The Australian’s South East Asia Correspondent Amanda Hodge Picks Up ACFID Media Award

30 Oct, 2018

The Australian’s South East Asia correspondent, Amanda Hodge, has won the Australian Council for International Development’s (ACFID) 2018 media award for her coverage of the Rohingya crisis and her piece: ‘A mother’s wish: let Allah take him’.

The article tells the story of a Cox’s Bazaar hospital against the devastating backdrop of a complex humanitarian, development, security and health crisis unfolding for Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar. 

The award – presented at ACFID’s annual conference in Sydney on Tuesday evening – recognised the courageous simplicity of Hodge’s writing, and her commitment to objectivity by placing the lives and words of the Rohingya people at the story’s centre. The award’s judges described how this gave dignity and justice to the Rohingya people and the story a resonating truth and integrity.

In her piece, Hodge recounts that in ten years as a foreign correspondent, going to Cox’s Bazaar just two weeks after the August 25 attacks – which resulted in over 700,000 people fleeing from Rakhine State in Myanmar – as one of the most difficult moments of her career.

Presenting the award, President of the Australian Council for International Development, Susan Pascoe said:

“This straight reportage has resulted in a powerful depiction of a humanitarian crisis. It provides a clear picture of the complexity of the situation and treats its actors with sensitivity and respect amidst the horror of their experience of poverty, injustice and displacement.

“As one of Australia’s leading foreign correspondents, Amanda has a long track-record of being on-the-ground reporting the most difficult, complex situations but being able to cut through to her audience with engaging prose of great clarity. This is yet another example of her talents, and we are delighted to be able to recognise her for it.”

Collecting the award on behalf of Hodge (who is based in Jakarta), Foreign Editor of The Australian, James Morrison, said:

“Amanda is one of our most experienced correspondents. She is tenacious, compassionate, hardworking and accomplished.

"She is proud to have won this award, as are we of her."  

The annual ACFID Media Award aims to promote and recognise journalists delivering informed and studied media items about international development and/or humanitarian issues.

The Award is presented to a journalist or journalistic team that has produced a single piece or series that:

  • Profiles with sensitivity and respect the issues and lives of people experiencing poverty and injustice;
  • Shows an understanding of the complexity of humanitarian and/or development issues; and
  • Is judged to have the potential to help expand the knowledge of the Australian public in relation to humanitarian and/or international development issues.