Border Mail wins two Walkley awards

UPDATE: THE Border Mail's Ending The Suicide Silence campaign has been recognised with a prestigious Walkley Award in Canberra tonight.

And the newspaper's editorial team recieved a surprise second nod soon after, awarded the Walkley for Journalism Leadership.

The campaign was one of three finalists in the Coverage of Community and Regional Affairs category.

“This is a tribute to the bravery of all of those young people, parents and individuals who spoke frankly with us about an issue that has predominately been pushed under the carpet,” Border Mail editor Di Thomas said.

“This award is not about any individual.

 “It is a tribute to the enormous talent throughout our newsroom with everyone having made a contribution to our campaign.

“I am enormously grateful to my predecessor Heath Harrison for having the courage to tackle a subject so delicate and so sensitive within every community.”

The judges described the Border Mail campaign as “genuine community engagement on an issue that was of great importance to the community”.

“It was courageous, dignified and superbly put together,” they said.The Walkley Awards attracted more than 1300 entries.

Ms Thomas said the Leadership in Journalism award had come as a complete surprise.

“It really is the peak in terms of having it recognised as a leading campaign in Australian journalism,” she said.

Mr Harrison was also finalist in the Best Three Headings category with the award going to Paul Dyer of the NT News.

The Ending the Suicide Silence campaign was launched by The Border Mail on Saturday, August 4, as a week-long campaign telling the stories of those affected by suicide, examining the mental health system and lobbying for services and support.

It soon focused on an associated bid by the region for funding for of a headspace centre for Albury-Wodonga, involving a butterfly campaign and Facebook page.

On Thursday, Ms Thomas, Border businessman Stuart Baker and journalist Jack Baker presented more than 4000 butterflies and petitions regarding headspace to Federal Mental Heath Minister Mark Butler in Canberra.

Mr Butler said the campaign "ticked all the boxes".

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