The ABC Cleans Up Walkleys Awards, Andrew Quilty Takes Home Gold

The ABC Cleans Up Walkleys Awards, Andrew Quilty Takes Home Gold

More than 600 journalists and media folk flocked to the Plaza Ballroom of Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre for the annual Walkley Awards on Friday night, with the ABC scooping up eight awards in total.

The ABC also had the most finalists of any media outlet, with 28 finalists across 14 categories.

The event, hosted by Sky News’ David Speers, were held in Brisbane with the support of Tourism and Events Queensland, and honoured a mammoth spate of media figures with Awards for Excellence in Journalism in 34 categories.

Freelance photographer Andrew Quilty (pictured above) won the Gold Walkley Award for his body of work, “The Man on the Operating Table”.

After an errant US airstrike destroyed the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in October 2015, killing 42 people, freelance photojournalist Andrew Quilty was the first journalist to reach the scene. He found bodies still in the rubble; with fighting still going on in the vicinity, it had been too dangerous to remove them.

He discovered one man lying on an operating table who was later identified as Baynazar Mohammad Nazar, a 43-year-old Afghan civilian.


But following the release of this image, that stood out as this year’s Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year, Quilty made the dangerous journey back to Kunduz to meet Baynazar’s family, and his winning News Photography body of work is a tribute to this man’s life and family.

Bruce Petty was awarded the Walkley for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, recognising a 55-year career of drawing political cartoons as well a career in animation and film directing that has also won him an Oscar.

Rebecca Wilson was posthumously awarded the Walkley Award for Journalistic Leadership, with the award accepted by her son Tom Sacre.

Commenting on the Walkley judging process, Advisory Board Chair Kate McClymont said, “The judging process is what gives the Walkley Awards its credibility. The judges are senior journalists — people who know the skill, quick wit, depth of research and analysis, resourcefulness and even physical courage that it takes to create the best journalism.”

The full list of winners is published here and in the December print issue of The Walkley Magazine.

2016 Walkley Awards Category Winners:

Print/Text News Report

Grant McArthurHerald Sun, “Bacchus Marsh Baby Deaths”

Social Equity Journalism

Ben Schneiders, Royce Millar and Nick ToscanoThe AgeThe Sydney Morning Heraldand The Canberra Times, Fairfax Media, “Sold Out: Australia’s biggest wages scandal”

Multimedia Storytelling

SBS Online Team, SBS Australia, “My Grandmother’s Lingo”

Nikon-Walkley Photo of the Year

Andrew QuiltyForeign Policy, “The Man on the Operating Table”

Headline Journalism

Matthew QuagliottoThe Daily Telegraph, “Thirst Degree Murder”, “Law & Snorter”, “Tyred & Demotional”

Coverage of Indigenous Affairs

Dan Box, Eric George and Stephen FitzpatrickThe Australian, “Bowraville”

Coverage of Community and Regional Affairs

Newcastle Herald Staff ReportersNewcastle Herald, “The Foam and the Fury”

Sports Journalism

Adrian ProszenkoThe Sydney Morning Herald, “Parramatta Eels salary cap scandal”

Sport Photography

Cameron Spencer, Getty Images, “The Defining Moment”

Radio/Audio News and Current Affairs

Sophie McNeill and Fouad Abu GoshPM and AM, ABC Radio, “Voices from Besieged Syria”

Radio/Audio Documentary, Feature, Podcast or Special

Dan Box and Eric GeorgeThe Australian, “Bowraville Podcast”

Print/Text Feature Writing Long (Over 4000 Words)

Jess HillThe Monthly, “Suffer the Children: Trouble in the Family Court”

Scoop of the Year

Nick TabakoffThe Daily Telegraph, “The Parramatta Eels NRL scandal”


Mark KnightHerald Sun, “Subway”, “Census night in the Senate”, “Reg Grundy RIP”


David RoweThe Australian Financial Review and The Sun Herald, “New clothes”, “Malcolm X and Ali”, “White ribbon”

Coverage of a Major News Event or Issue

Sky News Team, Sky News, “2016 Election Coverage”

Print/Text Feature Writing Short (Under 4000 Words)

Ben DohertyGuardian Australia, “Crushed by the unblinking regime: the life and tragic death of Fazel Chegeni”

Nikon-Walkley News Photography

Andrew QuiltyForeign Policy, “The Man on The Operating Table”

Business Journalism

Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, Fairfax Newspapers and ABC TV Four Corners, “Money For Nothing”

Nikon-Walkley Feature/Photographic Essay

David Maurice SmithGuardian Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Globe and Mail and Mother Jones Magazine, “Refugee Crisis in the Balkans”

International Journalism

Sophie McNeill, Aaron Hollett, Mark Corcoran and Matt WalkerForeign Correspondent, ABC TV, “Yemen: The War on Children”


Andy Taylor60 Minutes, Nine Network, “Predator”

TV/AV News Reporting

Chris O’KeefeNine News, Nine Network, “Bankstown Hospital”

TV/AV Daily Current Affairs

Anne Connolly, Suzanne Smith and Lesley Robinson7.30, ABC TV, “Anglican Church Paedophile Ring”

TV/AV Weekly Current Affairs

Linton Besser, Louie Eroglu, Jaya Balendra and Elise WorthingtonFour Corners, ABC TV, “State of Fear”

Investigative Journalism

Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Mario Christodoulou, Fairfax Newspapers and ABC TV Four Corners, “Money For Nothing”


Caro Meldrum-HannaFour Corners, ABC TV, “Jackson and Lawler”

Commentary, Analysis, Opinion and Critique

Greg JerichoGuardian Australia, “Politics, the planet and the personal”

Walkley Documentary Award

Sarah Ferguson, Nial Fulton and Ivan O’Mahoney, In Films and ABC TV, Hitting Home

Walkley Book Award

Stan GrantTalking to My Country, HarperCollins Publishers

Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year

Alex CoppelHerald Sun

Journalistic Leadership

Rebecca Wilson

Outstanding Contribution to Journalism

Bruce Petty

Gold Walkley

Andrew QuiltyForeign Policy, “The Man on the Operating Table”

2016 Walkley Awards Board Judges
Kate McClymont, (chair), The Sydney Morning Herald
Angelos Frangopoulos, (deputy chair) Australian News Channel
Michael Amendolia, photographer
Dennis AtkinsThe Courier-Mail
Michael BeachThe Sunday Times
Anne Davies
Marina Go
Claire HarveyThe Sunday Telegraph
Fran Kelly, ABC Radio National
Jonathan Richards, Google Creative Lab
John Stanley, 2UE
Cameron StewartThe Australian
Sandra Sully, TEN Eyewitness News
Lisa Wilkinson, Nine Network

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