Sarah Ferguson presented the 2015 A.N. Smith lecture in journalism

When The Killing Season aired on ABC TV this year Prime Minister Tony Abbott lifted his arms to the press gallery and declared “Thank you to the ABC”.

Sarah Ferguson

This was the ABC’s fourth landmark TV series on political leadership but will there be another? Will our current and future leaders feel the same obligation of history? Or will future leaders no longer trust their legacy to a media they don’t control?

While governments - and major institutions - find new ways to limit transparency, the media industry itself is equally culpable, trading away its freedom to investigate for short term access. There is a war on transparency underway and the media is colluding with the wrong side.

Walkley Award winning journalist Sarah Ferguson, whose documentary series on the Rudd/Gillard years The Killing Season made waves earlier this year, will present the 2015 A.N. Smith lecture in journalism. Registrations are essential.

About the Speaker

In 2015, Sarah wrote and presented ABC TV's acclaimed documentary series on the Rudd/Gillard years The Killing Season. She is currently working on a new documentary series on domestic violence, to screen later this year.

She began her career in the newspapers in the UK when the Independent was a bold new venture. Moving to Paris, Sarah joined the cash economy as a fixer for quite pretentious British arts programs being made in France. A brief interlude with current affairs TV changed everything. The arts producers said she would hate current affairs because people involved in current affairs notoriously had no manners. It was in fact a perfect match.

Sarah worked in Europe for British and French broadcasters before moving to Washington DC. In Australia she worked for SBS on the Dateline and Insight programs and then spent four years at Channel 9, working on the Sunday program.

A school essay 'What I want to be when I grow up' revealed two ambitions: to be a commando and a librarian in the British House of Commons. It was a prescient description of life as a 4 Corners reporter.

While at 4 Corners Sarah won a number of awards including three Walkleys and the Gold Walkley in 2011 for 'A Bloody Business', four Logies for Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report in 2010 - 2013, the Melbourne Press Club Gold Quill in 2013 as well as the George Munster award and the Queensland Premier's Literary Award. These were for a series of reports on people smuggling, live exports and the culture of rugby league.

She is at her happiest pursuing the rough and recalcitrant down dark alleyways, but in 2014 she spent some time indoors presenting the ABC's 7.30 program.

Enquire via email