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Guardian Australia staff named as finalists in five Walkley awards

·3 min read

Guardian Australia has been named a finalist in five categories in the Walkley awards for excellence in journalism, including a nomination for political editor Katharine Murphy’s commentary, and others in Indigenous affairs, public service journalism, innovation and press photography.

Murphy’s analysis about the former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins finding her voice argued that the alleged rape should be a turning point for women in politics.

“This story, the gut-wrenching story of Higgins and the grotesque indignity she believes she suffered on a couch in the people’s house late at night – coming after a succession of stories about women struggling in a professional culture that remains institutionally hostile to women – has opened a wound in the building I’ve worked in for more than two decades,” Murphy wrote. “Women who work in politics to serve their country have had enough.”

Murphy’s entry included two other searing pieces of commentary about the political class missing the importance of the moment and Scott Morrison’s efforts to engage with women.

Reporter Naaman Zhou, who has left Guardian Australia to work at the New Yorker, was nominated in the public service journalism category for a series of groundbreaking reports about the dangers of being an Uber driver.

The Melbourne-based reporter Matilda Boseley was nominated in the innovation category for her entertaining and informative Guardian Australia TikTok videos, including her explainer on Afghanistan which went viral and was shared widely in the US.

Laura Murphy-Oates, Lorena Allam, David Maurice Smith and Jeremy Worrall were nominated in the Indigenous affairs category for the series Childhood in custody, about the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in juvenile justice.

The series included a story about the WA cops rounding up Indigenous kids and ‘Hell scared’: how a terrified homeless boy found himself locked up alone in the ‘hole’.

Guardian photographic contributor Christopher Hopkins was named a finalist in the press photographer of the year category.

The outgoing chief executive of the Walkley Foundation, Louisa Graham, congratulated the finalists for setting the standard for best-practice ethical journalism in Australia in another disrupted year.

“This is work that makes a difference, that creates change, holds the powerful to account and holds a mirror up to our nation and its culture,” Graham said.

“It will be a longer wait than usual to announce our winners, but we want to have the best chance at celebrating together as an industry, so we are looking forward to gathering in Tamworth in February 2022.”

In June Guardian Australia journalist Kelly Burke picked up the arts journalism Walkley award for revealing alleged racism on the set of the long-running Australian soap Neighbours.

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