2016 Finalists

Les Kennedy Award for Outstanding Crime Reporting – Dan Box (The Australian); Janet Fife-Yeomans (Daily Telegraph); Allison Langdon and Rebecca Le Tourneau (60 Minutes)

Paul Lockyer Award for Outstanding Regional Broadcast Reporting – Elysse Morgan (ABC TV); Joanna Woodburn (ABC TV); Giselle Wakatama (ABC)

Chris Watson Award for Outstanding Regional Newspaper Reporting – Breanna Chillingworth (Northern Daily Leader); Andrew Pearson (Illawarra Mercury); Donna Page and Michelle Harris (Newcastle Herald)

Rod Allen Award for Racing Writer of the Year – Ray Thomas (Daily Telegraph); Chris Roots (Sydney Morning Herald); Felicity Nethery (WIN TV Central West)

Outstanding Turf Reporting – Ray Thomas (Daily Telegraph); Andrew Webster (Sydney Morning Herald); Matt Kelly (G1X)

Sean Flannery Award for Outstanding Radio Reporting – Giselle Wakatama (ABC); Stephanie Borys (2GB); Matthew Woolfrey (2GB)

Outstanding Radio Current Affairs Reporting and Audio Blog – Dan Box Eric George (The Australian); Ellen Fanning (ABC); Mandie Sami (ABC)

Outstanding News Photo — Adam Taylor (Daily Telegraph); Andrew Meares (Sydney Morning Herald); Rohan Kelly (Sunday Telegraph)

Outstanding Portrait – Dylan Robinson (The Daily Telegraph); Marc Stapelberg (The Northern Star); Alex Ellinghausen (Sydney Morning Herald)

Outstanding Sport Photo – Brett Costello (Daily Telegraph); Paul Miller (AAP); Toby Zerna (Daily Telegraph)

Outstanding Online Video – Bill Code (BBC Online); Sylvia Liber (Illawarra Mercury); Nick Walker and Tony Walters (Sydney Morning Herald)

Peter Frilingos Award for Outstanding Sports Reporting – Nick Tabakoff (Daily Telegraph); Kate McClymont (Sydney Morning Herald); Dan Nolan (A Current Affair)

Outstanding Travel Writing – Garry Maddox (Sydney Morning Herald); Ian Lloyd Neubauer (Australian Road Rider); Joe Aston (Australian Financial Review)

 2016 Young Journalist of the Year – Michael McGowan (Newcastle Herald); Eryk Bagshaw (Sydney Morning Herald); Carrie Felner (Newcastle Herald)

John Newfong Award for Outstanding Indigenous Affairs Reporting – Dan Box, Eric George and Stephen Fitzpatrick (The Australian); Ben Hills (SBS); Natasha Robinson (ABC)

Gary Ticehurst Award Outstanding TV News Camera Coverage

Oscar Vieira (Network TEN) Paul Bousfield, Jo Buller (9 News) Cameron Wallace (7 News)

 Harry Potter Award for Outstanding Television News Reporting – Marc Burrows (Nine News); Robert Ovadia and Chris Maher (7 News); Rob Scott (7 News)

Outstanding Television Current Affairs Reporting (long form, over 30 minutes) – Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Clay Hichens, Mario Christodoulou (Four Corners ABC TV); Helen Grasswill, Sharon Davis & Andrew Cooke (ABC TV); Ivan O’Mahoney (ABC TV)

 Outstanding Television Current Affairs Reporting (short form)  Steve Pennells, Lisa Ryan, Alex Garipoli (Sunday Night); Rebecca Le Tourneau, Allison Langdon (60 Minutes); Yvonne Sampson, Prue Hamil (Footy Show)

Outstanding Finance Reporting – Anthony Klan, Greg Bearup (The Australian); Fairfax/Four Corners; Mandie Sami (ABC Radio PM)

Outstanding Court Reporting – Candace Sutton (Daily Mail); Bryan Seymour (7 News); Shannon Tonkin and Cydonee Mardon (Illawarra Mercury)

Outstanding Consumer Affairs Reporting – Kylar Loussikian (The Australian); Sarah Dingle, Joel Tozer, Jaya Balendra (Four Corners ABC TV); Sophie Scott, Rebecca Armitage (7.30 Report ABC TV)

Peter Ruehl Award for Outstanding Columnist – James Jeffrey (The Australian); Miranda Devine (Daily Telegraph); Jacqueline Maley (Sydney Morning Herald)

Outstanding Online News Breaking – Rachel Olding (Sydney Morning Herald); James Thomas Lesley Robinson, Rebecca Armitage & Mark Doman  (ABC) Ava Benny Morrison, Lisa Visentin, Nick Ralston (Sydney Morning Herald)

Outstanding Reporting on the Environment – Peter Hannam (Sydney Morning Herald); Donna Page and Michelle Harris (Newcastle Herald); Connor Duffy (7.30 Report ABC TV)

2016 Scoop of the Year – Nick Tabakoff (Daily Telegraph); Dan Nolan (A Current Affair); Michael Usher Laura Sparkes & Grace Tobin (60 Minutes)

2016 Vince O’Farrell Award: Outstanding Illustration – Eric Lobbecke (The Australian); Cathie Wilcox (Sydney Morning Herald); John Shakespeare (Sydney Morning Herald)

Outstanding Investigative Reporting – Dan Box (The Australian); Ivan O’Mahoney, Sarah Ferguson (ABC TV); Adele Ferguson, Klaus Toft, Mario Christodoulou (Fairfax/ABC TV)

2016 Jim Oram Award: Outstanding Feature Writing – Trent Dalton (The Australian); Paul Maley (The Australian); Tom Allard (Sydney Morning Herald)

Outstanding Political Reporting – Andrew Clennell (Daily Telegraph); David Spears (SKY News); Brigid Glanville (ABC News)

 2016 CocaCola Journalist of the Year – Nick Tabakoff (Daily Telegraph); Dan Box (The Australian); Adele Ferguson (Fairfax/Four Corners)


2016 Awards Flyer

Power of the Lens Flyer

2015 NSW Journalist of the Year Caro Meldrum-Hanna

2015 NSW Journalist of the Year Caro Meldrum-Hanna of ABC-TV’s Four Corners


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2015 YouTube Coverage of Kennedy Awards Gala

2015 Gala Gallery

2015 NRMA Kennedy Award Winners

2014 NRMA Kennedy Awards Winners



“It is a sad, sad day when we lose one of our own too early. So it is with Les Kennedy … legendary crime reporter Les leaves a legacy of great public service. He told our readers what was really going on.” 

