Clarion Awards 2023: winners

Clarion Awards 2023: winners

ABC’s Alexandra Blucher has been named Queensland’s 2023 Journalist of the Year at the Queensland Clarion Awards announced in Brisbane on Saturday.

Blucher (pictured) won the award following a two-part joint investigation into the deaths of Darcey-Helen, 2, and Chloe-Ann, 1 in their mother’s overheated car in 2019, which shone a spotlight on the Queensland Government’s systemic failure in the tragic death of the toddlers.

The judging panel said the entry highlighted how the Background Briefing and ABC Investigation Teams gained exclusive access to the family in this high-profile case, following them for two-and-a-half years in the lead up to the mother’s sentencing.

“It was a privilege to be trusted by Darcey and Chloe’s family, particularly Darcey’s father Peter, to tell their story and allow me to join them on their heartbreaking search for the truth on why the child protection system didn’t heed their dire warnings,” said Blucher.

“I thank them and the brave former child safety officer who spoke out, for allowing themselves to be vulnerable and courageous in their conviction to seek accountability and change out of the devastating loss of these two beautiful little girls.

“I hope the story’s exposure of the failings in Darcey and Chloe’s case goes some way to raise awareness so other vulnerable children and families in the system are afforded better protection.

“Thanks also to the talented Background Briefing and ABC Investigations team members who put their hearts and souls into the production of the story for podcast and digital – and the ABC for giving me the time needed to work on the story.”

There were also several wins by Nine News.

TV and related categories (winners in bold):


TV Current Affairs, Feature, Documentary or Special Broadcast:
Michael Atkin, Loretta Florance and Xanthe Kleinig – ABC – “Australia’s Scam Honeypot”
Benjamin Stivala, Pippa Bradshaw, Emilio Ciampi and Miranda Eddy – A Current Affair/Nine – “Wieambilla Shooting”
Mark Willacy, Josh Robertson and Alex McDonald – ABC Investigations – “Line of Fire”

TV News Report:
Josh Bavas – Nine News Queensland – “Ipswich City Council Secrets”
Tim Arvier – Nine News – “The Knives Are Out”
Seven Brisbane News Team – “Wieambilla Police Ambush”

The John Bean Memorial Award for Television Camerawork :
Stephen Cavenagh – ABC – “Greener Pastures”
Mark Leonardi – ABC – “ABC 7.30 Report ‘Silenced by the State’”
Nathan Morris, Caroline Graham and Lisa Domrow – ABC – “Outback Musical”

All Media:

Broadcast Interview:
Chris Allen, Paul Collins, Tom Stevenson and Miranda Eddy – A Current Affair / Channel Nine – “Ron Train Interview”
Pippa Bradshaw, Ben Stivala, Rob Barbir, David Guppy and Emilio Ciampi – A Current Affair / Channel 9 – “Kerry Dare interview”
Josh Bavas – Nine News – “Ipswich Community Fund”

Business Journalism:
Kathleen Skene – Gold Coast Bulletin – “Developer’s demolition”
Josh Robertson and Echo Hui – ABC – “Dead Man’s Secrets”
Michael Atkin, Loretta Florance and Zanthe Kleinig – ABC – “Australia’s Scam Honeypot”

Health and Science Reporting:
Emma Pollard and Janelle Miles – ABC – “Ruby’s Legacy”
Carl Smith – ABC Science/Radio National – “Strange Frontiers”
Jackie Sinnerton – The Courier Mail (NewsCorp) – “Horrors at the Spinal Unit”

Multicultural Reporting:
Sally Eeles, Lily Nothling and Rebecca Richardson – ABC News – “Miss MarToya”
Joe Hinchliffe – The Guardian – “The Man Who Chose To Forgive”
Elissa Lawrence – News Corp – “Home Sweet Home: Nadesalingam family back home in Biloela”

New Journalist of the Year:
Samantha Scott – The Courier Mail (NewsCorp) – “Samantha Scott: The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail”
Julian Fell – ABC – “Julian Fell”
Victoria Pengilley – ABC – “Victoria Pengilley, ABC Western Queensland”

Rural Journalism :
Nathan Morris, Caroline Graham and Lisa Domrow – ABC – “Outback Musical”
Charlie Peel – The Australian – “Livestock’s methane problem”
Victoria Pengilley – ABC News – “Outback Queensland Drought”

Social Issues Reporting :
Ben Smee – Guardian Australia – “Violent and vulnerable: another side to the story”
Alexandra Blucher – ABC – “How the system failed Darcey and Chloe”
Rory Callinan – ABC – “Christian Brothers’ foster care abuse cover-up”

Sports Journalism:
Peter Badell – The Courier-Mail – “No Tears Left: The Paul Green Tragedy”
Adam Jackson and Attila Antoni – Nine News – “COVID Camp Exclusive”
Jessica Stewart and Dan Colasimone – ABC – “Sport’s Silent Epidemic”

Regional and community

Broadcast Report:
Jonathan Lea – Sky News – “Queensland Youth Crime. A Special Report”
Michael Nolan and William Hunter – Toowoomba Chronicle – “Stalking our Streets”
Michael Atkinson – Nine News – “The Kid Who Saved the Sand Goannas”

Major awards

Investigative Journalism :

Alexandra Blucher – ABC – “How the system failed Darcey and Chloe”
Michael McKenna – The Australian – “Cops Deadly Chokehold”
Eden Gillespie – Guardian Australia – “Brisbane City Watchhouse”