Joanne McCarthy became the Gosford Star newspaper’s first cadet journalist in 1980, and eventually worked for the Central Coast Express Advocate until 2002 – when she joined the Newcastle Herald. From 2006 she started writing about child sexual abuse in institutions, primarily the Catholic Church. She won the Graham Perkin Award for Australian Journalist of the Year in 2012, the Kennedy Award for NSW Journalist of the Year in 2013, the Sir Owen Dixon Chambers Law Reporting of the Year Award in 2013 and four prestigious Walkley Awards in as many years, including the Gold Walkley in 2013. Her relentless campaign journalism has been credited with helping establish the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and helping to trigger a Senate inquiry into the catastrophic effects of pelvic mesh surgery. Joanne, an arts degree graduate, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Newcastle in 2015. A year later she won a team Walkley Award, in the category of community and regional affairs, for the Newcastle Herald’s coverage of the Williamtown RAAF Base contamination scandal. Joanne has three adult sons, a dog and a cat. She enjoys long-distance running, reading, bushwalking and travelling … and hates cooking.