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2023 Media Awards winners announced

Congratulations to all winners, finalists and nominees in the Centre's Media Awards 2023

The Centre is delighted to announce the winners in the Centre for Excellence Media Awards for 2023.

The awards were presented during the Centre’s Annual General Meeting in Melbourne this week, with nominees and winners joining online and in person to celebrate the reporting of issues affecting children, young people and families, and the inclusion of their voices in media stories.

From a record number of nominations, a judging panel met to review each story on its merit. The judges this year consisted of the Centre’s CEO Deb Tsorbari, Board Chair and OzChild CEO Dr. Lisa J Griffiths,  a DFFH representative, and Ruby Sait, a young person with care experience and member of the Young People’s Media Network.

The Centre’s CEO Deb Tsorbaris and Ruby presented the Awards, highlighting the importance of hearing the voices of children and young people.

“Too often children, young people, and families are not represented in the media. In fact, these voices don’t always get a seat at any of the tables where decisions are being made about or for them,” said Ms Tsorbaris.

She acknowledged the challenges for journalists when using lived experience in their stories.

“This in itself can be daunting and the topics and stories can be very hard to hear, they are even harder to tell – and it is an incredible leap of faith that requires trust and bravery to tell some of these stories.”

The Centre’s Media Awards recognise journalists who have sought to elevate the voices of children and families in a respectful and material way across four categories.

This year a Special Award was included, for excellence in sharing the Voice of Lived Experience.

The winners are:


Best Story about Young People

Recognises the tenacity of young people, presents young people as people in their own right, and gives voice to the issues impacting young people.


Best Story about Young People -Centre Media Awards 2023 - Grace Tobin and Patrick Begley, ABCWINNER

Grace Tobin and Patrick Begley, ABC Four Corners

Story link: Locking Up Kids: Australia’s failure to protect children in detention


Judges comments: A standout piece, visually it is highly impactful, with gripping and extensive interviews looking at many sides of a story that has relevance across all states and territories.



Conor Duffy, ABC

Story link: Rory’s using music to take on a ‘toxic mindset’, and 100 boys’ voices have joined in


Judges comments: Not enough can be said about the struggles faced by young men and Conor’s article gives insights into the changing narratives for young people in regional Australia.


Best Story about Children

Presents children as people in their own right, demonstrates the ability to speak to or about children in a respectful and considerate manner and puts forward a unique narrative about children.


Best story about children - Centre Media Awards 2023 - Melanie VujkovicWINNER

Melanie Vujkovic – ABC Queensland

Story link: Sexual assaults are at an all-time high. Why talking to your child about abuse is so important

Judges comments: A strong article that discusses an incredibly important topic from a personal perspective. It brings in expert opinions and provides practical information on how to have conversations with children.



Georgia Lenton-Williams – ABC Gippsland

Story link: As Victoria’s incarceration rate rises, children of jailed parents are ‘invisible victims’, report says

Judges comments: Georgia’s story presents a unique narrative. It’s not often we hear about children of incarcerated parents. It respectfully includes lived experience and considers recommendations for support for children and young people.


Best Story about Families

Celebrates the diversity of families, presents a narrative that captures the changing nature of families, and reports about families in a respectful and balanced manner.



Best story about families - the Centre's Media Awards 2023 - Sophie Black in The GuardianSophie Black – The Guardian

Story link: ‘Families can fall apart over this stuff’: the children refusing to go to school

Judges comments:  A winning article in a very strong category. Sophie’s story shares the perspective of families struggling with school refusal who find themselves with nowhere to turn.



Best Story about Out-of-Home Care

Presents a holistic narrative about OOHC, is balanced and fair, and considers the unique experiences of children and young people in OOHC.



Best story about out of home care - the Centre's Media Awards 2023 - joint winner Katri Uiku, ABCKatri Uibu – ABC

Story link: All care, no responsibility

Judges comments: This story brings forward the voices of young people with care experience, giving them a chance to share their experiences. There are often few avenues for us to hear the voices of children and this story is a reminder of how important the lived experience of children and young people is.



Best story about out of home care - the Centre;s Media Awards 2023 - Nino Bucci, The GuardianNino Bucci – The Guardian

Story link: Children in out-of-home care are less likely to finish school. Victoria is launching an inquiry to understand why

Judges comments: This month we saw the release of the CCYP Report into education outcomes for and this story explores the issue at the beginning of this journey. Nino’s story gives us some understanding of the aspirations and challenges children and young people in out-of-home care face in education.


Special Award – Voice of Lived Experience

This year the judging panel has awarded a special award for the Voice of Lived Experience.

The Yoorrook Justice Commission’s truth-telling process has given Victorians an incredible insight into the lived experience of First Nation’s people in our state. Truth telling allows us to hear and record evidence about past actions, and build respect, trust and understanding.



Special Award - Voices of Lived Experience - the Centre's Media Awards 2023Mikaila Frost

Katrina Harrison

Jack Latimore, The Age

This award is presented to Mikaila Frost, Katrina Harrison, and The Age’s Indigenous Affairs journalist Jack Latimore who supported the women to share their lived experience and tell their truth.

Mikaila’s story talks of her experience of being removed from her Aboriginal family and then having her own children removed from her.

Story link: I was kept from my Indigenous family as a child. Then my own kids were taken from me

Katrina shares a story of injustice, neglect and violence and grief. She shares her story of rebuilding a life to help other Aboriginal women and children.

Story link: ‘Family violence is not part of Aboriginal culture’, but Katrina knows it too well



Congratulations and thank you to all of the nominees, finalists and our highly commended and award-winning journalist. Your dedication to elevating the voices of children and families in a respectful and material way is admirable.





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