NT Media Awards

Winners announced in the 2016 Northern Territory Media Awards

NT Media Awards logo

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union and industry advocate for Australia’s journalists, is delighted to announce the winners of the 2016 Northern Territory Media Awards – the pre-eminent Territory-based awards promoting journalistic excellence across print, broadcast and digital media platforms.

The annual awards – which are supported by MEAA, the Walkley Foundation and the Darwin Press Club – celebrate quality journalism and reward media professionals whose commitment and excellent media coverage best informs and entertains the Territory.

This year’s awards were presented on Saturday evening at SkyCity in Darwin before the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and the Lord Mayor of Darwin with almost 300 people attending the event – an indication that the NT Media Awards is a key event for the media industry.

Darwin Press Club president Neda Vanovac said: “NT journalists, photographers and camera operators have continued to produce an incredibly high standard of work, breaking big national and international stories. The Darwin Press Club is thrilled to see them recognised, proving how much talent there is in the top end and central Australia, unearthing and telling crucial stories that might otherwise go untold.”

The 2016 Northern Territory Journalist of the Year is James Oaten from the ABC, who also won the categories of Best News Coverage and Best Current Affairs or Feature for TV/Radio for his internationally newsbreaking stories of Australians travelling to Syria to fight against ISIS. Judges praised him for demonstrated tenacity in identifying and pursuing a story, maintaining a dedication to truth and accuracy, independent thinking, fairness, impartiality and humanity.

In a year when the after-effects of the Don Dale youth justice scandal continue to echo, it has been particularly gratifying to see the work of ABC reporter Kate Wild recognised in two major categories: the Pete Davies Memorial Campaigning Journalism Award and the Excellence in Indigenous Reporting Award for the ground-breaking local reports she filed over a long period of time, which formed a basis for Four Corners’ expose which triggered a royal commission. Her work truly generated palpable change which has resonated around the country.

The ABC’s Jane Bardon was recognised with two prizes for her work, particularly her ongoing reports on environmental issues affecting remote Aboriginal communities, such as the MacArthur River Mine near Borroloola, and congratulated for her ability to form long-lasting contacts in remote places.

Christopher Walsh from the NT News won the Best Scoop and the Excellence in Northern Reporting categories for his dogged ongoing political reporting investigating corruption and dodgy dealings at the highest levels of government. The judges noted his strong track record for breaking stories that matter to Territorians.

The ABC’s Avani Dias is the 2016 Marchbanks Young Journalist of the Year, recognised for her consistently excellent reporting. The judges praised her for her deep understanding of NT issues, and her persistence and determination as a reporter.

MEAA and the Darwin Press Club congratulate all the winners who, through their work, continue to prove the depth and breadth of talent in the NT.

See below for the full list of award winners and judges’ comments.

For more information: Anna Magnus 0423 363 725

  • Northern Territory Media Awards Winners and Finalists 2016


    Print/ Text Best News Coverage              

    Sponsored by Media Super   

    Winner:    Helen Davidson, Guardian Australia, The Northern Territory’s ongoing crisis in juvenile detention


    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Policy Adventure
    • Dani McDonald, NT News, Housing woes of the Northern Territory
    • Christopher Walsh, NT News, Covering the NT Political Circus

    Judges’ comments:

    “All three finalists demonstrated strong investigative skills in uncovering stories of NT, national and international interest. In each entry, it was evident the amount of time and effort that went into uncovering their respective stories and demonstrated the high calibre of journalism being produced out of the Northern Territory. Helen Davidson’s investigation on the crisis within the NT juvenile detention centre began well before the Four Corners’ investigation aired earlier this year. Told through the eyes of an inmate, it demonstrated creative flair and a deep understanding of the issue, as did her ensuing pieces following the Four Corners’ footage outcry. The judges commended Dani McDonald for her series on the NT’s Department of Housing crisis, noting she worked extremely hard to gain the trust of residents to tell their stories without fear of recrimination.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    Print/ Text Best Feature Writing             

    Sponsored by Charles Darwin University

    Winner:    Matt Garrick, NT News, Out of the Darkness


    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Feral-proof fence
    • Helen Davidson, Guardian Australia, Body of Work
    • Zach Hope, NT News, The old and the new

    Judges’ comments:

