Monash journalism’s strong showing in the Quills

Monash University students, graduates and staff have been named finalists – eight times – in the coveted Melbourne Press Club awards, the Quills.

ABC journalist Tess Ikonomou.

Monash journalism graduate and ABC journalist Tess Ikonomou was shortlisted in the Student of the Year category for her news story, Monash University academic denied permanent residency because of autistic son.  

Less than a month later,  Dr Biswajit Banik and his family was granted residency after the assistant minister for immigration intervened. 

Tess tracked the family’s plight and broke the follow-up story in The Age.

“I’m very excited to be one of the four finalists, considering the talent and quality of work produced by my peers,” Tess said.

“I’m also very grateful I had the support and guidance of my lecturers who were always available to their students for advice or help.”

Master of Journalism student Carol Saffer was also a finalist in the Student of the Year category.

Carol Saffer.

Carol wrote an investigative story, How a South Yarra dinner party and Harold Holt saved a Jewish boy from Hitler, which was published in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald (online).

Carol’s investigation is a fascinating historical narrative about a Jewish family’s escape to Australia before Nazi Germany controlled Austria.

Monash graduate and News Corp journalist Monique Hore is a finalist in the Young Journalist of the Year category.

Monique is now the education reporter of the Herald Sun.

Associate Professor Margaret Simons.

Recently appointed Monash academic and award-winning journalist Associate Professor Margaret Simons was shortlisted in the feature writing category for her piece, Duterte’s Dirty War, published in The Monthly.

Monash journalism teacher and ABC producer Gus Goswell worked with The Age award-winning journalist Nick McKenzie to produce the report, Foreign bribery allegations exposed, for ABC 7.30.

Other Monash graduates to be shortlisted in the Quills include The Age reporter Beau Donelly in two categories, news report in writing and disability issues and ABC radio journalist Danny Tran for his investigative entry, Ballarat Police under fire over new brutality allegations. 

Associate Professor Phil Chubb.
Monash University’s head of journalism Associate Professor Phil Chubb said it was great that Monash staff and students had been recognised in this way.

“At Monash we have pursued excellence in our teaching and resources and the pay-offs are visible to all,” Assoc Professor Chubb said.

The awards are well-deserved by all the individuals involved, but also by all the Journalism staff and by the university as a whole, which demonstrated its faith in us by spending $3 million on new facilities.

“Every success spurs us on to achieve more and we won’t be resting.”

The 2016 Quill Awards will be held on Friday, March 17 at the Crown Palladium in Southbank.

Shortlisted Monash students, graduates and staff (in blue):

Ruth Lamperd (Herald Sun) The War Within
Nick McKenzie & Richard Baker ( of Their Labour
Margaret Simons (The Monthly)  Duterte’s Dirty War
Chris Vedelago & Cameron Houston (The Sunday Age) Spun Out, Shane Warne Foundation story 

Beau Donelly (The Age) 
Josh Gordon & Adam Morton (The Age), Hazelwood shutdown near
Tom Minear & James Campbell (Herald Sun), Minister’s dog act  
Cameron Stewart (The Australian) The Submarine Leak Scandal 

Seb Costello (Triple M Hot Breakfast) Usain Bolt wins 100m Gold in Rio 
Charlotte King (ABC News) Ballarat bishop agrees to be stand-in for historic sex abuse claims
Patrick Mitchell (3AW) Springvale – Fire in Commonwealth Bank
Danny Tran (ABC Radio News) Ballarat Police under fire over new brutality allegations 


Sam Clark & Dan Oakes (ABC 7.30) Melbourne tax evasion scandal
Nick McKenzie & Gus Goswell (ABC 7.30) Foreign bribery allegations exposed  
Dan Oakes & Sam Clark (ABC 7.30) Mother’s plea for state care changes
Brendan Roberts (Seven News) Anzac Day Terror Plot

Kirsten Diprose & Alex Holland (ABC) Melbourne wheelchair taxis no longer ‘commercially viable’ 
Beau Donelly (The Age) Anthony’s Decision to Die   
Lisbeth Gorr (ABC 7.30) The Doug Anthony Allstars Have The Last laugh
Louise Milligan (ABC 7.30) Protecting Children with Disabilities from Abuse 

Reid Butler (A Current Affair/Nine Network)
Monique Hore (Herald Sun) 

Bridget Judd (ABC)
Cassie Zervos (Herald Sun)

Claudia Alp (Swinburne)
Tess Ikonomou (Monash University)  
Carol Saffer (Monash University)  
Evan Young (RMIT)

Click here for Quills finalists’ list