Monash Journalism graduate wins coveted Quill award

Tess Ikonomou
Tess Ikonomou

Monash University students, staff and graduates received eight nominations as finalists in the the Quill awards for excellence in journalism.

Tess Ikonomou won in the Student of the Year category for her news story, Monash University academic denied permanent residency because of autistic son.

Less than a month later, Dr Biswajit Banik and his family were granted residency after the Assistant Minister for Immigration intervened.

Tess tracked the family’s plight and broke the follow-up story in The Age.

“I’m extremely honoured to have received the award, considering the talent and quality of work produced by my peers,” Ms Ikonomou said.

“I’m also very grateful I had the support and guidance of my lecturers who were always available to their students for advice or help.”

Master of Journalism student Carol Saffer was runner up in the Student of the Year category.

Carol Saffer
Carol Saffer

Carol wrote an investigative story, How a South Yarra dinner party and Harold Holt saved a Jewish boy from Hitler,  which  was  published  in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald (online).

Carol’s investigation is a fascinating historical narrative about a Jewish family’s escape to Australia before Nazi Germany controlled Austria.

Recently appointed Monash academic and award-winning journalist Associate Professor Margaret Simons won the competitive feature writing category for her piece, Duterte’s Dirty War, published in The Monthly.

Assoc Professor Simons has won many awards in journalism, including prestigious Walkley and Quill awards.

She has been an educator of journalists for about 25 years.

Associate Professor Simons will join Monash's School of Media, Film and Journalism in July this year.

She is currently the Director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne, a position she has held since 2011.

Monash journalism alumnus and The Age reporter Beau Donelly, who was shortlisted in two Quill categories, won Victorian Government Quill for Reporting on Disability Issues for his piece Anthony's Decision to Die in The Sunday Age.

Beau was highly commended in the News Report in Writing category for Foster care scandal, which reported on the failure of Victoria's child protection agency to safeguard confidential information.

Monash graduate and News Corp journalist Monique Hore was highly commended in the Young Journalist of the Year category.

Monique is now the education reporter of the Herald Sun. She enjoyed success in the 2014 Quill awards, winning the Best Coverage of An Issue Or Event.

Hore partnered with one of Australia’s best reporters, Herald Sun senior journalist Ruth Lamperd, to expose the disturbing reality of asbestos contamination around Sunshine’s “factory of death”.

Monash alumnus and ABC radio journalist Danny Tran was a finalist in the Quill's Radio News category for his investigative entry, Ballarat Police under fire over new brutality allegations.

Monash University’s head of journalism Associate Professor Phil Chubb said every success inspired staff and students to achieve more.

"Quite apart from the Quills, our students have won a very large number of awards for work published in 2016. For example, we scored six wins and highly commendeds in the Ossies, which are the awards handed out by the Journalism Education and Research Association," Associate Professor Chubb said.

"These records are a great testimony to our staff, our resources and of course our students."

Monash journalism has benefitted from the $3 million Monash Media Lab, which allows students to produce journalism in a modern newsroom, TV and radio studios, editing suites and other state-of-the art equipment and facilities.

Click here for 2016 Quill awards winners' list