Apply for the Caroline Jones Award

Women in Media is proud to shine a light on outstanding reportage by female journalists in the regions.

Supported by Women in Media and the National Press Club of Australia.

At a time when Australia’s rural and regional media landscape is under unprecedented pressure, Women in Media Australia is proud to shine a light on outstanding reportage coming from female journalists working across our regions.

For the fifth year, Women in Media Australia, in partnership with the National Press Club of Australia, is calling for entries for the country’s preeminent award for up-and-coming regional reporters.

Caroline Jones with 2020 award recipient Elly Bradfield. Photo: Supplied.

The Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award recognises tenacity and passion for the craft of journalism from young women working across rural and regional Australia. It seeks to immerse the award winner in an intensive experience of journalism, politics and government in Canberra and to open doors to the experience and generosity of some of the country’s top female journalists.


  • A $2500 personal learning fund
  • Travel and accommodation to Canberra for five nights
  • Attend a National Press Club lunch and ask a question
  • Mentorship from the members of the Women in Media Canberra committee
  • The winner will spend time in a variety of Canberra and Press Gallery newsrooms during the week

This award seeks to foster commitment and passion for journalism among young women practitioners in rural and regional Australia.

It is named in honour of Caroline Jones AO, a ground-breaking journalist who joined the ABC in 1963 and became the first female reporter for This Day Tonight. She reported for Four Corners between 1972-1981 before presenting Radio National’s Search for Meaning program. In 1996, Jones became the presenter of Australian Story.

Caroline Jones and with 2019 recipient Virginia Tapscott at the National Press Club. Photo: Supplied.

She is the national co-patron of Women in Media, a mentoring, networking, and professional development initiative for Australian women in media modelled on a successful group first established in Western Australia in 2005.

The award is the first of its kind in encouraging young female rural and regional journalists to experience first-hand the complexities of the media and political landscape across the nation’s capital.

It is a life-changing, horizon-broadening and immersive prize, exposing the winner to the institutions of Canberra, including the Press Gallery and National Press Club. It also brings them into contact with the Women in Media network – providing mentorship, guidance, and insights from Canberra’s most prominent female journalists.

Inaugural winner Eliza Goetze from the Bundaberg News Mail. Photo: Supplied.

“This award is offered as a tribute to the women who, sometimes far from colleagues or mentors, choose to cover regional or remote areas of our country, reporting on local issues which are often of vital national interest,” Jones said.

“Maybe it’s because I come from the bush; or because my grandfather Ashley Pountney was editor of the first newspapers in north-west NSW, this award is close to my heart.”

The 2020 winner, ABC journalist Elly Bradfield, said: “While the week in Canberra was more valuable than I could have imaginedthe real prize, I believe, is a room full of mentors. The extremely talented and kind women I can now call on for advice on my work, this work/life/family juggle and whatever else I’ll need. For someone who uses words for a living it’s hard to find ones big enough to explain how grateful I am to all the women who made this experience possible.”


  • Caroline Jones, Co-Patron Women in Media
  • Emma Macdonald, WiM Canberra Convenor
  • Ginger Gorman, social justice journalist and WiM Canberra committee member


The award is presented annually and is open to any female rural and regional journalist working in a non-metropolitan area. Applicants must be aged up to 30 years and have at least one year of full-time industry experience.

Applicants are asked to submit a portfolio of their work across any media platform (television, newspaper, radio, online).

2018 recipient Emily Jane Smith with Virginia Trioli, Caroline Jones, and Emma Macdonald.

A minimum of one and maximum of three stories must demonstrate tenacity and passion for journalism, an adherence to ethical standards, and a contribution to community understanding and discourse on an issue of choice.

Judges have the discretion to nominate a recipient or to choose not to make the award in any one year.

Stories may include a single issue or a range of issues, including opinion pieces, features, or news. Submitted work must be the original work of the applicant.


Entries should include PDF copies of text articles or URL links to recordings of broadcasts on television or radio.

The submission should include a written statement of up to 500 words outlining the impact of the work, and an expression of the applicant’s approach to her journalism. A brief CV should be included.

For security reasons, you will be required to sign-in to complete the form but please email if you have any queries or experience any problems with this process.



2017 Eliza Goetze | Bundaberg News Mail

2018 Emily Jane Smith | ABC

2019 Virginia Tapscott | Freelancer

2020 Elly Bradfield | ABC

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