Monash University Gold Quill

Sarah Ferguson & Deb Masters
Four Corners, ABC

The 2012 Monash University Gold Quill has been awarded to the ABC's Sarah Ferguson and Deb Masters, whose winning entry to the Best TV Current Affairs/Feature over 10 Minutes put them in the running for the prize.

The pair's report for Four Corners involved the confronting of alleged people smuggler Captain Emad, and was chosen over all other category winners by the Gold Quill judges.

Judges' citation

This year's section winners demonstrated strong news breaking across a variety of topics. The judges noted with pleasure that younger journalists were so well represented among the winners, which bodes well for the future.

The judges also want to acknowledge for the quality of the visual entries, which were the strongest for years. There were powerful and extraordinary images ... A cameraman coming to the rescue of a boy in a flooded creek ... Capturing the moment of a river bank collapse at Yallourn. And in particular Alex Ellinghausen's emblematic shot of a bodyguard Gillard years.

But this year's Gold Quill winner is an entry which changed the narrative on one of Australia's most contentious stories.

It is "Smuggler's Paradise Australia" submitted by Sarah Ferguson and Deb Masters of the ABC's Four Corners program.

The judges salute the exhaustive footwork and original lines of enquiry in this story. They were impressed that Ferguson and Masters set out to pursue one angle ... but found another… and delivered a satisfying package that told both stories.

With a relatively short turnaround, they produced a compelling piece of journalism and a worthy Gold Quill winner.

Quills 2012: Monash University Gold
Winning Entry