Walkley Awards Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism 2024: winners

Journalism wins for ABC, Nine and SBS last night at Sydney event.

ABC Broken Hill journalist Bill Ormonde was named the 2024 John B Fairfax Family Young Australian Journalist of the Year, at the 2024 Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism in Sydney last night.

Ormonde was named overall 2024 John B Fairfax Family Young Australian Journalist of the Year after winning the Visual Storytelling category for ‘Out of the Darkness’. An interactive online story about mental health in remote Australia and a grazier who had tried to take his own life, the story was also a finalist for Coverage of Community and Regional Affairs with additional reporting for Landline. Ormonde worked in regional television for several years before joining the ABC in 2021. Since arriving in Broken Hill, he has reported for programs including AM, The World Today and Landline as a video journalist, covering an area the size of Germany almost alone.

The judges said “Bill Ormonde exercised real sensitivity as a journalist to reveal the life-changing consequences of mental illness for people in remote Australia. Bill’s work shows a level of maturity rarely found in such a young journalist.”

In a joint statement, Melissa Downes, Jessica Lodge and Adam Buncher of Nine News said: “What a night! We are immensely grateful for the recognition received, which underscores the transformative power of storytelling in journalism.

Hannah’s Story has taken on a life of its own, and we will forever be honoured to have been entrusted with sharing the Clarke family’s story, transforming tragedy into a narrative that offers support and education to others. It’s incredibly gratifying to see this podcast continue to make a meaningful impact and evolve into a lasting educational resource worldwide.”

Kylie Blucher, Managing Director of Nine Queensland, said: “Hannah’s Story is the podcast that keeps on giving. This latest award further underscores the transformative power of storytelling and reaffirms 9News Queensland’s role in connecting deeply with our community and beyond. It celebrates our team’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of our leading news bulletin and showcases our ability to attract and engage new audiences nationally and internationally. Melissa, Jess and Adam have every reason to be proud – and so do we.”

Liz Hayes said: “It’s incredibly rewarding to be acknowledged, especially given our small yet mighty team at Under Investigation. Our mission is unwavering: to uncover the truth behind challenging and significant cases.

“Shots Fired was a particularly challenging and sensitive episode for us, so receiving this award is a profound honour that truly celebrates the relentless effort and dedication of our entire team. At UI, we’re committed to leaving no stone unturned, and we’re eager to continue this important work.”

Executive Producer of UI, Gareth Harvey, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our program and our talented team. It’s an immense privilege for Under Investigation, a leader in investigative journalism programming, to be awarded with the Media Diversity Australia Award – the first time for any commercial television network.

“This recognition is a testament to the dedication of everyone involved. Producing this program is incredibly rewarding and has a ripple effect beyond each episode, marking an even greater achievement.”

TV and related winners are:

2024 John B Fairfax Family Young Australian Journalist of the Year
Bill Ormonde, ABC, ‘Out of the Darkness‘

Coverage of community and regional affairs
Melissa Mackay, ABC, ‘The crime crisis nobody is talking about’

Visual storytelling
Bill Ormonde, ABC, ‘Out of the Darkness‘

Coverage of Science and the Environment
Jessica Longbottom, Elise Kinsella, Madi Chwasta and Joseph Dunstan, ABC, ‘Air Pollution at Southern Cross Station’

June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media
Jess Hill and Tosca Looby, Northern Pictures / SBS / The Monthly, ‘Asking for it’

Our Watch Award for Excellence in Reporting on Violence Against Women
Jessica Lodge, Melissa Downes and Adam Buncher, Nine Entertainment Co., ‘Hannah’s Story‘

Media Diversity Australia Award
Liz Hayes, Gareth Harvey, Anushri Sood and Sonia Serrao, Under Investigation with Liz Hayes, Channel Nine, ‘Shots Fired‘

Humanitarian Storytelling Award
Drew Ambrose, David Boyle and the 101 East team, Al Jazeera English, ‘Mindset: Mental trauma in a warzone: Why Ukraine needs therapists‘

June Andrews Award for Arts Journalism
Marc Fennell, Corrin Grant, Dean Brosche and Una Butorac, SBS News Documentaries, ‘The Mission‘

Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship
Hannah McKinney, University of Sydney

WIN News Broadcast Scholarship
Caitlyn Todoroski, UNSW

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