Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Award celebrates reporting on Aboriginal Reconciliation

The Sydney Morning Herald’s First Words series on Indigenous literacy and languages has taken out this year’s United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award in the Promotion of Aboriginal Reconciliation category.

The winner of the award, sponsored by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), was announced at a ceremony in Melbourne last night.

First Words included a front-page editorial on literacy written in both English and Gumbaynggirr, a feature on the plight of languages in Wilcannia and Tennant Creek, and a story tracing a book donated by a non-Indigenous student in Sydney to an Aboriginal pupil in the Northern Territory.

While in past years three finalists have been chosen, First Words was selected from a shortlist of five entries in a reflection of the high quality of entries received.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, congratulated the Sydney Morning Herald on its success.

Other finalists in the category were:

  • Amanda Clark and Michael Carey, ABC – Full Circle
  • Lara Cole, Anne Delaney, Anna Cole, Melissa Abraham, Tracey Savage, Antoinette Ford and Amanda Brown, November Films – Dancing with The Prime Minister
  • Kathleen Dyett, Shannon Byrne, Christine Bratkovic and Murray Travis, ABC News – In Living Memory
  • Ann Jones, West Australian Academy of Performing Arts Broadcasting, Edith Cowan University – The Media and Indigenous Australians

All nominees should be congratulated on their achievement, and commended for their contribution to furthering Australians’ understanding of Indigenous issues.

The United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Awards, established in 1979, recognise those in the media whose work highlights and champions humanitarian and social justice issues.

The special category award for the Promotion of Aboriginal Reconciliation was first introduced in 1993. This is the second year it has been sponsored by FaHCSIA.