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Award winning journalist Peter Greste had spent more than two decades as a foreign correspondent before he was tried, convicted and sentenced by Egyptian authorities in a court case that was widely condemned as a travesty of justice.
Mr Greste is now a devoted campaigner for freedom of speech and an advocate for journalists imprisoned around the world, and today he received the honour of being named winner of QUT’s Outstanding Alumni Award for the Creative Industries Faculty at a ceremony in Brisbane.
The annual QUT Outstanding Alumni Awards recognise outstanding graduates of the university (and predecessor institutions), who have displayed exceptional professional, academic or research achievements and contributions to the community.
Mr Greste started his career in regional television with the Ten Network. He graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Business (Communications) in 1987.
In 1991 he left Ten to follow his dream of becoming a foreign correspondent, covering the British elections, the Balkan war in 1992 and the first post-apartheid elections in South Africa during 1994.
During his career he has worked for BBC World, WTN (later APTN), CNN, ABC, The Australian newspaper and Reuters TV.
In 1996 Mr Greste worked for Reuters in Yugoslavia, and also the launch of the BBC’s 24 hour domestic TV news service, News 24. He returned to reporting for BBC in 1999, based in Mexico City.
In late 2000 he worked for two years in Buenos Aires for BBC South America and then three years in Mombasa, Kenya, Afghanistan and Iraq. He then went to South Africa (Nairobi) for four years working for BBC.
During 2010 he started with the Al Jazeera English television and online service in Nairobi, covering news and current affairs.
It was during the first two weeks of a Christmas and New Year assignment in 2013 that he and his colleagues were arrested and charged with aiding a banned organisation (the Muslim Brotherhood), financing a banned organisation and broadcasting false news.
Six months later Mr Greste was found guilty and sentenced to seven years’ incarceration. He was released eight months later and returned to Australia.
In 2015 he was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal.
His other accolades include a Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism (2014), Queensland finalist in the Australian of the Year awards (2015) and the RSL Peace Medal (2016).
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Peter Greste named winner of QUT’s Outstanding Alumni Award for the Creative Industries Faculty