Ferguson wins Gold Quill and Perkin Prize

Adele Ferguson has taken out two coveted prizes in Australian journalism as the axe hangs over 120 of her Fairfax Media peers.

The Age journalist on Friday night won both the Gold Quill and Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year for her dogged pursuit of systemic corruption and abuse across the country.

Ferguson is the first person to win consecutive Gold Quills, and the first since 2001 to win the Gold Quill and the Perkin Award in the same year.

Her Gold Quill is in recognition of exposing wholesale exploitation of migrant workers at the 7-Eleven retail empire.

Ferguson's story led to the resignation of 7-Eleven Australian founder and chairman Russ Withers, high-level inquiries and huge compensation payouts.

She took out the Perkin Award for a series of exclusive reports uncovering the wages fraud at 7-Eleven, serious misconduct within NAB's financial planning arm and insider trading at wealth management company IOOF.

Revered AFL journalist Mike Sheahan has been recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the coverage and advancement of Australian football in all media, while Gerard Whateley has taken out the Sports Journalist of the Year.

Annika Smethurst from the Herald Sun has won the Best News Report in Writing for her explosive story on dumped Speaker Bronwyn Bishop's use of a taxpayer-funded helicopter to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.

Smethurst's Herald Sun colleague, Tom Minear, has been awarded Young Journalist of the Year.

Staff from the Fairfax Media stables won about one-third of the 34 awards presented at the Melbourne ceremony for excellence in Victorian journalism.

Journalists at The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review will remain on strike until Monday in protest over Fairfax Media's plans to scrap 120 full-time equivalent staff from its Sydney and Melbourne newsrooms.