Anne Dunn Scholar Award

The prestigious Anne Dunn Scholar Award was established in 2014 to commemorate the life and work of a much-valued colleague, Associate Professor Anne Dunn (1952–2012). The $3000 award is jointly supported by the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA), the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), and Anne’s siblings and mother. It recognises excellence in research about the fields of journalism or communications, including but not limited to broadcast media for the public benefit. We welcome applications from scholars who can demonstrate a body of work befitting this award.

2023 Anne Dunn Scholar

Prof Matthew Ricketson

JERAA and ANZCA are delighted to announce that the 2023 winner of the Anne Dunn Scholar Award is Professor Matthew Ricketson, Acting Head of School, and Professor of Communication, in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University.

Professor Ricketson is widely known as an accomplished Australian journalism scholar and distinguished former journalist.

He is recognised as a thought leader in Australian journalism theory and practice and is known internationally for his wide-ranging research on long-form journalism, media accountability, newsroom redundancies, and the future of journalism.

In 2011, retired Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein recognised Ricketson’s expertise by appointing him to assist in a national inquiry into the Australian news media and its regulation. One lasting outcome from the inquiry saw the ABC’s charter extended, by law, to include online activities.

Overall, Professor Ricketson has written 25 academic book chapters, 31 refereed journal articles, and six published refereed conference papers. He has also written or co-authored six non-fiction books and one journalistic biography.

He continues to contribute to the shaping of public policy on issues of public interest journalism and media regulation, as evidenced in two recent co-authored and high impact publications: Upheaval: Disrupted lives in journalism (UNSW Press, 2021) and Who Needs the ABC? Why taking it for granted is no longer an option (Scribe Publications).

Importantly, while Professor Ricketson never worked with A/Professor Anne Dunn, he spoke eloquently about their shared interests:

I remember hearing Anne’s own academic work at conferences, delivered in her mellifluous, ABC radio-trained voice. She would ask difficult questions about the state of public broadcasting in Australia and elsewhere even as her commitment to its importance remained steady as a heartbeat. I hope I continued to espouse all these values when I was asked to nominate for the journalism association’s presidency after her death in 2012. More recently and most explicitly, I felt the value of her commitment to public broadcasting when I co-authored a book Who Needs the ABC? that lamented a near decade of cuts and attacks by Coalition governments and argued for all of us to speak up for one of the nation’s most important cultural institutions.

Previous Winners

2022 Scholar: Prof Libby Lester

The judges noted that Professor Lester, who spent 15 years as a journalist including as the Sunday Age’s first environmental reporter, has since produced an impressive body of scholarship in journalism and communication, with a critical environmental communication focus.

The judges also commended Dr Heather Anderson, from Griffith University, for her broadcast research and practice in the public interest with a strong social justice agenda and outcomes.

2021 Scholar: Dr Catriona Bonfiglioli
The judges said: Catriona has excelled in her transition to academia from journalism, starting with a Reuters medical journalism fellowship and building an impressive record of solo and collaborative publications. She has a strong track record in securing competitive grants, in international networking, and in health communications and media studies research for the public good. Importantly, during the pandemic she developed a guide for journalists reporting the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In her outstanding commitment to media ethics education and ongoing industry linkages she clearly commemorates the aims and spirit of Anne Dunn’s work.

2020 Scholar: Dr Penny O’Donnell
Penny was the judges’ unanimous choice, from a strong field. The judging panel acknowledged her international research profile, sustained and impressive body of journalism research with public interest benefits, and the significance and impact of her scholarly work. They agreed Penny had movingly articulated how Anne’s aims and values had influenced her contribution to the field, and also recognised her commitment to journalism education.

2019 Scholar: Dr TJ Thomson, Queensland University of Technology
The judging panel reported that Dr Thomson’s submission showed high-quality publications and made an excellent case for impact and relevance in the spirit of the Anne Scholar of the Year Award.

