Kennedy Awards (journalism)

Australian journalism awards

The Kennedy Awards, also known as the NRMA Kennedy Awards, are Australian awards for journalism based in Sydney, New South Wales, run by the Kennedy Foundation, and named in honour of Indigenous Australian journalist Les Kennedy, who died in 2011. As of 2022[update] there are 34 categories in the annual event, with the main prize being The Kennedy Prize – Journalist of the Year, while a Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded each year as well.


Commencing in 2012, named in honour of Indigenous journalist Les Kennedy[1] (1958–2011)[2] in the year after his death, the intention was to stage an event in NSW equivalent to journalism awards in other states and territories. However the Kennedy Awards quickly grew to being a national event. The Kennedy Foundation was created as a charitable organisation on 7 March 2014 in order to attract funds for the awards and other endeavours, including providing scholarships for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander journalists.[1]

The awards have been run annually without interruption since 2012.[3] In 2021 they were also referred to as the NRMA Kennedy Awards, being sponsored by the NRMA.[4][5] There were 34 categories in 2022.[6]

In 2021–2022 the Kennedy Foundation entered a sponsorship deal with an organisation calling itself the Australian Journalists Association, which was exposed as a front for an organisation of dubious integrity, the Journalists First Inc., a small group of conservative political operatives based in Queensland which spread anti-vaccination and other controversial information.[7] The foundation ceased its association with this organisation in May 2022.[8]

Kennedy Foundation

The foundation is a strong advocate for cultural and gender diversity in media. As of August 2022[update] the foundation is chaired by accountant Carl Dumbrell;[1] in 2021 the chair was Rocco Fazzari.[4]


The awards take place in Sydney.[4] The main prize is Journalist of the Year (won by women in seven out of the nine events after 2012). Five of its awards are named after outstanding journalists, in several categories: Sport (Peter Frilingos); Indigenous Affairs (John Newfong); Outstanding Columnist (Peter Ruehl); Les Kennedy (Outstanding Crime Reporting) and Outstanding Foreign Correspondent (Tom Krause).[1]

Past winners

The Kennedy Prize – Journalist of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award


  1. ^ a b c d "The Kennedy Foundation". The Kennedy Awards. 10 July 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  2. ^ Brown, Malcolm (10 August 2011). "Kennedy, Les (1958–2011)". Indigenous Australia. Originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 August 2011. Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Kennedy Awards Honour Roll". The Kennedy Awards. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d "2021 NRMA Kennedy Awards: Full list of winners and nominees". Mediaweek. 11 November 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Kennedy Awards 2021: winners". TV Tonight. 20 December 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  6. ^ a b Graham, Jackson (13 August 2022). "Age's Nick McKenzie wins journalist of the year at NSW awards". The Age. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Roundup: NBCUniversal content battle, Kennedy Awards controversy". Mediaweek. 22 May 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Kennedy Awards make right decision to cut ties with fake union". MEAA. 27 May 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d "Home". The Kennedy Awards. Archived from the original on 13 August 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  10. ^ a b Berry, Jamie (12 August 2022). "Kennedy Awards: Nick McKenzie takes top honour for SMH, AGE reporting". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  11. ^ "Kennedy Awards: Herald and Age journalists recognised in 'bumper news year'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 November 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  12. ^ "Kennedy Awards 2022: winners". TV Tonight. 20 December 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2022.

External links

  • Official website