Sean Dorney honoured in Australia’s Queen’s Birthday Awards


PNG’s most respected Australian journalist Sean Dorney, as part of Australia’s 2020 Queens Birthday Honours has been named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to Australia-Papua New Guinea relations, to the broadcast media as a journalist, and as an author”.

Dorney, an Australian journalist, foreign correspondent, and writer with an extensive career covering the Pacific and PNG for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for over 4 decades, was among 50 other Australians receiving the AO in this year’s honours list.

A non-resident Fellow of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Dorney is married to Pauline Dorney, a retired radio journalist from Manus Island.

As a distinguished author, Dorney has published the following books:

  • Papua New Guinea: People, Politics and History since 1975 (1990)
  • The Sandline Affair: Politics and Mercenaries and the Bougainville Crisis (1998)
  • The Embarrassed Colonialist (2016)

Here are other significant awards Dorney has received through his career:

  • Dorney was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1990 by the Papua New Guinean Government for his reporting on the Sandline affair.
  • He won a Walkley Award for his coverage of the Aitape tsunami in 1998.
  • Also in 1998, the Pacific Islands News Association awarded Dorney Pacific Media Freedom Award.
  • The Australian Government recognised Dorney as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2000 for “For service to journalism as a foreign correspondent”.
  • The Australian Council for International Development awarded Dorney their inaugural Media Award in October 2012.
  • In 2018 he was awarded a Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism.
  • Dorney was recognised as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs in November 2018.
  • In 2019, the Government of Papua New Guinea recognised Dorney as a Companion of the Star of Melanesia.

Dorney was also a member of the PNG Kumuls Rugby League Team in 1975 and 1976 including serving as its captain in his last game in 1976.

PNG congratulates you Sean.

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