Two of Monash University's outstanding journalism scholars have been named finalists in the prestigious Walkley Student of the Year award.
Christiane Barro, who won last year’s Walkley for Student of the Year, was nominated again for the coveted award and Monash undergraduate journalism student Selby Stewart achived one of three finalist nominations. The other finalist included Dylan Crawford and Lilly McKenzie from Griffith University.
And Monash Master of Journalism student Amber Schultz has been nominated for the prestigious Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship.
If successful, Amber’s Jacoby-Walkley scholarship includes a 10-week placement at the Nine Network in Sydney and a four-week placement at the Walkley Foundation, leading in to the 63rd Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
Walkley finalists here
Christiane, who recently graduated from her Monash bachelor’s degree, now works as an investigative reporter for The New Daily in Melbourne.
She was recognised for the following stories: “The cannabis oil ‘healers’ preying on Australia’s sick and dying” “Contaminants detected in unlicensed cannabis oil products” “‘It’s a disgrace’: Senator requests complete overhaul of medicinal cannabis regulator”.
“I am thankful to the sources who trusted me with their story and for the guidance I received from Monash University, especially Corinna Hente, and The New Daily,” Christiane said.
“These stories would not be possible without the aid of the research facility that agreed to test the different cannabis oils that were sourced by sick Australians from unlicensed suppliers.”
Selby Stewart has produced outstanding work for the Sunday Herald Sun and Mojo News, which included the following stories: “Hoods on violent rampage”, “Rooming-house closures not the answer, experts say” and “Fred Negro's St Kilda”.
Selby was humbled to become a student Walkley finalist.
“I am very humbled and excited and a little surprised as well. I'm also proud because I have put a lot of work into my study and my development as a journalist,” Selby said.
“And for that hard work to be recognised is just a great feeling.”
Selby said he enjoyed the human element of journalism and “getting a glimpse into someone else’s life”.
“I would love to work overseas, travel around the world and, as long as I am meeting new people and hearing their stories I will be happy wherever I end up,” he said.
“I really believe in the importance of good journalism and I really believe in this industry.”
Monash head of journalism Associate Professor Fay Anderson said it was “fantastic news and a great honour” for the students to be recognised for their excellent news writing and production.
“I would like to personally congratulate Selby Stewart, Christiane Barro and Amber Schulz on their nominations,” Associate Prof Anderson said.
“The nominations are a recognition of our outstanding journalism students at Monash. I would also like to pay tribute to the committed journalism staff who mentor and guide our students throughout their degree.”
Mojo News staff editor Corinna Hente has mentored the students as they developed their writing portfolios for the Monash publication.
“Christiane is a powerhouse. Her stories on medical cannabis are tremendous pieces of investigative reporting – and even more important and stronger than the work she did to win this same award last year,” Ms Hente said.
“Her dedication shows in the consistently high quality of her work.”
Ms Hente said Selby was rapidly establishing himself as a young journalist to note, with skills way beyond his years.
“Both Christiane and Selby have had key roles in Monash's award-winning student journalism publication, Mojo News, Ms Hente said.
“What's particularly impressive for both is their commitment to improving their skills across a range of media and reporting styles.”
Amber, who is one of 10 student journalists long-listed for the scholarship, has produced some fine work on Channel 31 TV show, The Struggle, and has also completed a successful internship at The Age newspaper.
“The overwhelming support, guidance, and advice from the staff at Monash have really helped me build my portfolio, which ultimately led to the nomination,” Amber said.
“Advice for anyone thinking of applying to the scholarship? If you have an idea, don't hold back – put your all into it, and keep working until you develop something you're overwhelmingly proud of.”
The awards will be announced at a function in Sydney on Wednesday, July 18.