    “The judges noted the exceptionally high calibre of entries, which made this category a difficult one to settle on a winner. Matt Garrick shared the unique stories and characters of central and northern Australia in an interesting and engaging way. His writing flair made the story telling seem effortless, when the complexities of the topics were anything but.  From nuclear tests in the desert to the Top End greyhound racing industry, the judges noted the topics were all very worthy of bringing to the attention of Territorians however he did so by demonstrating a great level of creativity. The judges also wanted to make special mention of The Guardian’s Johanna Bell, who wrote about the often-told story of Peter Falconio’s disappearance but managed to deliver new insights into the famous case.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    Television/Radio Best News Coverage

    Sponsored by Michels Warren Munday

    Winner:    James Oaten, ABC, Shock and anger: Fallout from youth detention abuse exposed on 4Corners


    • Jane, Bardon, ABC, Holding Government to account on real issues behind the scandals
    • Katherine Gregory, ABC, Breaking the silence and suffering inside Wickham Point

    Judges’ comments:

    ­“James Oaten delivered a polished selection of stories across both radio and TV news. When reporting on the fallout from the Four Corners story into youth detention, he cut through the storm of voices to consistently deliver clear, confident reports that absolutely earned their place on a national platform. Despite the time limits, he skilfully captured the important issues, facts and opinions about a topic that will simmer in the Territory for a long time to come.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    Television/ Radio Best Broadcast Interview

    Sponsored by Media Super

    Winner:    Katie Woolf, Territory Broadcasters, A collection of interviews


    • Rebecca McLaren, ABC, Body of Work
    • Lisa Pellegrino, ABC, Body of Work

    Judges’ comments:

    “Katie did exactly what commercial radio sets out to do, providing entertaining, compact and informative interviews in a punchy way. Her political interviews dealt deftly with the topics burning hottest during a particularly wild election campaign. Her questions were frequently short and sharp – her guests were challenged, provoked and thoroughly grilled – but they were also allowed to speak their mind. The overall result was classy radio that made politics incredibly accessible…and never ever let it be boring. Congratulations Katie Woolf.”

    Link to view winning submission here.


    Television/Radio Best Current Affairs or Feature

    Sponsored by City of Darwin      

    Winner:    James Oaten, ABC, Australians dying in Syria – how can it be stopped?


    • Jane Bardon, ABC, Digging deep to expose the rot
    • Rosa Ellen, ABC, Central Desert art radio package

    Judges’ comments:

    “There were many excellent entries in this category showing the diversity of media broadcasting, from beautiful long form radio features transporting us into the central desert art world to hard hitting news and current affairs. James’ internationally news-breaking story about a young Australian who disappeared from home to fight with the Kurds in Syria stood out for its newsworthiness, human interest, incredible footage and access to a part of the world that is in the news almost every day but rarely seen on this level of engagement. James’ interviews are compelling and powerful giving insight into an horrific and personal journey. He obviously developed a huge rapport and trust with Reece Harding’s family, the Kurdish community and fellow fighters, and his high level of dedication, journalism and craft skills shine through.”

    Links to view winning submission (one and two).


    Photography of the Year

    Sponsored by Inpex

    Winner:    Elise Derwin, NT News, Body of Work


    • Justin Kennedy, NT News, Body of Work
    • Helen Orr, NT News, Body of Work
    • Ivan Rachman, NT News, Body of Work

    Judges’ comments:

    “Elise Derwin is the winner of the Photography of the Year category. Judges felt her set of images ticked all the boxes for technical and compositional excellence, newsworthiness and impact. Along with reporter Ellie Turner, she undressed appropriately to go undercover into a nudist camp to produce Nudist Nomads – No Tan Lines Here. Her brilliant photo of fire-blowing Crocodile Man, Craig West, captured a fireball that appeared to morph into evening thunderclouds and her graphic photo of boxer Peter Graham landing a punch on rival Julius Long at the World Boxing Foundation title in Darwin had a real ‘ouch’ factor. Elise’s coverage of a triple-fatal road crash on Tiger Brennan Drive encapsulated the horror, tragedy and despair of the situation while innocence and simplicity were depicted in her photo of two young brothers playing football in their Melville Island backyard.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three and four).


