Wallace Brown Young Journalist Award

This prestigious Award honours the contribution to journalism of former veteran press gallery journalist Wallace Brown. The aim is to give recognition to young journalists who, in their first years of working in the Press Gallery, excel in fair reporting.

The winning journalist will receive a $1000 cheque and a specially commissioned handcrafted work of art by international glass artist Kirstie Rea. The winner’s name will be inscribed on an honour board permanently displayed at the National Press Club.

Wallace BrownWallace Brown OAM, BA DipJ, one of the longest serving and most respected members of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery 1961-1995, was noted for his even-handed reporting of political affairs and his encouragement of young journalists.

After working in Brisbane, London and New York for the Herald and Weekly Times he went to Canberra as the head of bureau for Brisbane’s The Courier Mail.

During his time in Canberra he covered 17 general elections, 38 annual Budgets, 10 Prime Ministers, 8 Governors-General and 11 Opposition Leaders.

He was a foundation member and president of the National Press Club, vice-president of the Press Gallery, and a member of the Old Parliament House Redevelopment Committee. In 1995, he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to journalism.

In 2002 he wrote Ten Prime Ministers, Life among the politicians (Longueville Press); in 2006 he completed At random: Anecdotes of a lucky life.

The Wallace Brown Award for the best and fairest early career parliamentary journalist is the only journalism prize which recognises the contribution made by younger members of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery.

The Award is made possible by The Courier Mail, Wallace Brown’s family, and the National Press Club of Australia.

2017 Wallace Brown Young Journalist Award Winner

The winner of the 2017 Wallace Brown Young Achiever Award was announced on Tuesday 13 June at Parliament House by former Broadcaster & Journalists and Senator for Victoria Derryn Hinch.

The winner was Primrose Riordan from the Australian for her collection of work which the judges said “combined investigative skills with Chinese language proficiency.”

They further said “her efforts in revealing and doggedly pursuing links between Chinese donors and prominent Australian political figures continued to reverberate in politics, sparking further investigations and ultimately leading to a re-examination of the rules allowing foreign electoral donations in Australia.”

The judges commented on the high-quality journalism all of the applicants displayed, across a range of media.

“The applicants demonstrated a range of impressive skills, from news-breaking and analysis, to innovative research techniques and excellent broadcast presentation. Their focus, understanding of their respective audiences and persistence in seeking the hidden story confirms that the future of Australian political journalism is in good hands.”


2008Patricia KarvelasThe Australian
2009Daniel StreetNine Network
2010Jessica WrightThe Canberra Times
2011Ashleigh GillonSky News
2012Anna CaldwellCourier Mail
2013Joe KellyThe Australian
2014Jonathan SwanFairfax Media
2015Matthew KnottFairfax Media
2016Annika SmethurstHerald Sun
2017Primrose RiordanThe Australian