Elizabeth O'Neill Award

Media release

15 January 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced ABC journalist, Amy Bainbridge, and Indonesian online news editor, Renne Kawilarang, as this year’s winners of the Elizabeth O’Neill Journalism Award.

Senator Carr said both winners were worthy recipients of the award with a strong commitment and interest in the relationship between Australia and Indonesia.

“The winners will spend two weeks in each other’s country meeting key government, business, and community representatives,” Senator Carr said.

“The Award is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australia-Indonesia Institute.

“It is awarded annually to one journalist from Australia and one journalist from Indonesia to visit each other’s country for up to three weeks on a fully funded program.

“The relationship between our two nations is fundamental and the Elizabeth O’Neill Award fosters greater understanding, leading to better informed media coverage of issues affecting both countries.”

Ms Bainbridge has worked on many of Australia’s flagship current affairs programs including Lateline, PM and the World Today.

Whilst in Indonesia, she will focus on the representation of women in local politics and business, the Australian expatriate community and the role of Islam in modern Indonesian society.

Mr Kawilarang, a News Editor with one of Indonesia’s top three online news websites, VIVAnews.com, has extensive international relations experience and had previously won the British Council Chevening’s Scholarship.

He will use his time researching Indonesian links with Australia by interviewing members of the Indonesian diaspora and speaking to young Australians who have lived in Indonesia.

The award is in memory of Elizabeth O’Neill, Public Affairs Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, who died March 2007 in a plane crash in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

It is open to journalists from print, radio, television and online media organisations.

The program aims to build a stronger understanding and appreciation of the broad range of issues facing contemporary Australia and Indonesia.

The program is tailored to the journalist’s area of expertise and reporting responsibilities in such areas as foreign and trade policy, development assistance, people-to-people links, and education.

These two candidates stood out to the selection panel as Ms Bainbridge outlined five substantial and interesting stories covering Women in Politics, Australians in Indonesia, the lure of the Motor Scooter, Women in Business and Islam in Indonesian Society, and Mr Kawilarang has a focus on the booming social media scene in Indonesia.

The Panel considered that their ideas were well developed and had broad audience appeal.

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