Issue 22
Monday, 05 December 2016
Charles Darwin University
NT News journalist Matt Garrick has won the CDU sponsored Best Feature Writing category
NT News journalist Matt Garrick has won the CDU sponsored Best Feature Writing category

NT awards recognise journalistic excellence

By Leanne Miles

Charles Darwin University has recognised a print journalist for his flair and creativity in storytelling, at the 2016 Northern Territory Media Awards.

CDU sponsors the Best Feature Writing category at the pre-eminent Territory-based awards that promote journalistic excellence across print, broadcast and digital media platforms. 

NT News journalist Matt Garrick took out the award for his piece “Out of the Darkness”, which centred on the British nuclear tests in the Central Australian desert in the 1950s, and the deadly impact they had on the remote region's Aboriginal population.

The judges noted that Mr Garrick shared the unique stories and characters of Central and Northern Australia in an interesting, creative and engaging way in a pool of exceptionally high-calibre entrants.

Mr Garrick said he was humbled and happy to win the award.

“I'm immensely grateful to my colleagues and bosses at the NT News, as well as the crew at Charles Darwin University for offering this great opportunity and helping foster the Territory's fledgling feature writers,” he said.

“The characters of the Territory and the tales they tell make this one of the most exciting places on the planet to be lucky enough to work as a writer.”

During the past five years, Mr Garrick has worked on newspapers in Gove, Alice Springs and Darwin.

“For ‘Out of the Darkness’ I trekked out to meet with one of the last survivors, an incredible man named Yami Lester, who was rendered blind after the bomb tests,” he said. “There were truths that remained largely unearthed, much like the

radiation under the soil of Mr Lester's home community, which I felt were necessary to try to dig up.”

The finalists for the CDU award included Amos Aikman from The Australian for “Feral-proof fence”, Helen Davidson from the Guardian Australia for her Body of Work and Zach Hope from the NT News for “The old and the new”.

The judges also made special mention of Johanna Bell from the Guardian, who wrote about the often-told story of Peter Falconio’s disappearance but who managed to deliver new insights into the infamous case.

The annual awards are supported by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, the Walkley Foundation and the Darwin Press Club.