I’ve made, and I’ve made some tough ones over the years.

“The response was overwhelming and I was touched so many people commented and congratulated me, saying it was amazing and fabulous and brave.

“This was a huge confidence boost, and from that I understood there was a large audience and hunger for stories that explored the adversity life can deliver, in a close and personal way.”

Source: ABC


  1. ‘Sense of Self’ was deeply moving especially for those of us who have lost loved ones to the wretched disease that is Parkinsons. My grandfather was just 65 when he finally lost his battle, his shakes were so bad doctors deemed it to be one of the worst cases they had seen at the time.
    No words can express just how powerful it was for Liz to turn the camera on herself & document some of her own demise, a true journalist whose impact will not be easily forgotten, RIP

  2. Rest in peace my friend, never forget our court room battles. a straight talking sharped tongue barrister/Journalist. Will be missed.

  3. Maev....Sydney

    I really liked this young woman and her work was wonderful to watch….and yes, that documentary was gut wrenching…..Respect to someone who did make a difference.

  4. daveinprogress

    This is enormously sad. Liz Jackson was one of the most hard working, talented and nicest journalists in the industry. I had the great pleasure and honour of working with Liz for a year and she was a really committed and delightful person to be around and to know. That heartbreaking documentary was brave and said everything about the woman and her humanity. There will be a lot of grieving ABC folks and industry people as well as her beloved family. It is significant perhaps that she died away from home, as Liz Jackson was a well travelled and knowledgeable reporter. Peace at last.

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