Adele Ferguson has won the inaugural Coca-Cola Kennedy Journalist of the Year at the 5th Annual NRMA Kennedy Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
The Fairfax/Four Corners investigative journalist won the award for her historic investigations of slave labor in the 7/11 chain of convenience stores, and the failure of the Commonwealth Bank to pay insurance to sick and dying policy holders.
In collecting Australia’s richest prize in journalism, Ferguson thanked her producers Mario Christodoulou, Sarah Danckert and Klaus Toft, who also collected the coveted Spirax trophy in the finance and investigative categories.
The $25,000 prize was presented by special guest of honour, veteran New York Post and Daily Telegraph editor Col Allan.
Allan was joined in the presentation by 2015 Kennedy Journalist of the Year Caro Meldrum-Hanna, and Liz McNamara, representing Coca-Cola Amatil.
Earlier, The Sydney Morning Herald education writer Eryk Bagshaw was named as the winner of the $5000 Powerade Young Journalist of the Year.
More than 600 guests attended the awards in the grand ballroom at Royal Randwick for the presentation of 34 Spirax trophies.
The Gold Spirax for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to veteran pictorial editor of The Daily Telegraph John Smith won for Outstanding Television News Reporting.
• Les Kennedy Award for Outstanding Crime Reporting – Dan Box (The Australian)
• Paul Lockyer Award for Outstanding Regional Broadcast Reporting – Joanna Woodburn (ABC TV)
• Chris Watson Award for Outstanding Regional Newspaper Reporting – Andrew Pearson (Illawarra Mercury)
• Rod Allen Award for Racing Writer of the Year – Ray Thomas (Daily Telegraph)
• Outstanding Turf Reporting – Andrew Webster (Sydney Morning Herald)
• Sean Flannery Award for Outstanding Radio Reporting – Giselle Wakatama (ABC)
• Outstanding Radio Current Affairs Reporting and Audio Blog – Dan Box and Eric George (The Australian)
• Outstanding News Photo – Rohan Kelly (Sunday Telegraph)
• Outstanding Portrai – Alex Ellinghausen (Sydney Morning Herald)
• Outstanding Sport Photo – Brett Costello (Daily Telegraph)
• Outstanding Online Video – Bill Code (BBC Online)
• People’s Choice Photo – Gordon McKomiskie (Daily telegraph)
• Cliff Neville Award – Outstanding Team Player – Phil Kwok
• Peter Frilingos Award for Outstanding Sports Reporting – Nick Tabakoff (Daily Telegraph)
• Outstanding Travel Writing – Joe Aston (Australian Financial Review)
• 2016 Young Journalist of the Year – Eryk Bagshaw (Sydney Morning Herald)
• John Newfong Award for Outstanding Indigenous Affairs Reporting –Ben Hills (SBS)
• Lifetime Achievement Award – John Smith (Daily Telegraph)
• Gary Ticehurst Award Outstanding TV News Camera Coverage – Cameron Wallis (7 News)
• Harry Potter Award for Outstanding Television News Reporting – Robert Ovadia and Chris Maher (7 News)
• Outstanding Television Current Affairs Reporting (long form, over 30 minutes) – Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Clay Hichens and Mario Christodoulou (Four Corners, ABC TV)
• Outstanding Television Current Affairs Reporting (short form) Rebecca Le Tourneau and Allison Langdon (60 Minutes)
• Outstanding Finance Reporting – Adele Ferguson, Mario Christodoulou, Klaus Toft (Fairfax/Four Corners, ABC)
• Outstanding Court Reporting – Candace Sutton (Daily Mail)
• Outstanding Consumer Affairs Reporting – Sarah Dingle, Joel Tozer and Jaya Balendra (Four Corners, ABC TV)
• Peter Ruehl Award for Outstanding Columnist – Jacqueline Maley (Sydney Morning Herald)
• Outstanding Online News Breaking – Ava Benny Morrison, Lisa Visentin and Nick Ralston (Sydney Morning Herald)
• Outstanding Reporting on the Environment – Peter Hannam (Sydney Morning Herald)
• 2016 Scoop of the Year – Dan Nolan (A Current Affair)
• 2016 Vince O’Farrell Award: Outstanding Illustration – John Shakespeare (Sydney Morning Herald)
• Outstanding Investigative Reporting – Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft and Sarah Danckert (Fairfax/ABC TV)
• 2016 Jim Oram Award: Outstanding Feature Writing – Trent Dalton (The Australian)
• Outstanding Political Reporting – David Speers (SKY News)
• 2016 Coca–Cola Journalist of the Year – Adele Ferguson (Fairfax/Four Corners)