Annika wins two Quills for her work on the Choppergate scandal

Annika Smethurst

Annika Smethurst

Monash journalism alumna Annika Smethurst has won two 2015 Victorian Quill Awards for her outstanding work on the “Choppergate” scandal.

Smethurst, who is the Herald Sun’s Federal Government reporter, was awarded Quills for two categories – Best News Report in Writing and Best Coverage of an Issue or Event, with colleague Rob Harris.

She was also shortlisted for the Gold Quill.

Smethurst was presented with her Quills at the Crown Palladium at the Melbourne Press Club’s awards dinner on March 18.

Annika Smethurst has won two Quills in the 2015 Melbourne Press Club awards.

Ms Bishop denied any wrongdoing but it was later revealed the former speaker had a preference for luxury travel on public money, which infuriated taxpayers.

The Choppergate reaction went viral on social media websites and many Australians urged that Ms Bishop should be sacked.

Annika was thrilled to win two Quills for her Federal Government reporting.

“It’s been an exciting year to be part of the federal politics team in Canberra,” Smethurst said.

“I was lucky enough to break a couple of big yarns in my first year in Canberra (Choppergate and the liberal party embezzlement scandal).”

Smethurst said she had tremendous editorial support, which allowed her to develop the stories.

“I have had the support of some great colleagues at the Herald Sun who have given me the chance to break and develop these stories,” Smethurst said.

“But you’re only as good as your last yarn so hopefully we have another big year ahead of us.”

Monash student Jack Paynter was a finalist in the Melbourne Press Club’s Student of the Year Award.

Paynter was recognised for his brilliant piece in The Age and the Sydney Morning HeraldAustralian willow cricket bat venture’s results enough to make investors weep.

Monash journalism guest lecturer Mike Sheahan won the Melbourne Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding coverage of AFL football over several decades.

Sheahan has been generous in supporting Monash’s journalism programs, particularly with writing and newsroom skills.

List of winners and finalists of Monash alumni and associates

Best News Report in Writing
Winner: Annika Smethurst (Herald Sun and Monash alumna)

The Young Journalist of the Year Award

Finalist: Therese Allaoui (Leader Newspapers and Monash alumna)

Keith Dunstan Quill for Best Columnist/Blogger
Winner: Waleed Aly (The Age and Monash academic)

The RACV Transport Quill
Finalist: Ashley Argoon (Herald Sun and Monash alumna)

Best Sports Feature in any Medium
Finalist: Mike Sheahan (Fox Footy and Monash guest journalism lecturer)

Best Suburban Report in Writing
Highly commended: Therese Allaoui (Mordialloc Chelsea Leader and Monash alumna)

Best Coverage of an Issue or Event

Winner: Annika Smethurst (Monash alumna) & Rob Harris (Herald Sun)

Best TV or Video Current Affairs/Feature under 10 minutes

Winners: Tom Whitty & Waleed Aly (The Project, Network Ten and Monash academic)

Best Radio News Report
Finalist: Danny Tran (ABC Radio News)

Best Radio Current Affairs Report
Winner: Jon Faine (Monash law graduate), Daniel Ziffer & Tess Armstrong (774 ABC Melbourne)

The Student Journalist of the Year Award
Finalist: Jack Paynter (Monash University)

The Gold Quill
Finalist: Annika Smethurst (Herald Sun and Monash alumna)

Melbourne Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award
Mike Sheahan (Fox Sports and Monash guest lecturer)