Alana and Naomi are Young Walkley finalists

Alana Mitchelson is a Walkley finalist in the Student Journalist of the Year Award.
Alana Mitchelson is a Walkley finalist in the Student Journalist of the Year Award.

Monash University journalism alumnae Alana Mitchelson and Naomi Selvaratnam have been named finalists in the Young Walkley Awards to be held in Sydney on July 29.

Alana, who will soon formally graduate from her Monash journalism degree, is one of three Walkley finalists in the Student Journalist of the Year Award. 

Her Walkley entry includes three stories Family of WWI veteran Jim Kerr finally reunited with his treasure trove of Anzac memoriesGrowing demand for employment support for adults with autism, and Knitting fake breasts to provide support.

Other finalists in the student category include Derrick Krusche from The University of Melbourne and  Sai Mi Jeong, from the University of Technology Sydney.

The student finalists, who produced “distinctive and original journalism”, are regarded as the best emerging talent of the new generation of journalists.

Alana, who has commenced her prize-winning Pulliam Journalism Fellowship at the Indy Star in Indianapolis, said it was an “incredible honour” to receive a nomination for a Walkley award.

“Each of the writing samples I provided within my application were stories that I will always hold close to me and it is so rewarding to be recognised for my work,” Alana said.

“I hope that through my nomination, these pieces may continue to raise awareness for supporting women who have had a mastectomy and adults with autism struggling to secure long-term employment.”

Alana’s work has been a hit in the United States, with good social media reaction to her first published story on The Indy Star website.

Naomi Selvaratnam is a finalist in the Young Walkleys in the radio/audio journalism category.
Naomi Selvaratnam is a finalist in the Young Walkleys in the radio/audio journalism category.

Naomi Selvaratnam,  an SBS World News TV journalist, is a Walkley finalist in the radio/audio journalism category. She is recognised for her entry Blackmailed: Sexual assault victims held to ransom with footage of their rape.

Naomi, who graduated from Monash in 2012, was a finalist in the same Walkley category last year.

“It’s an honour to be a finalist, and to be recognised by journalists whose work I greatly admire,” Naomi said.

“I hope that this nomination will draw attention to the issue of sexual violence in Australia, especially for migrant and refugee communities, who face particular vulnerabilities to this form of abuse.”

The winner of each category will qualify for the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year and will undertake work experience with CNN, Twitter and Huffington Post in the United States.

The winners will be announced at the Walkley Mid-Year Awards in Sydney on July 29.