The Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism is a black-tie, invitation-only, gala event fuelled by alcohol and rivalry. A packed room listened to SBS news presenters Anton Enus and Mary Kostakidis compere the show. One highlight, which I missed because I'd popped out to the computer to google Jack Marx, who won the feature award for 'I was Russell Crowe's stooge', involved Glen Milne, a well-known columnist, and a lot of shouting.
After rushing back into the living room, having registered the shouting, I saw him removed from the stage by security people, and heard the crowd buzz with excitement. An event! Something odd happened! It was soon over and they quickly got on with the show. Among the other highlights, for me, was Tim Flannery being short-listed for the non-fiction book award for The Weather Makers. Another interesting moment occurred when Kate Geraghty, winner of the major award for photography (she also won another award tonight), gave a very short speech: "OK, I'm a photographer so I don't know what to say." She seemed flabbergasted, and kept nervously brushing the hair out of her eyes.
Finally, an award that I didn't see given, but which was included in the closing sequence of unshown awards, was presented to a young woman in a black dress and with curly hair, who could be seen elegantly approaching the stage just before the credits rolled down the screen. It was Chloe Hooper, who won the magazine feature award for her analysis of the Palm Island affair. In fact, I had written about another brillient piece by her earlier this month.