Bond University academic Caroline Graham has won a prestigious Walkley award for her hugely successful podcast 'Lost in Larrimah'.
Graham, a senior teaching fellow at the Robina campus, claimed the best radio/audio feature with Kylie Stevenson and Eric George at the 63rd annual Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
The six-part podcast series rocketed to No.1 on the Australian iTunes chart and No.12 internationally, as Graham and Stevenson travelled to Larrimah in the Northern Territory to explore the disappearance of Paddy Moriarty, one of 12 residents of the tiny Outback town.
“A lot of people took a risk on it. We were so excited to be nominated, let alone win,” said Graham.
“The other two entries that were nominated are fantastic and people we have admired for a long time, so just to be in that company is extraordinary.
“Podcasts are so evocative, it is so intimate, it transports you there.
“We took a risk on the story and we obviously connected with it really deeply.
“People in Larrimah have been really excited about it. It is a bit bittersweet because we are coming up to the one-year anniversary of Paddy’s disappearance.
“It’s not just his story, it’s the town’s history. For Larrimah, it is really exciting. The town has such an important history and its residents are such extraordinary people, so we wanted to pay tribute to one part of the Aussie way of life, which is in danger of disappearing too.”
The investigation into the disappearance of Paddy Moriarty is ongoing. Ms Graham implored anyone with new information to present it to police.
“Police have had new calls and new information as a result of the podcast,” said Graham.
“If anyone is travelling through Larrimah or have new information, police are still actively seeking information.”
Emily Bradfield was among a group of Ms Graham’s Bond University journalism students invited to help work on the project.
“I’ve always loved podcasts and Caroline asked if we were interested in getting involved. It was such an incredible experience,” Ms Bradfield said.
“It was great to see the inside workings of the podcast and the success of the podcast and more attention brought to Paddy’s story.
“Just learning how big these projects are and how much work is involved was my big takeaway from the project.
“I love podcasts, so being involved in this project has only fuelled the fire for me even more.
“I was researching, and our big project was trying to find Paddy’s dog. We called and emailed most pound facilities in Northern Territory, South Australia and looking into Western Australia. We came close a couple of times, but unfortunately we couldn’t find her.”
Bond University Executive Dean, Faculty of Society & Design, Professor Derek Carson said: “I am delighted for our colleague Caroline and for our journalism students who contributed as researchers to the Lost in Larrimah project. This is an excellent example of the creative and supportive environment we have here at Bond and of the opportunity our students have to collaborate with staff at the very top of their game”.
Lost in Larrimah also won an NT Media Award for best TV/audio feature.