Guardian Australia has picked up four nominations in the 2020 Walkley awards for excellence in journalism.
Welfare and inequality reporter Luke Henriques-Gomes has been nominated for best print/text report for Robodebt failure exposed by leaked documents, which revealed the flaws in Australia’s welfare system.
His exclusive report revealed the federal government had privately admitted it would be forced to refund more than 400,000 welfare debts worth about $550m that were wrongly issued to hundreds of thousands of Australians under the botched robodebt scheme.
Henriques-Gomes’s work on robodebt has previously been recognised when he won the Young Walkley award for shortform journalism at the midyear Walkley awards.
Reporter Calla Wahlquist and the Guardian’s Indigenous affairs editor, Lorena Allam, were nominated in the Indigenous affairs category for their coverage of the destruction by Rio Tinto of a sacred site in Western Australia that showed 46,000 years of continual occupation and provided a 4,000-year-old genetic link to present-day traditional owners.
The oncologist and author Dr Ranjana Srivastava was nominated in the commentary category for three Guardian Australia pieces: I am a frontline doctor: here’s how you can help me; No Zoom meeting ever replaces the solace of grieving with relatives and How did we miss our colleague’s grief?.
Coverage of the bushfires dominated the nominations this year, along with reports on Covid-19.
The ABC’s popular podcast Coronacast, produced by Dr Norman Swan, Tegan Taylor and Will Ockenden, has been nominated for best audio news and current affairs.
The chief executive of the Walkley Foundation, Louisa Graham, said the finalists continued to impress with courageous acts of journalism.
“We had hoped that, despite the uncertainty created by Covid-19, we would be able to come together in person to celebrate the hard work, innovation and resilience shown by our industry over the past 12 months,” Graham said on Thursday.
“But to safeguard the health and safety of our journalists, partners and staff we will celebrate virtually. Wherever you are, please join us in raising a toast to this outstanding journalism, which serves the public by informing during crises, sparking inquiries, prompting changes to the law and holding the powerful to account.”
All Walkley award-winners will be announced in a live broadcast on Sky News (Foxtel Channel 603) and streamed on the Walkley website (walkleys.com) from 7pm AEDT on Friday 20 November.