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QUT journalism graduates among Walkley winners

4th December 2012

A radio documentary that captured the resilience and heartache of south-east Queensland flash flood survivors has been recognised at Australia's most prestigious journalism awards.

QUT PhD researcher and investigative journalist Amanda Gearing received a Walkley Award for Radio Feature, Documentary or Broadcast Special at the 57th Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism in Canberra on November 30.

Mrs Gearing, who lives in Toowoomba and reported on the 2011 floods for The Australian, interviewed 120 survivors from the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley disaster as part of a Master of Arts (Research) degree at QUT.

The interviews formed the basis of the ABC Radio National documentary, "The day that changed Grantham".

Professor Brian McNair, head of journalism at QUT, presented the QUT Creative Industries-sponsored award to Mrs Gearing and her 360documentaries team members Louis Mitchell and Claudia Taranto.

QUT Bachelor of Business (Journalism) graduate and ABC 7.30 host Leigh Sales won a Broadcast and Online Interviewing Walkley Award for interviews with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Liberal MP Scott Morrison and Greens Senator Christine Milne.

Journalism QUT alumnus Angus Grigg was recognised for Newspaper Feature Writing, along with fellow journalist Hannah Low from The Australian Financial Review, for the story "The Punters Club - tax, totes and the boys from Tassie".

ABC Radio journalist Nance Haxton, who completed a Master of Arts (Research) and Bachelor of Business (Honours) (Communication) at QUT, received a Walkley award for Radio News and Current Affairs Reporting for "Justice system fails disabled victims of sexual abuse".

Ms Haxton was also finalist in the Radio Feature, Documentary or Broadcast Special category while QUT alumnus Ellen Fanning was finalist in Newspaper Feature Writing for The Global Mail story "The truth is on the flood maps".

QUT Associate Professor Leo Bowman congratulated the winners, adding that QUT graduates had excelled at the Walkley Awards.

"The four wins from 34 entries available is a success rate of almost 12 per cent," he said.

"Leigh, Angus, and Nance now have two Walkleys to their credit."

Tough issues uncovered by QUT journalism
'The Torrent' gives flood survivors a voice

Media contact: Stephanie Harrington, QUT media officer, 3138 1150,

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