RMIT graduates have been nominated an exceptional 15 times for the Melbourne Press Club's prestigious Quill Awards.
Eight alumni from the School of Media and Communication have been named as finalists in 11 categories in the 2016 Quill Awards for excellence in Victorian journalism with five winning in their category.
Investigative journalist Nick McKenzie, who graduated from RMIT with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism)* in 2001, has been nominated in five categories: Business News, Coverage of an issue or event, Feature Writing, Investigative Journalism and TV/Video Feature (Short form).
He won the TV/Video Feature award and was highly commended for Best Feature Writing.
McKenzie, who now works for Fairfax, presenting special investigations on ABC’s Four Corners program and has received eight Walkley Awards, is the most decorated member in the history of the Melbourne Press Club.
His investigations with colleague Richard Baker have helped prompt major national and state government and police inquiries.
Evan Young graduated from the Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) in 2016 and has been nominated in the Student Journalist of the Year category for a story about firefighters and post-traumatic stress disorder, which he originally wrote for an RMIT assignment in 2015.
The story was published in The Age in February 2016.
Young said RMIT's Journalism academics – Alex Wake, Tito Ambyo and Josie Vine in particular – were great in providing a strong journalistic framework from which to work.
“I think the program is revered because it gives you not only good foundational skills, but also ample room and opportunity to put them into action,” he said.
“Sometimes you get thrown in the deep end and out of your comfort zone, but I think that ultimately helps you develop.”
Other journalism graduates nominated are Brianna Travers, who won the Breaking News Coverage for her piece in the Sunday Herald Sun, "Battle Zone – Moomba riots", Soren Frederiksen won the Innovation in Journalism for "Real Footy On Messenger" award, and Patrick Mitchell (3AW) is nominated for a Quill in the Radio News category.
Journalism lecturer Alex Wake said RMIT journalism staff congratulated each and every nominee at this year's Quills, as all were doing their bit to ensure that quality journalism is produced for the people of Victoria and beyond.
“It is so inspiring for young students to see alumni at the top of their profession, doing reporting that really matters,” she said.
“Never has the need for strong journalism been more evident.”
Richard Willingham completed the Graduate Diploma in Journalism in 2008 and has been nominated in the Breaking News Coverage category for "David Feeney residence scandal".
Nick Toscano who graduated the Master of Communication (Journalism) in 2012 was nominated and won the Investigative Journalism category for the article "Sold Out: Australia's Biggest Wages Scandal" published in The Age.
Channel Nine European correspondent Seb Costello was nominated in two categories – Radio News for "Usain Bolt wins 100m Gold in Rio" on Triple M Hot Breakfast (which he won), and Radio Current Affairs for "Triple M Live from the Muhammad Ali Memorial".
Costello completed the Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) in 2008.
Herald Sun photographer Alex Coppel was nominated twice in the Sports Photography category for photos "Fernando Alonso’s Exit at Turn Three" and "Phelps".
Coppel studied the Bachelor of Arts (Photography) at RMIT, a program that started in 1887 and this year celebrates 130 years.
The 2016 Quill Awards were announced on Friday 17 March.
*now the Bachelor of Communication (Journalism)
Story: Wendy Little