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Annabel Hennessy from The West Australian has been named the 2020 Young Australian Journalist of the Year in the 2020 mid-year Walkley journalism awards.

She won with an investigation into the murder conviction of Jody Gore who was later released from prison early after domestic violence history was revealed.

The Walkley judging board, represented by Tory Shepherd, Stella Lauri and Heidi Murphy, found Hennessy’s entry stood out in a strong field. 

“Annabel Hennessy’s work deserves this honour because it demonstrated true excellence at every turn,” the judges said. 

“She discovered the thread of a story, teased it out, chased it relentlessly and brought it to public attention. Her storytelling was factual and compassionate, moving deftly between the human, legal and political elements of this story. 

“And the impact of her journalism has been immense – a woman freed from prison, and laws re-written.” 

The story was also the winner of the Public Service Journalism category. Hennessy wins a two-week trip to US newsrooms,  supported by the Jibb Foundation.

All the winners:

Young Australian Journalist of the Year

Annabel Hennessy, The West Australian, “Kill or Be Killed?: The First Chapter: The incarceration of Jody Gore”

All media: Shortform journalism Supported by ABC

Luke Henriques-Gomes, Guardian Australia, “Robodebt leaks expose botched scheme’s failure”

All media: Longform feature or special Supported by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Ella Archibald-Binge, The Feed, SBS Viceland, “Australia’s stolen wages shame”

All media: Coverage of community and regional affairs Supported by Google News Initiative

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Sherryn Groch, The Canberra Times, “‘Culture of fear’: Canberra private school engulfed by bullying allegations”

All media: Visual storytelling Supported by Sky News

Marty Smiley, Jack Tulleners and Pat Forrest, SBS TV On Demand and Online, “Christian Democratic Party”

All media: Public service journalism Supported by News Corp Australia

Annabel Hennessy, The West Australian, “Kill or Be Killed?: The First Chapter: The incarceration of Jody Gore”

All media: ​Student journalist of the year Supported by Macleay College

Andre Nassiri, University of New South Wales and newsworthy.org.au, “The dark side of Africa’s ‘poster child’” and “Who wins when Rwanda plays the ‘genocide guilt card’”

June Andrews Award for Industrial Relations Reporting  Supported by Ai Group, Unions NSW, ACTU, UTS and MEAA
In memory of Helen O’Flynn and Alan Knight, With philanthropic support in memory of Emeritus Professor Alan Knight

Ben Schneiders and Nick McKenzie, The Age, “John Setka, domestic violence and the unions”

June Andrews Award for Freelance Journalist of the Year Supported by Media Super

Karishma Vyas, 101 East – Al Jazeera English and Foreign Correspondent, ABC “The War on Afghan Women,” “Afghanistan: The Healers” and “Behind Enemy Lines”

June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media Supported by PwC

Joanna Lester, Madeleine Hetherton and Rebecca Barry, Media Stockade, NITV and SBS On Demand, “Power Meri”

Our Watch Award Supported by Our Watch and managed by The Walkley Foundation

Nina Funnell, News.com.au, The Mercury and NT News, “Let Her Speak”

Media Diversity Australia Award Supported by Media Diversity Australia, CoHealth and the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council

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Mahmood Fazal and Rebecca Metcalf, Audible Originals, “No Gangsters in Paradise”

Arts Journalism Prizes Through the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, the winner of each award will receive $5000 in prize money.

June Andrews Award for Arts Journalism Supported by Facebook and the Copyright Agency

Steve Dow, Meanjin, The Saturday Paper and Guardian Australia “Stream Drama,” “Acts of Faith” and “A Buŋgul, a Procession, An Overnight Vigil”

The Pascall Prize for Arts Criticism
Managed by The Walkley Foundation
Supported by the Geraldine Pascall Foundation and the Copyright Agency

Mireille Juchau, newyorker.com and The Monthly, “How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism,” “Twilight Knowing: Jenny Offill’s Weather” and “Missing Witnesses: Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children’s Archive”

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