    Best News Camerawork of the Year

    Sponsored by Media Super

    Winner:    Mitchell Woolnough, ABC, Body of Work


    • Andrew Hyde, Freelance, Body of Work
    • Ryan Scott Young, ABC, Body of Work

    Judges’ comments:

    “Mitch Woolnough through his body of work has consistently demonstrated his ability to identify and convey impartiality, creativity and an editorially sound understanding of his brief in more often than not challenging environments. Mitch demonstrates an innovative and thoughtful approach to subjects where discretion, tact and sensitivity is required. His composition of Uluru, which has become an almost photographic cliché, also shows his ability to create something truly unique. His work is clearly identifiable, and his contribution to each story is a key component to the success of those with which he collaborates.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    All Media Best Online Coverage              

    Sponsored by NT Chamber of Commerce

    Winner:    Jane Bardon, ABC, ABC News and Current Affairs Darwin


    • James Dunlevie, ABC, Don Dale
    • Elliana Lawford, ABC, Series – Wave Hill walk-off 50th anniversary

    Judges’ comments:

    “Jane’s exclusive online stories took readers to remote corners of Australia, and highlighted failures of government and of local corporations affecting remote Indigenous communities. Jane’s online feature exposing serious environmental issues at the McArthur River Mine was a comprehensive and detailed investigation which was especially praised by the judges. It included a great use of photography and video in a long-form style which had national interest. The judges praised Jane’s determination to step outside of the office to uncover stories affecting remote residents of the Territory.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    All Media Best Scoop/Newsbreaker     

    Sponsored by Telstra     

    Winner:    Christopher Walsh, NT News, Shares Scandal


    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Darwin Port
    • James Oaten, ABC, Symbol of Kurdistan: Gold Coast man killed while fighting against Islamic State

    Judges’ comments:

    “Christopher’s exclusive report had major impact, and came about after persistent commitment to the story. Christopher’s feature stood out in a competitive field of entries because he’d stuck with the story for many months and had undertaken rigorous research to ensure the story was fact-checked and sourced. The judges praised Christopher’s use of old-fashioned journalism – pouring through documents obtained under Freedom of Information and using a number of sourced to verify his story. It was a well-written and detailed front-page story that ultimately led to the resignation of the former Deputy Chief Minister. The judges noted Christopher’s track record for breaking stories that matter to Territorians.”

    Link to view winning submission here.


    All Media Best Environment/Innovation Reporting      

    Sponsored by Engineers Australia           

    Winner: Jane Bardon, ABC, Nowhere to hide


    • Elliana Lawford, ABC, Series Subject
    • James Oaten, ABC, Environmental concerns ignored in Sandalwood expansion plans

    Judges’ comments:

    “Jane’s painstaking and thorough investigative reports into the impacts of development on the Northern Territory environment were a cut above the other entries. Jane sought further information to guide and inform her coverage through Freedom of Information requests. Her reports have impacted on Territory environmental policy and ensured that Territorians have not been kept in the dark about the impacts of mining, agriculture and other developments. In such a vast and sparsely populated part of the country, Jane was able to develop contacts and report from isolated locations. Her entry shows her ability to bring these stories to a national audience, while ensuring there is a well-crafted narrative presented in an ethical manner.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    All Media Best Sports Journalism

    Sponsored by Bird in Hand

    Winner:    Elliana Lawford, ABC, Series Subject


    • Henry Jones, Channel 9, Under Siege Eels Hit the NT
    • Mark Wilton, Rural Weekly Northern Territory, Rodeo Days

    Judges’ comments:

    “The high calibre of sport entries meant the judges had a difficult task of deciding on one that was any better than the others. In the end the judges agreed that the entry from Elliana Lawford met all of the criteria. In particular, the story of the Wadeye footy league curbing violence in the community was well researched, well told and had the potential for broader impact. The judges agreed that that particular story reached a national audience and showed how the passion for sport could be utilised to make social change. The story was able to clearly show how a much maligned community was able to capitalize on what little they had at their disposal to help them reduce community violence. The story captured that it was clearly a community driven initiative that had the potential to inspire other communities to do likewise. The passion of the local people and the involvement of the local police as players and umpies was captured in the story. The story was a good news story on positive community action when it could have just as easily been a story of a sporting event.”

    Link to view winning submission here.


