The Quill Awards for Excellence in Victorian Journalism are the premier media awards in the State.
The Quills were established by the Melbourne Press Club in 1995, with 10 awards sponsored by Tattersalls. They have grown quickly to provide awards in 25 categories and further special awards, including the Gold Quill, now sponsored by the Club’s principal sponsor, Monash University.
Entries for the Quills open in December and close in February.
Since 1995, the prestigious Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award has been presented at the Quills dinner.
The inaugural Harry Gordon Australian Sports Journalist of the Year Award was presented at the 2015 Quill Awards (held in 2016). The award, in memory of the legendary journalist and Herald Sun editor, who passed away in 2015, recognises excellence in sports journalism across all codes and all parts of Australia. It carries a $10,000 prize.
The best category winner of the Quills is selected as the Gold Quill winner, with a $7,500 prize provided by principal sponsors Monash University and Virgin Australia.
Since 1998, the Quills presentation night has included the Grant Hattam Award, sponsored by the Herald & Weekly Times, in honour of the media lawyer Grant Hattam, who died that year. From 2004, this award was renamed the Grant Hattam Award for Investigative Journalism, with expanded criteria. The award will be made to the entrant judged to have made an outstanding contribution to investigative journalism. The work will uphold the right for journalists to publish or broadcast in the public interest under difficult circumstances, which might include legal restraints.
The Press Club may also award a Lifetime Achievement Award on Quills night. Recognised so far for their extraordinary media careers have been Mike Sheahan, Darren Hinch, Mal Walden Dulcie Boling, Keith Dunstan, Peter McFarline, Les Tanner, Peter Game, John Sorell, Harry Gordon, Claude Forell, Les Carlyon, John Fitzgerald, John Lamb and Bruce Postle (joint winners), Laurie Oakes and Michele Grattan (joint winners), Geoff Hook and William Ellis Green (WEG) (joint winners) and Geoff Wilkinson.
The Club also selects a Young Journalist of the Year, who is given travel costs to attend one of the world’s best journalism conferences, the annual Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in the United States.
Judging panels for the Quills are assembled by the Melbourne Press Club, drawing on present and former journalists and editors and other relevant professionals. Members of the MPC committee may sit on judging panels, but not if they have entered a piece of work in any category.