Stan Grant has again cemented his reputation as one of the nation’s finest journalists with a stunning win in Australia’s most respected journalism awards, the Walkley Awards.

The national broadsheet, The Australian, was also honored for its ground-breaking Indigenous affairs coverage in “Bowraville”, a podcast and newspaper series that examined the disappearance of three children from the NSW north coast town and directly led to a major breakthrough in the case.

And SBS also picked up a major award with their online team winning the Multimedia Storytelling Award for “My Grandmother’s Lingo”, an extraordinary interactive creation focusing attention on the plight of Indigenous language.

Grant’s Talking to My Country examines what it means to be an indigenous man in Australia today, and what the journey has been like particularly for Grant.

Grant, a Wiradjuri man, has been a journalist since 1987, working for the ABC, SBS, and the Seven Network and, since 2013, as the international editor for Sky News.

From 2001 to 2012 he worked for CNN as an anchor in Hong Kong, before relocating to Beijing as correspondent.

As a journalist, he has received a string of prestigious international and Australian awards. In 2015, he won another Walkley award for his coverage of indigenous affairs.

The judges said Grant “has produced a work that will go on to grace Australian bookshelves and perhaps Australian curriculums for decades to come.

Grant writes with a power and a passion that evokes a visceral reaction in the reader.

“His message is important. But his great triumph is to cloak it in a narrative that is so personal and yet has the potential to touch the soul of every Australian. Anger is never far below the surface in this tome. Yet Grant is, at heart, optimistic about Australia and writes lovingly of his country.”

The Australian’s award, according to editor-in-chief Paul Whittaker, was a “landmark” moment for newspapers as they evolve in the new media landscape.

Dan Box, Eric George and the paper’s Indigenous affairs editor Stephen Fitzpatrick shared one Walkley – coverage of Indigenous Affairs – while Box and George won a second Walkley for the Bowraville podcast series, which has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.

Their work on the Bowraville story led to a review of the case by the NSW Premier, an apology to the family of the victims by the NSW Police Commissioner and the state’s Attorney-general sending the case back to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Tony Barrass