    All Media Magazine of the Year

    Sponsored by NT Cattlemen’s Association

    Winner:    Territory Q Business Magazine


    • Off the Leash – Turn It Up
    • Off the Leash

    Judges’ comments:

    “The Magazine of the Year finalists are a fabulous representation of the rich diversity of the Territory.  This year’s winner Territory Q has consistently delivered quality content for readers in the Territory and beyond.  The judges were particularly impressed with Territory Q’s layout and photographic quality.  Territory Q’s articles explore a wide variety of original issues that interest and excite Territorians and introduce us to the better and lesser known people involved in those issues.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    Gold Award: Excellence in Indigenous Reporting

    Sponsored by The Australian Government

    Winner:    Kate Wild, ABC, Voices from the Margins


    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Reconciliation
    • Jane Bardon, ABC, Proud people ask for help

    Judges’ comments:

    “Voices from the Margins is a series of confronting reports that force to the surface the stories of Indigenous people living on the fringes in the Northern Territory. The news-breaking reports of mistreatment in the juvenile detention system pre-dated the Four Corners expose and the Royal Commission, displaying a high level of journalistic prowess. Kate has shown the same level of excellence and investigative skill in her reports into the federal government’s Work for the Dole program and into the use of mining royalties in a remote Aboriginal community. Her coverage of the death of Lala, a 20-year-old disabled woman, catalogued the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach that is often taken towards Indigenous Territorians. Without journalists willing to research, investigate and expose these stories they would remain a hidden reality. Kate’s storytelling abilities have ensured this is not the case.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    Gold Award: Excellence in Northern Reporting 

    Sponsored by Northern Australian Development Office

    Winner:    Christopher Walsh, NT News, Sex, Lies and Videotape: Covering NT Politics


    • Amos Aikman, The Australian, Far North
    • Jane Bardon, ABC, Holding governments and industry to account up North

    Judges’ comments:

    “The number and quality of entries for this category (Excellence in Northern Reporting) much impressed the judges, and revealed the richness to be harvested from the Northern Territory’s fields of stories. Selecting the finalists was a challenging exercise.  The work of the winner, Christopher Walsh, shone through because of the collateral damage it inflicted on the local polity. Walsh’s work demonstrates a fearless approach to his subjects, and won him enduring enmity from members of the previous NT government. He truly rattled the citadels of power in this jurisdiction.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three and four).


    Gold Award: The Pete Davies Memorial Campaigning Journalism Award

    Sponsored by Mix 104.9

    Winner:    Kate Wild, ABC, NT Juvenile Justice System


    • Jane Bardon, ABC, Pressuring governments to tackle Third World living conditions
    • Hayley Sorensen, NT News, Campaign for cardiothoracic and neurosurgical services

    Judges’ comments:

    “Kate’s exemplary reporting was chosen as the clear winner among a strong selection of finalists. Kate’s exclusive reports shed light on what was really going on inside the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, and she included essential analysis of government policy. Kate worked hard to secure crucial interviews with the family of Dylan Voller, with the NT Children’s Commissioner and with the Corrections Department. Her reports led to change and laid the ground work for the Four Corners investigation which led to a royal commission being called by the Prime Minister.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    Gold Award: Marchbanks Young Journalist of the Year 2016

    Sponsored by The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre

    Winner:    Avani Dias, ABC, Wave Hill 50th anniversary: Thousands join walk-off re-enactment to mark land rights protest


    • Elliana Lawford, ABC, Know Your Enemy
    • Tom Volling, Newscorp, In Too Deep: The killing of Rick Berry

    Judges’ comments:

    “Avani Dias’ body of work showed a deep understanding of Northern Territory issues, with a flair for original and engaging content. Her coverage of major milestones garnered national attention through clever scripting and carefully selected talent. She was able expose rare personal insights into stories of national significance and take the Top End to the rest of the world. Her exclusive coverage of elevated lead levels in Top End communities was the result of a year-long investigation that showed persistence, determination, and how good journalism can affect public policy. It was well written, without exaggeration and presented a compelling story. An outstanding body of work from a young journalist in a very competitive category.”

    Links to view winning submission (one, two, three, four and five).


