Madonna King, journalist and author
Madonna King is one of Australia's most accomplished journalists, having worked at senior levels at News and the ABC (where she presented the Mornings program on 612 for six years). Madonna writes for Fairfax's Good Weekend magazine, and writes a highly successful weekly column in Brisbane Times. She has written seven books, all defined by her skilful reporting and her ability to get people to talk in depth. They include the biographies of former treasurer Joe Hockey, the Australian of the Year behind the cervical cancer vaccine Professor Ian Frazer. She also co-wrote Bali 9 with Cindy Wockner. Her latest book, Being 14, charts the challenges of 14-year-old girls in Australia, and has just been released.
Kate Kyriacou, chief crime reporter, The Courier-Mail
Kate Kyriacou has been a journalist for more than 15 years, working for newspapers in South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. Kate began reporting crime as a 21-year-old at a regional Victorian newspaper where the local police would drive her home from the pub and dob each other in on embarrassing but newsworthy incidents (like the time a late patrol spotted a UFO). She has won awards for her writing at both a state and national level and is the author of The Sting: The Undercover Operation That Caught Daniel Morcombe's Killer. Kate has been The Courier-Mail’s chief crime reporter since 2012.
Quentin Dempster, contributing editor, The New Daily
Quentin Dempster is contributing editor at The New Daily. He is chairman of the Walkley Foundation, a role he took on after serving two stints in recent years as chairman of the Walkley Advisory Board which judges the annual Walkley awards for excellence in Australian journalism. For 30 years Quentin was a presenter, interviewer and reporter for ABC television current affairs working for the 7.30 Report in NSW and Queensland, the national 7.30 Report, 7.30 NSW and Stateline. He was staff-elected director on the ABC Board from 1992 to 1996. In 1992 he was awarded an Order of Australia for services to journalism and current affairs. He 2002 he was awarded a Walkley for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. As a television journalist he covered for local and national ABC networks both the Fitzgerald (Queensland) and Wood (NSW) royal commissions into police and political corruption. Before joining the ABC he was chief political reporter and columnist for Brisbane’s afternoon Telegraph newspaper. He started in journalism as a cadet on the regional daily, The Maryborough Chronicle. He is the author of three books: Honest Cops (1992), Whistleblowers (1997) and Death Struggle (2000).
Kerry O’Brien, journalist
Kerry O’Brien is one of Australia’s most distinguished and respected journalists with six Walkley Awards for excellence in journalism including the Gold Walkley, and the Walkley for Outstanding Leadership. Other industry awards include a Logie for public affairs coverage. He has been a journalist for 49 years covering print, television and wire service, as a reporter, feature writer, columnist and foreign correspondent. He has specialised in national politics for the ABC, as well as the Ten and Seven networks, and was press secretary to Labor leader Gough Whitlam. For ABC-TV he was the editor, presenter and interviewer for the 7.30 Report over 15 years, the presenter and interviewer at Four Corners for five years and at Lateline for six years. He has interviewed many world leaders including Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, as well as many influential figures in the arts, science and business. For 20 years he was also the face of the ABC’s election night coverage. Kerry’s acclaimed four-part interview series with former Prime Minister Paul Keating was broadcast on the ABC in 2013, and his book expanding on those conversations was published in 2015.
Joshua Robertson, Brisbane correspondent, Guardian Australia
Joshua Robertson is Guardian Australia's correspondent for Queensland, where he writes across politics, the environment, business and crime. He previously worked on the investigations desk and covered organised crime for the Courier-Mail and the Sunday Mail, reporting extensively on outlaw motorcycle clubs in the years before they became a political issue for state and federal governments. He studied philosophy and history at the University of Queensland.