In Summary

  • Swinburne alumna Cassie Zervos and student Claudia Alp have been shortlisted by the Quill Awards 2016
  • Winners will be announced at the annual Quills Dinner on 17 March
  • The prestigious awards are presented by the Melbourne Press Club

A Swinburne alumna and a current student have been shortlisted for the Melbourne Press Club’s 2016 Quill Awards.

The Quill Awards celebrate excellence in Victorian journalism and look to recognise fresh talent and creativity in the digital news space. 

Swinburne alumna Cassie Zervos is a general news reporter at the Herald Sun and has been shortlisted for Young Journalist of the Year.

“It's an absolute honour to be nominated,” Ms Zervos says.

“My degree has helped me on a variety of stories from death knocks to breaking news. Swinburne lecturers and tutors taught us the necessary skills in the classroom to be able to transfer them into a working environment.”

Ms Zervos believes that the key to getting a job in the industry is to get as much newsroom experience as possible while still studying.

“I did work experience at SEN radio, the Herald Sun, 3AW, and Channel 10 and I believe each newsroom taught me something different from the next.”

Student success

Swinburne student Claudia Alp has been shortlisted for Student Journalist of the Year.

Ms Alp submitted a story that she had written for an investigative journalism assignment, and admits that the nomination came as a surprise to her.

“I was actually in a tutorial when I received the email with the list and when I saw my name I nearly fell off my chair,” Ms Alp says.

Ms Alp’s entry into the competition focused on the assisted suicide of Lucas Taylor, a 26-year-old Australian living in Berlin. Mr Taylor took a dose of the euthanasia drug Nembutal under encouragement from members of the Exit International Forum.

“The feature follows the devastating moment his family found out he had taken his life, the discovery of his Exit International account and forum conversations, the seeming lack of appropriate screening and the response from Exit International’s founder” Ms Alp says.

Claudia attributes her success to journalism lecturer Denise Ryan-Costello

“Denise just has a way of understanding students, recognising their strengths and weaknesses and bringing out the best in them.

“She earned our respect without demanding it.”

The winners will be announced at the annual Quills dinner at Crown Palladium on Friday 17 March.