    Gold Award: Journalist of the Year 2016

    Sponsored by The Northern Territory Government

    Winner:  James Oaten, ABC

    Judges Comment:

    The judges closely considered four entrants for the NT Journalist of the Year, each of whom won in two award categories. We decided on James Oaten, who demonstrated tenacity in identifying and pursuing a story, maintained a dedication to truth and accuracy, independent thinking and presentation, fairness, impartiality and humanity. While James’ stories on the Don Dale fall-out were strong examples of daily journalism, the judges were especially impressed with his major piece for 7.30, “Young Australians are dying fighting Islamic State but can it be stopped?” James had previously broken the story on NT union boss Michael Gardiner going to Syria to fight with the Kurds. He stayed with the story and established contact with young Gold Coast man Reece Harding, who was also in Syria. When Reece stepped on a landmine and was killed, he had already gained the trust of Harding’s family who spoke to James through their grief. James was not only able to break the story of Harding’s death, he was able to provide a multi-faceted account and insight into the Australian anti-ISIS foreign fighter contingent that became a major national piece. We congratulate him.”

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  • Entries have now CLOSED.



    2016 NT Media Awards
    Locked Bag 526
    Spring Hill Qld 4004

    2. ENTRY FEE: Darwin Press Club members or MEAA members $20 per entry , $30 per entry for non-members

    3. Entries must be published or broadcast between July 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016.

    4. Entrants may enter only once in each category but may submit one or more related reports on the same issue or topic up to FIVE reports as a single entry.

    5. Entrants may not enter the same material in more than one category, except where the entrant applies to both the media-specific categories (ie, print/text, radio/television, photography/cinematography) and all media category. The same entry may be submitted to a category in each of these sections, but entrants must complete a new and separate submission for each award category.

    6. Group entries: in some categories, it may be appropriate to lodge a group entry. Where any of the group is not an Darwin Press Club member or MEAA member, the entry fee $30 will apply for that entry.

    7. Entry fee is applied per entry, NOT per entrant.

    8. Photographic entrants must certify that entry/ies may be exhibited in any display organised be NT Media Awards. Copyright holders will be acknowledged.

    9. Entry into the 2016 NT Media Awards is open to ALL journalists and photographers/camera persons based in NT, or working for a NT-based media organisation.

    10. All entrants are required to establish their bona fides and that they have adhered to the MEAA Journalist Alliance Code of Ethics in the preparation of their entries.

    11. Each entry must be verified by a representative of the employer or commissioning publication.

    12. All entries must include a statement of up to 200 words outlining the case for consideration of an award.

    13. Please keep copies of all material submitted.

    14. Entries will not be returned.

    15. Judges have the right to reject an entry that in their opinion does not comply with the requirements of the competition.

    16. The judges’ decision will be final.

  • What date do entries close?

    ENTRIES HAVE NOW CLOSED. Entries closed Monday September 19, 2016

    Who can enter the NT Media Awards?

    Entry is open to all journalists and media professionals across all forms of print and electronic media based in the Northern Territory.

    How can I enter the 2016 NT Media Awards?

    You must register by completing the electronic registration form on the entry page on this website 

    ENTRIES HAVE NOW CLOSED. Postal entries must be received by last post on Monday September 19, 2016.

    Send all entries to:

    2016 NT Media Awards
    Locked Bag 526
    Spring Hill Qld 4004

    What are the conditions of entry?

    All work must have been published or broadcast in the 12 months from July 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016.

    What does it cost to enter the awards?

    Entry fee for MEAA or Darwin Press Club  members is $20 per entry.  A $30 fee per entry for non-members applies.

    What do I need to include with my entry?

    One entry form with assigned entry number — register online.

    Do I have to include an entry statement of up to 200 words?

    Yes, your entry statement is to assist the judging process and should outline the case for consideration for an award. You may address the judging criteria and explain the circumstances in which the entry was produced. You may write less than 200 words, but no more. The online entry form submission process will not accept more than 200 words so please write them in a word processor document first and do a word count before dropping it into the entry form.

    Do I need to have the entry form authorised?

    Yes, it is compulsory that you have it verified by your employer or employer representative to validate the work. This process is done online. Once you enter their details into the system it will generate an email to them asking them to verify the details you have submitted. Their verification entry email will come directly to us and a copy will also be sent back to you. An entry will not be considered until all steps have been completed.

    Can I enter into an award category more than once?

    No. Entrants may NOT enter the same material in more than one category, except where the entry applies to both the media-specific categories (i.e. PRINT/TEXT, RADIO/TELEVISION, PHOTOGRAPHY/CINEMATOGRAPHY) and an ALL MEDIA category. The same work may be submitted to a category in each of these sections, but entrants must complete a new and separate submission for each award category.

