At a gala black-tie function in the ballroom of Royal Randwick racecourse on Friday August 12 Ben Hills was awarded the Kennedy Award for excellence in indigenous reporting, named after the pioneer Aboriginal journalist John Newfong. I knew John, and I was a colleague and close friend of the late Les Kennedy, crime writer extraordinaire, when both were at the Sydney Morning Herald, and it is a huge honour to receive this award.
The story, Justice for Julieka Dhu is here and it highlights the dreadful toll of black deaths in custody, 25 years after the Royal Commission was supposed to have put a stop to that – many of its most important recommendations have never been implemented. The award was presented by Ellebana Tyson, the winner of the first Les Kennedy/UTS journalism scholarship, and Craig Cromelin, a land rights campaigner and member of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council for nearly a decade.
A video of the presentation is here:
Watch highlights of the evening here:
Video courtesy Salty Dingo