Elizabeth O’Neill Journalism Award

The Elizabeth O’Neill Journalism Award commemorates the distinguished career of Elizabeth O’Neill OAM who died in service of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Indonesia on 7 March 2007. The Award builds on her tireless work to foster mutual understanding of Australia and Indonesia through accurate and informed media coverage.

The Elizabeth O’Neill Journalism Award is awarded to one journalist from Indonesia and one from Australia each year. The Award is open to high-achieving journalists from print, radio, television and online media organisations at any stage of their career.


Award recipients spend up to two weeks in Indonesia/Australia on a fully funded program coordinated by the Australia-Indonesia Institute and the Public Diplomacy Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and supported by the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Programs for successful candidates are developed to build a stronger understanding and appreciation of the broad range of issues facing contemporary Indonesia and Australia.

Programs are tailored to the journalist’s area of expertise and reporting responsibilities in such areas as foreign and trade policy, development assistance, people-to-people links and education and include a stay in the country’s capital city (Jakarta/Canberra) with visits to at least another province/state/territory of the country visited.

During a typical program meetings may include:

  • local media organisations, both commercial and government-owned
  • a reciprocal visit to the employer of the host country participant
  • academic institutions, including those with specialist journalism and communications courses
  • media industry regulators and umbrella organisations
  • government and parliamentary officials and access to ministers (where possible), and
  • leading civil society and NGO figures.

Award conditions

The Award covers:

  • business class international airfares and domestic transfers from the participant’s home city, and
  • accommodation, internal transport, vaccinations, visas and meal allowances.

The award does not cover the cost of travel for dependents, translators, a camera-person or other technical support people. Successful applicants must have an up-to-date passport with at least six month’s validity.


Applications are opened in the second half of each year and applicants are invited from individual journalists and media organisations. Applicants must be Australian citizens resident in Australia or Indonesian citizens resident in Indonesia.

Applications should include the following information:

  • A completed application form, including a brief supporting statement
  • A brief CV/biography with photo, and
  • A reference letter, preferably from a current employer (including details of experience, influence and capacity to meet program objectives).

Selection panels in Canberra will choose the successful Australian and Indonesian participants. The panels will comprise representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australia-Indonesia Institute and the Australian media.

Applications for the 2013/14 award have now closed. Applications for the 2014/15 award will open in the third quarter of 2014.


On completion of the Award program, participants will be invited to an interview to provide feedback to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Australian Embassy.

Elizabeth O'Neill OAM
Elizabeth O'Neill OAM

More information

Testimonials from award recipients »