Reporter awarded Bean Lockyer Ticehurst award for ensuring critical bush issues are heard on the national stage

Published: 19th October 2020

ABC National Rural Reporter Caitlyn Gribbin has been awarded the Local Government Association of Queensland’s Bean Lockyer Ticehurst Award for excellence in regional journalism for a body of work amplifying issues of critical importance to the bush.

Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said Caitlyn’s work ensured the voices of regional Queensland communities continued to be heard on both a state and a national level.

“Caitlyn has reported extensively and thoughtfully on issues that are critically important to our regional communities,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“While she does an exemplary job highlighting the broad impacts of key challenges like the continuing drought, it’s Caitlyn’s ability to obtain a personal insight that ensures her work has that extra impact.

“For example, in giving the people of her hometown, Warwick, a voice when news broke that the presses would fall silent at their local paper, Caitlyn captured an experience that resonates deeply with people who live in the bush.

“As one of Caitlyn’s interviewees put it:

It probably sounds like little town talk, but you might run into someone and say 'so and so's dad passed away'. You read that in the local paper. They're the little things that keep you up with what's happening and we're going to really miss that.

“These are stories about real people and Caitlyn understands their ‘little town talk’ is one of the things that keeps Queensland’s regional communities united.”

Caitlyn was on hand to receive the award, announced tonight at the 124th LGAQ Annual Conference on the Gold Coast.

The award commemorates the work of John Bean, Paul Lockyer and Gary Ticehurst, a deeply respected media crew who died in tragic circumstances in 2011.

Regional leaders especially felt their loss due to the difference their work made to rural and regional Queenslanders.

The LGAQ issues the award – which comes with a $15,000 prize - to encourage other journalists to adopt the doggedness and professionalism that Bean, Lockyer and Ticehurst showed in pursuing their craft.