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Karla Grant receives Walkey for outstanding career covering First Nations affairs

Jarred Cross -

Karla Grant and her trailblazing media career spanning across four decades has been recognised with leading industry awards overnight.

At Thursday's Walkley Awards in Sydney, Grant was honoured for her 'Outstanding Contributions to Journalism' for her work covering Indigenous affairs.

The Western Arrernte woman was also handed the Lifetime Achievement Award at First Nations Media Awards in the nation's capital.

Grant began her multi award-winning career at community radio station 2XX before establishing herself in the industry throughout the 1990's.

After briefly working at Channel 10, she arrived at SBS in 1995 and worked on Indigenous Current Affairs Magazine before being appointed executive producer of the national broadcaster's Indigenous Media Unit in the early 2000's.

It was in that role Grant first pitched Living Black - the current affairs program she still hosts and serves as an executive producer of in 2023, now on NITV.

Living Black is the longest-running Indigenous current affairs show on Australian television.

"As a young girl growing up in Adelaide I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined standing here accepting this award…let alone working in this industry for as long as I have," she said at the Walkey Awards, via NITV.

"I feel incredibly blessed to be able to provide a voice and platform for my people - to tell their stories, and to be able to highlight the ongoing issues faced by First Australians."

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor, said the two awards were a "remarkable achievement" and "well-deserved recognition of her pivotal contribution to the media's coverage of First Nations stories, and impact on the wider media landscape".

"Throughout her career, Karla has worked tirelessly to provide a voice for the voiceless, and to ensure the issues being experienced in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are recognised as matters of significance for all Australians," he said.

"Her dedication is underpinned by her integrity, kindness and empathy, which are among the reasons she is trusted by communities and widely respected by her peers, and extends beyond the screen through her active support for future generations of Indigenous journalists."

Living Black also won Best News and Current Affairs Program for 2023 at the First Nations Media Awards after taking their first Walkley in 2021.

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