FORMER Cooma-Monaro Express journalist, Joel Tozer, has been recognised for his outstanding work, receiving a Walkley Award for Young Journalist of the Year in the category of Television/Video Journalism.
The Walkley Awards are described as the pinnacle of achievement for any journalist in Australia with the award recognising outstanding young talent in print, broadcast and digital journalism.
Mr Tozer is currently a journalist and producer for The Feed on SBS 2, with his work appearing in The Guardian, ABC Radio National, the Sydney Morning Herald and Narratively.
Originally from Cooma, Mr Tozer moved after high school to study journalism at the University of Technology in Sydney.
"My very first paid job in journalism was at The Cooma-Monaro Express and I learned a lot in the short time I was there," he said.
"Working on several stories a day, taking images and filing copy to a deadline is always an exciting process. I've still got a hard copy of my very first front page story in the Express!"
Mr Tozer was encouraged by his executive producer at The Feed to submit projects that he had completed during this year to the Walkleys.
"It was tough to pick three stories, but in the end I went with the stories that had the biggest impact with our viewers," Mr Tozer said.
Mr Tozer's work was described by the judges as impactful, insightful and the result of strong trust and sensitivity to his subjects.
His stories shared insights into the lives and personal issues of Australians with the use of strong interviewing and production techniques.
"I am always surprised by the courage of everyday people willing to share their stories to a national audience," he said.
"Each of the stories I submitted into the Walkleys were deeply personal issues - escaping a religious group, sibling sex abuse and dealing with a rare medical disorder - all of which took weeks of preparation to make sure people felt comfortable telling their stories. These stories rarely get airplay in the daily news cycle and I am lucky to work for a show that gives me the space to tell them."