Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Walkley Award Finalists Announced

"Australia's journalists know that winning a Walkley is a reason to celebrate. It is the recognition by one's peers that special initiative deserves a special reward. To the winner it means all those years of training and being barked at by demanding editors were not entirely in vain".- John Hurst, author of The Walkley Awards

This year's finalists for the Walkley Awards have been announced. You can find the full list here.

The Walkley's are Australia's to journalism awards for print, radio and TV but not, yet, for the internet.

The Walkleys were established in 1956, with five categories, by Ampol Petroleum founder Sir William Gaston Walkley. William Walkley appreciated the media's support for his oil exploration efforts. He envisaged awards that recognised emerging talent in the Australian media. Since then, winning stories have chronicled Australia's history, people and events.

I think that very few Australians now remember Sir William Walkley. That's a pity. I must write something on him at some point. Certainly the Walkely's are an on-going memorial.


Over on the New England Australia blog I have put up a story about the connection between Sir William and the New England New State Movement. I wanted to write a second story on a different linkage on this blog but could find no information.

Jim North, my father-in-law, was both president and secretary of the Australian Journalist's Association. Because of the linkage between Sir William and the AJA I thought that this might be another story. So I searched. Nothing, apart from one story on the sale of the Journalists' Club. This includes the successor union web site.

I think that this is wrong. There were some fascinating people at Jim's retirement dinner including Bob Carr, yet this man who occupied a niche but special place in Australian political and intellectual history has vanished.

As I said in a passing note on Professor Wheelwright, I find it strange that I should find myself trying to rescue and present those on the left and Labor side of politics when their own people have forgotten them.

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