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Curtin graduate wins Walkley Foundation’s women in media award

Media release

A Curtin University graduate who has established a career as one of Australia’s leading medical journalists has been recognised with the prestigious Walkley Foundation’s Women’s Leadership in Media award.

Melissa Davey

The Guardian Australia reporter Ms Melissa Davey received the award for her article ‘The investigation into Dr Gayed’, which led to a police investigation and independent inquiry of a New South Wales doctor.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated Ms Davey on receiving the award, which acknowledged her exceptional journalistic contribution to gender equality and the profile of women in society, both in Australia and internationally.

“After graduating from Curtin in 2007, Ms Davey moved to Sydney where she established her career through roles including at The Sydney Morning Herald before becoming The Guardian Australia edition’s Melbourne Bureau Chief and producing her impressive Walkley award-winning work,” Professor Terry said.

“Curtin is incredibly proud to see Ms Davey’s development as a high calibre and versatile reporter who covers many important issues, making her an impressive role model for women to make a positive change to the world through journalism.”

Ms Davey, who is currently on three months leave from The Guardian to write a book on the trials of Cardinal George Pell, said she could not have won the award without Dr Gayed’s patients trusting her with their stories and sharing painful and personal information, some of them for the first time.

“This was a particularly vulnerable group of women and I hope my work highlights why accountability in health care is essential, and should not vary depending on the postcode,” Ms Davey said.

“Studying at Curtin University gave me the freedom to try, fail and pick myself back up again, whether through running the student magazine Grok or through changing my electives and even my major until I found areas of studies that suited me. I will always value my time at Curtin University.”

Ms Davey also received the Young Alumni Award at Curtin University’s 2018 Alumni Achievement Awards.

The Walkley Foundation announced the award winners for this year’s suite of awards, prizes, scholarships and opportunities at its 2019 Walkley Mid-Year Celebration.

The Women’s Leadership in Media award celebrates reporting that demonstrates notable innovation, enterprise or courage in raising awareness of women’s experiences and perspectives, and reflects the significance of media coverage in altering perceptions, challenging stereotypes and fighting misinformation.