    What is a group entry?

    A group entry may include up to five people as entrants.

    What are the criteria for judging?

    Award winners will be chosen on the basis of journalistic excellence. This will vary according to individual categories but, in general, criteria will include: • newsworthiness • research • writing • production • incisiveness • impact • public benefit • ethics • originality • innovation • creative flair Judges will take regard of the resources available and effort expended in the preparation of the work.

    Will entries be returned?

    No. Entries will NOT be returned. Please keep copies of all material submitted.

    How will the finalists be notified?

    Finalists are announced via the website and email to all entrants. A press release will be sent to all newsrooms across Northern Territory.

    When will the winners be announced?

    The winners of the 2016 NT Media Awards will be announced at the presentation dinner on Saturday November 19, at SKYCITY, Darwin. For tickets call 1300 656 513

    What do winners of the NT Media Awards categories receive?

    The winner of each category in 2016 receives a trophy and a cash prize of $250. The winners of the five Gold Award categories will each receive a trophy and a cash prize of $1000.

    Where can I find further information?

    For information on all matters related to the NT Media Awards, please contact National Manager: State Media Awards, Anna Magnus on 0423 363 725, or anna.magnus@meaa.org

The 2016 Northern Territory Media Awards are proudly supported by our sponsors and partners:

NTG_Primary_159_BLK 160914_austgovt_stacked  NADO logo for Media Awards   ncctrc_cmyk web   MediaSuper_general_IFS_CMYK2

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For all inquiries, contact:

Anna Magnus, National Manager, State Media Awards


Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance
Lvl 4, 16 Peel St
South Brisbane


Phone: 0423 363 725 or 07 3846 0055
Email: Anna Magnus or submit your query using the form below.

Nigel attended journalism college in Britain after finishing school. He served his cadetship at a bi-weekly in East London before going to a large evening newspaper in Bristol and then to a national Sunday in Zimbabwe. He covered the transition from civil war to black majority rule in Zimbabwe. He became quite friendly with Robert Mugabe but the Health Minister described him in a press release as “swaggeringly arrogant”. Nigel remembers his time in Africa as being a “witness to poverty and poor politics with plenty of bloodshed”. He migrated to Australia after three years in Zimbabwe  and worked on The Australian foreign desk for a while. He then drifted north, arrived in Darwin with a few dollars, liked the look of the place and settled down as a Murdoch man. He now edits Territory Q and Territory Taste magazines. Nigel has twice been named NT Journalist of the Year.

Jasmin Afianos has edited the Tennant and District Times for almost 30 years. The daughter of the remote mining town took the helm from her mother, who transformed the newspaper from a community publication in to a debate-setting weekly publication. Afianos has a strong social conscious and advocates strongly for the protection of children and women. In fact Jasmin has taken her fight for better protection of vulnerable children to both sides of politics at every level of power. Jasmin is heeding calls for change in Tennant Creek and with the community, is trying to establish a centre for at risk children to be cared for. Political leaders are yet to commit following in principal support.

Natalie Ahmat is the host of the nation’s only Indigenous news bulletin. She has anchored NITV’s flagship program from right around the country and has spearheaded news coverage of some of the most significant and tumultuous times for First Australians. The seasoned journalist began her media career with ABC Radio in Darwin. She has also worked for Channel 8 (now Channel 9 in Darwin), and Imparja TV. She oversaw the development of NITV News from a fifteen-minute slot to be an agenda-setting half-hour program of the news affecting the lives of First Australians – all this as presenter and executive producer. Ahmat also oversaw the broadcasting of the first interviews with a sitting Prime Minister on NITV News.Ahmat’s family come from the Top End, but relocated to Canberra after Cyclone Tracy. She has been acknowledged for her work with a Deadly Award for community broadcaster of the year, was honoured with a commendation for excellence in journalism at the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network awards in Norway.

Katrina Bolton spent more than a decade as a journalist with the ABC, starting out at Radio National in Sydney before moving to the NT to report for radio and  TV news. She was the NT political reporter for several years, making one politician cry and another hide for hours in a restaurant. She won a Walkley and a New York Festivals Award for her reporting on the business practices fuelling problem drinking in Central Australia, before launching herself into a different career entirely – medicine. She graduates soon and will start work as a doctor in Alice Springs Hospital next year.

