Three Indigenous people silhouetted at sunset by the ocean

Media Awards: Spotlight on 2017 Radio Winner

Each year the Amnesty International Australia Media Awards acknowledge those Australian media stories that have presented a fair and balanced report of a human rights issue, highlighted hidden abuses and encouraged an audience’s greater understanding of a human rights issue.

With just over a week left before entries close for this year’s 2021 awards, we’re celebrating winners from previous years’ to demonstrate the importance of a free press.

Media Awards’ 2017 Radio Winner

Winner of the 2017 Amnesty International Media Awards’ Radio Category were Sarah Dingle and Wendy Carlisle for their piece ‘Death In Kalgoorlie’ for ABC Radio National, Background Briefing.

‘Death in Kalgoorlie’ investigates the death of a 14-year-old Indigenous boy who was allegedly run over and killed by a 55-year-old white man driving a ute. Following his death a protest broke out in the main street of Kalgoorlie after the 55-year-old man was charged with manslaughter at a local court.

Under a sign saying ‘Save Our Kids’ people lit torches and left flowers and fixed a cross to a tree.

Sarah Dingle, ‘Death in Kalgoorlie’

Kalgoorlie, also called Kalgoorlie-Boulder, is Australia’s largest outback city located in Wongatha country in Western Australia. Kalgoorlie has a long history of racial tension. At the time of the 1967 Referendum – the vote to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as part of the population and to allow the Commonwealth to make laws for them – Kalgoorlie sat within a larger section of Western Australia that held the highest ‘No’ vote in Australia at 29.04%.

Sarah Dingle and Wendy Carlisle investigate the events that led up to the protest in August 2016, including the mistreatment of Indigenous children in custody, the rise of youth crime rates, lack of support for youth mental health and a lack of acknowledgement of Indigenous culture in local schools.