Philip Prior awarded Peter Leonard Scholarship

Philip Prior awarded Peter Leonard Scholarship

Amanda Powell

30 November 2010: Sports journalism student Philip Prior has been awarded the 2010 Peter Leonard scholarship.

The scholarship, now in its second year, is a partnership between WIN Television, the ACT Government and the University of Canberra, in memory of the late Peter Leonard.

Mr Leonard devoted his working life to broadcast journalism in the ACT. He retired in 2007 after 16 years as WIN’s local news presenter. He passed away in September 2008 after a battle with mesothelioma, aged 66.

The scholarship is a legacy to his devotion to broadcast journalism and the ACT community.

Lucy Zelic, Philip Prior and Ewan Gilbert

L-R: Lucy Zelic, Philip Prior and Ewan Gilbert

Mr Prior said he was proud and honoured to receive the scholarship.

“I’ve known that I wanted a career in broadcast journalism since high school and I have always eyed off television as the ultimate to aim towards, so winning this award has now laid a tremendous platform for me to work from,” said Mr Prior.

“To be recognised as a journalist through an award named after Peter Leonard is very special. From what everyone here at WIN has told me about him and from what he has achieved as a journalist it is such an honour.”

The scholarship is worth $6,000 a year and is jointly funded by WIN Television and the ACT Government. The scholarship was open to students enrolled in third year broadcast journalism at the University of Canberra.

Mr Prior receives $5,000 towards the cost of his studies and four weeks’ work experience at WIN TV. The two finalists, Lucy Zelic and Ewan Gilbert receive a share of the remaining $1,000.

Mr Prior says his journalism skills have improved since working in the WIN newsroom.

“I feel my TV news-style writing has already improved a fair bit and I'm feeling more comfortable in the environment of a newsroom every day. The time it takes to write stories is also something that naturally speeds up the more you do them too,” he said.

Professor of Journalism at the University of Canberra, Matthew Ricketson, said the performance of all three students, and Philip in particular, was a fine reflection on their development as journalism graduates.

“The students were able to walk straight into the WIN newsroom and operate as working journalists, produce broadcast quality work and make a meaningful contribution to the team,” Dr Ricketson said.

Dr Ricketson also thanked Peter Leonard’s wife Gwen and her family who attended this morning’s presentation, for their continued support of the scholarship.