Greg Hywood, Fairfax CEO, August 10, 2011

“Les Kennedy’s journalistic legacy is right up there with some of the great names of Sydney crime reporting who worked in bygone eras. He was up there with the best and will be sorely missed.”

John Hartigan, News Ltd CEO, August 10, 2011

Les Kennedy

Les Kennedy (Image: Marcus O’Brien)  

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On Friday, August 10, 2012, NSW’s finest journalists gathered to celebrate the memories of six industry legends and their legacies.

Les Kennedy, Cliff Neville, Sean Flannery, Paul Lockyer, Peter Ruehl and Gary Ticehurst were all masters of their craft – dedicated, passionate professionals who entertained, enlightened, and informed millions of Australians over the past five decades.

The idea for these awards was hatched in a pub when Les’ close friends and fellow veteran crime reporters Steve Barrett and Adam Walters combined with his former editors, friends and family in February 2012. They had a plan to preserve Les Kennedy’s memory in something far more profound than the beer-soaked sentiment of bar banter.

They realised that unlike the other states and territories New South Wales did not properly recognise journalists doing battle in one of the world’s most competitive news markets.

The committee aimed to launch the Kennedy Awards on Friday August 10, 2012, the first anniversary of Les Kennedy’s death at the age of 53. It was a tough deadline, not just because of the logistics, sponsors and media support that needed addressing and securing. This was to be a very emotional journey.

There was no looking back after the Premier agreed to present the Kennedy Award for NSW Journalist of the Year. From that point the doors flew open in a remarkably enthusiastic and passionate response from sponsors and hundreds of other colleagues.

On August 10, 2011, more than 250 people gathered at the Kauri Foreshore Hotel in Glebe to farewell the legend who was the inimitable, irrepressible Les Kennedy.

It was to be a last goodbye to Les, but he had died just eight hours earlier. And so it became an extraordinary celebration of a life lived large by one of the true characters in Australian journalism.

At Les’ impromptu wake, chain-smoking tabloid warriors rubbed shoulders with the corduroy of broadsheet aficionados, senior cops clinked glasses with lawyers and barristers representing the underworld and many young journalists — mentored by Les – were there, trying to get a firm grip on batons he had passed-on to each and every one of them, and not one schooner hit the floor! Along with the amber fluid flowed myriad tributes. Les’ farewell was a truly remarkable gathering – and the inspiration for what happened exactly 12 months later.

As word of the awards spread, close friends and colleagues of five other legends lost in the last year suggested they be honoured in this celebration of quality NSW journalism.

Veteran television producer and newspaperman Cliff Neville is remembered in the Most Outstanding Team Player Award named in his honour. It’s finally time to sing the praises of this unsung hero and magnificent team player who was the glue that held Sixty Minutes together

The “most loveable rogue to ever hold a microphone” – Sean Flannery – is honoured in the category of Most Outstanding Radio Report.

Paul Lockyer – a veteran ABC and Channel Nine journalist – a foreign correspondent who came home to his beloved bush to bring us stories about the people who are the heart of Australia. The award of Regional Reporting of the Year is appropriately named after a man who staked a serious claim to the outback as his story.

Peter Ruehl was once described by Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood as a “national institution,” and by a former editor as a columnist who “launched a 24-year love affair with Australian readers.” Peter is remembered for his wit and wisdom in the Most Outstanding Columnist Award.

Gary Ticehurst was a hero to many after he helped save lives in the 1998 Sydney-Hobart tragedy – and a dedicated helicopter pilot who provided a spectacular platform for hundreds of his ABC camera colleagues to shoot memorable aerial pictures. The award for Most Outstanding TV News Camera Coverage is named after Gary.

By July 2, 2012, the organisers of the inaugural Kennedy Awards had attracted more than 400 entries across 30 categories, judged by a distinguished panel led by former News Ltd CEO John Hartigan, long-serving Nine News director Paul Fenn and Ian Heads, OAM.

By August 10 the Kennedy Awards left the dry dock and set sail for the first time as 460 quality journalists, relatives of those we honoured and special guests filled the room in what would become one of the great nights in the history of NSW journalism.

In 2013 we did it all again and the Kennedy Awards was established as a fixture on the NSW events calendar, with the Chris Watson Award introduced to recognise excellence in NSW regional newspaper journalism.

In 2014 the Harry Potter Award for Outstanding Television News Reporting and the Jim Oram Award for Outstanding Feature Writing were added to the distinguished list of legends honoured by the industry every August.

The Kennedy Awards is organised by the Kennedy Foundation, a registered charity helping media professionals in hardship, with compassion – in confidence – and supporting other community organisations.

2014 Kennedy Awards GalaKennedy Awards 2014-284

Click 2016 Sponsorship Packages or contact Kennedy Foundation General Manager STEVE WARNOCK via kennedyawards@gmail.com or phone 0424 407717

Click here to  secure August 12 Gala Tickets




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