Holly wins Walkley Student Journalist of the Year

Monash University’s journalism graduate Holly Humphreys has won the 2014 Walkley Student Journalist of the Year.

Holly, a Masters of Journalism graduate, was recognised for her outstanding story Call for better life for dairy’s rejects, which was published in The Sunday Age.

Holly Humphreys with ABC award-winning journalist Caitlyn Gribbin.
Holly Humphreys with ABC award-winning journalist Caitlyn Gribbin.

She was presented at the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Awards at the CBD Hotel in Sydney last night.

Holly’s piece was also published in mojo, an online news site edited and written by Monash journalism students.

Holly said she felt privileged to win a Walkley award, which was sponsered by the ABC.

“I must admit that I was shocked to hear my name announced as the winner of my category,” Holly said.

“All of the hard work I put into the story has paid off in a myriad of ways and being formally recognised is an event I will remember forever.

“It encourages me to strive to be a skilful journalist, no matter the hard yards that need to be dedicated to succeed.”

The Walkley judges said: “Holly Humphreys’ story on the fate of male calves born into the dairy industry shone a light on a confronting and little-known aspect of dairy farming.

“She wrote objectively on a complex, emotionally charged topic. We were impressed by her immersive research and vivid storytelling technique. Congratulations Holly.”

SBS News reporter Naomi Selvaratnam, who graduated from Monash in 2012, was a finalist in the Radio/Audio Journalist category.

Naomi’s story, Crisis accommodation shortage hits migrant women, was broadcast earlier this year on SBS World News. She is a finalist in the Radio/Audio Journalist category.

Head of Journalism, Phil Chubb, said he was speaking for all staff in congratulating Holly.

“It was obvious throughout her course that Holly had a great future,” he said.

Phil also paid tribute to Naomi, a Young Walkley finalist.

“Naomi likewise always presented herself as a student who was going places,” Phil said.

“These awards are a recognition of the huge amount of time and effort Monash staff put into mentoring students and it’s great for them, too – not just for the students – when it all comes together on nights like these.

“In many respects this type of recognition is what keeps staff going.”

Holly  said she would investigate career options in foreign correspondence, “perhaps to couple my interests in Asia and journalism, but to be honest I am undecided about which medium I prefer”.

“Based on the range of young journalists I met at the awards event it has inspired me to be open to career opportunities in radio, television, online or print, but potentially online because of the rapid changes to the way we access news today and what the online platform allows for,” she said.

In 2013, Monash graduate Ashley Argoon won the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year and was a finalist in this year’s Quill Awards.

Herald Sun AFL reporter and Monash graduate, Sam Landsberger, was a finalist in last year’s Young Walkley’s innovation category. Sam was also acknowledge for his series,  If you don’t mind, umpire, and his exclusive story, Drugs ban for VFL player.

The Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year was awarded to Sydney freelance journalist Ella Rubeli for her “outstanding and compelling work” and “extraordinary” use of video, photojournalism, print and multimedia in multi-platform storytelling.

“Ella Rubeli’s outstanding and compelling work has made her the clear winner of the 2014 Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year Award … an incredible job and a very worthy winner,” judges said.


Holly Humphries, Monash University, “Call for better life for dairy’s rejects”.

Judges: Jeannette Francis, Monique Schafter and Trent Dalton.

Finalists:  Ben Westcott, RMIT, “ALGA to slug councils for vote” “Ratepayer ‘no’ to yes campaign” and “Early poll to stymie referendum”

Allison Worrall, RMIT, “The other road toll”