2018 Scholar: Dr Caroline Fisher, University of Canberra
Dr Fisher was commended by the panel for her body of work as an early career researcher, which features a range of high-quality national and international publications. Her research highlights the connections between journalism and other communication forms, and aims to increase understanding about the changing relationship between these different forms.

2017 Scholar: Prof Geoff Craig, Auckland University of Technology
Professor Geoffrey Craig is head of research in the School of Communication Studies at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand.

ANZCA president Phillip McIntyre said Geoffrey Craig had produced an impressive body of research. “Geoff Craig’s research analyses major institutions of public communication and he uses theory well. He has helped shape his corner of the field in the region. His work is innovative and his care for his topic, not to mention his engagement with the ABC and other institutions, shines through his application. His work aligns well with the research interests of Anne Dunn”.

JERAA president Matthew Ricketson said: “The judges for the Anne Dunn scholar award this year were pleased by the continuing development of the breadth and depth of the entries. This is not only a fitting tribute to the lasting influence of Anne Dunn but demonstrates advances made in scholarly work in the field of communication and journalism”.

Both presidents, who headed their associations’ judging panels, highly commended the work of Dr Stephen Harrington which they said was well theorised and, for his career point, showed an impressive track record. His research into alternative expressions of journalism is thought-provoking and his advocacy for it in popular as well as academic journals is to be welcomed.

2016 Scholar: Dr Emma Jane
ANZCA president Donald Matheson said Emma A. Jane had produced an impressive body of research investigating online misogyny and cyberhate since 2012. “She shows not only great scholarly energy, but also a commitment to harnessing that research for the public good.”

JERAA president Matthew Ricketson said: “The judges for the Anne Dunn scholar award this year welcomed the increase in the number of entries and were impressed by the quality of the strongest entries, which demonstrated sound scholarship and a refreshing originality of research topics.”

2015 Scholar: Assoc. Professor Mia Lindgren

2014 Scholar: Dr Siobhan McHugh

Background to the Award

The Anne Dunn Scholar Award is jointly sponsored by Anne’s mother and siblings, JERAA, and the Australia New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), and honours Anne’s lifetime dedication to public service journalism.

This prestigious award is in memory of a remarkable broadcaster, journalism educator and media scholar, Associate Professor Anne Dunn. Anne was known for building bridges, whether between industry and the academy or across academic disciplines, for her mentoring of younger women making the adjustment from working in news media to academia and for her life-long commitment to public sector broadcasting.

The award, which includes a $3,000 prize, has run for five years and will continue until further notice. As Anne was a former President of ANZCA, and was President of JERAA at the time of her death, both associations felt it appropriate to honour her via a joint prize. Anne was widely respected for her broadcast experience and management skills, including responsibilities at the ABC and as acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney. She was well known as a mentor of early career researchers, especially women making the transition from industry to academia, as she had done herself. The award explicitly aims to honour Anne’s commitment to critical research of high academic standard. It recognises excellence in research about the fields of communication and journalism, including but not limited to broadcast media for the public benefit. This reflects Anne’s passion for public service broadcasting, radio studies and media ethics, and her work in bridging journalism and media studies scholarship.

The winner of the Anne Dunn Scholar Award will be announced at the annual ANZCA Conference and will also be celebrated at the JERAA Conference.

Application guidelines for 2024:

Please provide a 3-4 page application addressing the following criteria:

  • Description of the body of research about journalism, communication and/or broadcast media for the public benefit (2 pages maximum)
  • Short statement about research achievement relative to career and life opportunity (100 words)
  • Demonstration of the impact of this body of research (1 page maximum)
  • Statement about how the chosen body of research commemorates the aims and spirit of Anne Dunn’s scholarly work (half a page maximum)

Also attach your current CV, containing all relevant publications, research grants and other awards, which will help the judging panel to evaluate your body of work.

The 2024 Anne Dunn Scholar award will be judged cooperatively by representatives of the executive groups of the JERAA and ANZCA, with final consultation to occur between the Presidents of ANZCA and JERAA.  Applications should be sent by July 31, 2024.


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