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Media Award Finalists

Commission Commission – General

This year saw a substantial increase in the number of nominations for the Media Award.

“The large number of nominations for the media category is testament to the strength of Australian journalism despite a rapidly changing media landscape.

“It is encouraging that so many journalists are producing high quality work on human rights issues,” said President Rosalind Croucher.

The five finalists are:

The Australian  The Queen and Zak Grieve
This investigation focused on the case of Zak Grieve, a young Aboriginal man who was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison for a murder he did not physically commit. The investigation highlighted the injustices resulting from the Northern Territory’s mandatory minimum sentencing provisions.

ABC Radio National  Bina-gurri
Bina-gurri follows the story of Jody Barney, who specialises in interpreting Aboriginal sign languages and has worked extensively with deaf Aboriginal people in prison. The program shone a light on the barriers and challenges faced by deaf Aboriginal people in communicating with the legal system.

Behind the Wire and The Wheeler Centre  The Messenger and They Cannot Take the Sky
The Messenger podcast and They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories from Detention share the personal stories of people who have been held in immigration detention or subject to third country processing in Nauru and Manus Island. They provide a compelling insight into the human impacts of Australia’s refugee policies.

SBS Vietnamese  Exploitation of students
This investigation revealed serious exploitation of Vietnamese students by businesses in Melbourne, including cases of employees being underpaid, abused by their employers and asked to work for long hours and under poor conditions. It also highlighted the difficulties faced by international students in reporting exploitation and seeking remedies.

ABC TV and Radio News  Abuse at Oakden
This investigation exposed allegations of abuse and mistreatment of people with complex mental health issues residing at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service in Adelaide. The allegations triggered a review of the facility by South Australia’s Chief Psychiatrist, who recommended that it be closed.

The Australian Human Rights Commission presents the 2017 Human Rights Awards on 8 December 2017 at Sydney’s Westin Hotel. Tickets are on sale here.

More information at


Media contact: Sarah Bamford 0417 957 525