I am pleased to announce Fitria Sofyani and Bernard Lane as the recipients of a prestigious journalism award named in honour of Liz O’Neill, a Public Affairs Counsellor from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta who died on duty in a plane crash in Indonesia in 2007.

The Elizabeth O'Neill Journalism Award is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australia-Indonesia Institute and is conferred annually on one Australian and one Indonesian journalist.

Ms Sofyani, a features editor at Marie Claire Indonesia, and Mr Lane, the deputy higher education editor at The Australian, will spend two weeks reporting in each other’s countries and developing a stronger understanding of contemporary issues in Indonesia and Australia.

Ms Sofyani will work on identifying ways to increase cooperation between Australia and Indonesia on women’s empowerment and political participation while Mr Lane will report on the pilot stage of the New Colombo Plan and build professional networks in the region.

Along with pursuing stories in Australia and Indonesia respectively, each participant will follow a program of meetings with community leaders, government officials and industry and NGO representatives.

The award is open to print, radio, television and online journalists. For information and testimonials from previous winners, see the Australia-Indonesia Institute page: www.dfat.gov.au/aii  

The Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan is detailed at: www.dfat.gov.au/new-colombo-plan  

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555