Bridget Brennan is an ABC journalist based in Melbourne, and a Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta woman. She regularly reports for AM, The World Today and PM. Bridget was an ABC reporter in the Northern Territory for three years. In the NT, Bridget covered several rounds, with a particular focus on child protection. In Darwin, Bridget reported for 7.30 NT and regularly presented the Indigenous Quarter. In 2013, Bridget moved to Hong Kong where she worked for CNN International in its Asia Pacific Bureau, covering international and business news from the region. In 2016, Bridget was awarded the Andrew Olle Scholarship – she was the first Indigenous person to complete the scholarship in its 20-year history. This year, her investigation into Victoria’s child protection system aired on Background Briefing, and she worked as researcher at Four Corners.

Now retired, Julia Christensen’s radio career spanned 28 years with ABC Darwin. She presented every shift on the station but came into her own as a familiar wake up voice and hard hitting interviewer on the breakfast show on 105.7 ABC Darwin. Memorable moments in her broadcasting career have included the East Timor crisis after Indonesia agreed to an independence vote, a Chief Minister/Attorney General telling her listeners the justice system is corrupt, and the drama of the Federal Intervention. Julia has seen politicians and governments come and go, but says the heart of the Territory will always be it’s people. They are unique, cheeky, opinionated and always up for a good yarn! A great place to be a journalist or broadcaster.

Michael Coggan started his career as a journalist in commercial radio in Canberra 30 years ago covering local and federal politics. He took on a job with the ABC in Canberra while studying political science at the ANU and took the advice of colleagues and won a reporting role with the ABC in Darwin.  As is often the case he fell in love with the rich storied landscape of the Territory and spent 19 years reporting on everything that moved – including the continuing failure of consecutive governments to address indigenous disadvantage, asylum seekers threatened by authorities for talking to the media, the introduction of mandatory sentencing to Australia and the controversial use of push polling in politics – with the occasional crocodile story in between.  A year in India as a video journalist working for the Australia Network saw Michael file some of the first long form TV coverage of the 2008 terrorist attack on the Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai. He has also reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan, East Timor and Indonesia.

James Glenday is the ABC’s new Europe Correspondent based in London. He’s worked for 7.30, AM and Lateline, most recently as a political reporter in Canberra. Before that he covered the Top End of Australia from the ABC’s Darwin office and worked in commercial TV. James has won several journalism awards, including the ABC’s prestigious Andrew Olle Scholarship.

Rachel Hancock is deputy editor of The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail in Queensland, however she spent the last three years engrossed in all things NT as editor of the NT News. She has worked for News Corp Australia for 17 years, previously at The Advertiser and Sunday Mail in South Australia as deputy editor of the Saturday Advertiser and Sunday Mail. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) at the University of South Australia and started her journalism career at the Murray Valley Standard in Murray Bridge.  Outside of work, Rachel is a mother to two boys, aged seven and 12, and a netball fanatic. She has fond memories of her time as editor of the NT News and can proudly (now) boast she is comfortable putting all things crocs, naked people and UFO sightings on the front page of a newspaper.

Former NT ABC reporter and in her words, “wannabe Territorian”, Anna Henderson left the stereotypes about crocs and fireworks behind to head to Canberra in 2012. She’s now running ABC’s online political coverage at federal Parliament and still filing radio and television news stories. She is also the Indigenous Affairs rounds reporter in the national capital. Anna spent four years in Darwin and Alice Springs with the national broadcaster as a television and radio reporter covering such diverse topics as natural disasters, camel hunting and tropical art. While in the territory she also developed a strong interest in Indigenous Affairs policy. She has since travelled with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott on both of his week-long stints to remote Indigenous areas — in Arnhem Land and the Cape York and Torres Strait regions.

Allyson Horn is a senior journalist at ABC News in Brisbane. She started her ABC career as a Rural Reporter in the Hunter Valley before moving to Alice Springs, where she spent four years working as a TV and radio journalist. Since then, Allyson worked as the Journalist in Charge in Townsville and migrated to Brisbane in 2015.  She now works as a senior TV news journalist, with a focus on multicultural and Indigenous affairs. Allyson has won several media awards including best Queensland Regional Broadcast Journalist and Northern Territory News Breaker of the Year.

