Caroline Jones Award

The Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award

Supported by Women in Media and the National Press Club of Australia. Note: Applications for the 2019 award are now closed.

Women in Media Australia is calling for young female journalists to enter the country’s preeminent award for up-and-coming regional reporters. 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.


  • $2500 personal learning fund
  • Travel and accommodation to Canberra for five nights
  • National Press Club lunch attendance and question
  • Mentorship from members of the Canberra Women in Media Committee
  • The winner will spend time in a variety of Canberra and Press Gallery newsrooms throughout 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.

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

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

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

“It is offered as a reward for 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.”

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.

The 2018 winner Emily Jane Smith from the ABC said winning the award had been “an incredible opportunity to connect with journalists from around the country and build my confidence as a storyteller.

“I continue to apply the lessons I learned in Canberra to my work and I feel privileged to be mentored by Caroline,” she says.


  • Caroline Jones, Co-Patron Women in Media
  • Emma Macdonald, WiM Canberra Convenor
  • Ginger Gorman, social justice journalist, WiM Committee Member
  • Katharine Murphy, Director National Press Club of Australia


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).

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 copies of published articles, links to online articles or recordings of broadcasts on television or radio.

A written statement of up to 500 words must accompany the submission outlining the impact of the work, and a brief CV must be included.


2017 Eliza Goetze Bundaberg News Mail

2018 Emily Smith ABC

2019 Virginia Tapscott Freelancer