Adele Ferguson and Chris Reason were the big winners at this years Quill Awards held in Melbourne last night.
An expose of the multi-million dollar financial advice scandal at the Commonwealth Bank has won Adele Ferguson the highest honour in Victorian journalism – the Monash Gold Quill.
The award is shared with Four Corners producer Deb Masters and researcher Mario Christodoulou for the program ‘Banking Bad’, which encapsulated a two-year investigation by Ferguson, whose work appears in The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review.
The judges praised Ferguson for a “courageous, painstaking and tenacious exposure” of the financial advice scandal at Australia’s biggest bank.
“Her work … revealed a culture of greed, secrecy and corruption within the Commonwealth Bank that destroyed the life savings of many vulnerable Australians,” said the judging panel.
“The bank was forced to make a public apology and announce a $250 million-plus compensation scheme open to 400,000 customers.”
Ferguson’s investigation forced the Federal Government to abandon plans to water down regulation of the financial planning industry.
Seven News senior correspondent Chris Reason has been awarded the Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award for his live reporting of the Sydney siege.
Reason accepted the award at the Melbourne Press Club Quill Awards Dinner in Melbourne. He said he was deeply honoured and “more than a little overwhelmed” to be chosen as the custodian of this title for the next 12 months.
"This is a prize that has been awarded to some of Australia's greatest journalists - men and women I have looked up to my entire career,” Reason said.
“To be standing alongside them is something I never imagined possible.
"It is difficult to celebrate the coverage of a story which had such a tragic outcome, but this is an honour I will treasure for life."
Reason, who has been a journalist with the Seven Network for 25 years, paid tribute to Seven News cameraman that night, Greg Parker, and all his colleagues across the network.
"The 6pm bulletin on Tuesday December 16 was one of the finest and most important news broadcasts we've ever put to air,” he said.
Reason dedicated the award to Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson, the two innocents who lost their lives that night.
He announced that he would donate half the prize to the two charities set up in their honour.
Seven News had a pivotal role in the siege, with the Lindt Café only 30 meters from the glass windows of the Martin Place newsroom.
For every second of the 16-hour siege ordeal Seven News had multiple cameras focused on the Lindt Café. What we filmed during that time was forwarded to police as it happened.
Chris was the only journalist allowed by police to stay behind in the evacuated Seven newsroom to report on the situation as it happened. Next to Chris was Seven News cameraman Greg Parker, who spent hours shoulder-to-shoulder with a police marksman recording history unfold.
Named after the legendary editor of The Age who died suddenly in 1975 at the age of 45, the Graham Perkin prize is funded by The Age and independently awarded by the Melbourne Press Club for a single piece of work or a portfolio that is excellent and memorable.
Seven News senior cameraman Phil Loschiavo was awarded the Quill for Best Camerawork for his pictures of a dramatic car chase in Victoria from Dandenong to Traralgon. Phil’s powerful work highlighted the danger of the high speed pursuit and the skill required by police to end the chase safely.
Derryn Hinch recieved a Lifetime Achievement Award on the night
A full list of Quill Award winners is available here