Charlie King is a veteran ABC sport broadcaster who has covered every aspect of sport for decades. But his work to raise awareness of domestic violence and any violence against women, as well as his No More campaign to tackle such violence has shone a bright spotlight on such abuse. King has been involved in child protection for 15 years and noticed that men rarely participated in community action against violence. He believes men are often demonised and seen as the perpetrators and therefore feel unable to be part of the solution. He has addressed this issue by working directly with men’s groups to bring home the important message of men taking the lead in combating the growing level of violence. For 25 years he has also volunteered as an independent person for children in trouble with the law, sitting with those who don’t have a parent or guardian during police interviews. Charlie is Chair of Life Education, a program which highlights drug and alcohol prevention in schools. He also sits on a number of committees aimed at protecting children. Charlie is an inspiration because of his passion for bringing an end to domestic violence and child abuse. The veteran ABC sports broadcaster and Gurinjdji man’s broadcast achievements include commentating Indigenous games for the Australian Football League and, in 2008 in Beijing, becoming the first Indigenous Australian to commentate at an Olympic Games.

Murray McLaughlin is a media officer at the Northern Land Council. Until recently, he was the ABC’s Northern Territory news editor. McLaughlin is respected among Territorians of all walks of life for his ability to cut to the core of the story and to tell it in full. Before becoming the NT’s ABC news editor, he spent more than a decade in very senior roles in the Top End. He was the chief reporter for the NT’s flagship current affairs program, Stateline (which would become 7.30 NT).

Franco Pistillo has 30 years experience as an editor, producer and writer of high-end TV current affairs, news and documentary. He has specialised in reporting from war zones having spent significant time in Baghdad, Bosnia, Mogadishu and the former Soviet Union. Franco is the recipient of three Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award for his work with Christianne Amanpour for CBS News’ 60 Minutes and a Rory Peck Award for his work with Jamie Doran/Channel 4 in the UK. He is the recipient of the NT Media Awards’ Best Current Affairs or Feature two years running for Court Up North (2014) and Indigenous Clans take on Miner Glencore (2015). He is also the recipient of Best Television Current Affairs, UNAA Media Awards (2014) and was a finalist in the 2015 Walkley Awards. Franco returned to Australia in 2008 working as lead editor for a slate of Granada, Beyond, Freemantle productions and most recently has spent time in the top end as senior editor, ABC News 7.30 NT.

Hon. KEZIA PURICK, Speaker and MLA for Goyder
Kezia Purick worked for 16 years from 1991 to 2008 as the head of the Northern Territory’s resource industry group and was instrumental in bring the industry to the forefront of public policy debate and expanding services and membership. During this time participation on various Northern Territory and Commonwealth advisory committees covering uranium and royalties and exploration programs. She has made appearances and submissions to Commonwealth and Northern Territory Parliamentary standing and sessional committees. Over the last 20 years Ms Purick has been involved in many business groups, advisory councils including work health, consumer affairs, education and local government and is a participant in economic summits and the statehood conventions.

Trevor John Riley was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in September 2010.  At the time of his appointment he was a Justice of the Supreme Court having been appointed to that position in 1999. Chief Justice Riley is a former Vice-President of the Northern Territory Law Society and a former Councillor of that Society. He is a former member of the Legal Practitioners Complaints Committee, the Law Reform Committee, the Public Purposes Trust and the Legal Practitioners Admission Board. He is a former part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the Northern Territory University and he is an occasional lecturer in Advocacy.

Russell Skelton is the editor of ABC Fact Check.  Prior to his current role, Skelton was a contributing editor, deputy editor, foreign editor and foreign correspondent to The Age newspaper and Fairfax media. He has also held senior editorial positions at News Limited. He was the executive producer of the ABC’s 7.30 Report Victoria in the early 1990s. In 2011, Skelton won the Walkley award for best book for King Brown Country: The Betrayal Of Papunya. He has received the prestigious Grant Hattam Quill award for investigative journalism and won United Nations Association Peace awards for his reports on Aboriginal disadvantage. A graduate of Monash University, he was a Fulbright scholar and Professional Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

Paul Toohey is chief reporter for News Corp Australia’s Network, a small group of journalists that writes for all company titles. He is a three-time Walkley Award winner for feature writing and won the 2000 Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year. Based in Darwin, he travels widely reporting for News Corp titles.