Manypeaks-raised reporter Lucy Murray to explore Pacific deep-sea mining with Sean Dorney grant
Manypeaks-raised journalist Lucy Murray will strive to bring the issue of Pacific deep-sea mining to the surface after receiving a prestigious grant from the Walkley Foundation.
A cross-platform reporter with SBS, Ms Murray was recognised at the Walkley Foundation’s 2022 Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism in Sydney on June 15.
The 28-year-old received the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism after a successful pitch about a series on the effects of deep sea mining in the Pacific Ocean.
Dorney is a revered Australian journalist who dedicated most of his 40-year career to covering the Pacific region.
His decorated career was capped with a Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism in 2018 and his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2020.
The grant gives an Australian journalist up to $10,000 to produce a significant work that will give voice to Pacific island perspectives on an under-reported issue or development of importance to Australia.
Ms Murray will now get to work on a series of stories prompted by Pacific nations issuing exploration licences for the sea floor, where they will look for rare metals such as cobalt, nickel and manganese in demand for the electric vehicle industry.
Her work will also investigate the potential environmental impacts of deep-sea mining in the Pacific.
Ms Murray said she was delighted to receive the grant but the hard work has just begun.
“The idea centres on deep-sea mining, mainly around the Cook Islands,” Ms Murray said.
“Hopefully it will involve two weeks in the Cook Islands plus a lot of research and preparation time to try and line everything up while I’m there.
“The funding is for 12 months so you have a year to put it together.
“It’s a huge honour but the scary thing is I’ve got a lot of work ahead.”
Ms Murray’s journalism career started with Channel 9 before her first full-time role with the ABC in outback Queensland.
From there she moved to Mt Isa, the Gold Coast and then Brisbane before accepting a role with SBS in Sydney in December 2019.
Her main focus is TV news and the SBS world news bulletin, but she has been increasingly interested in the Pacific region.
Ms Murray grew up on her family farm in Green Range, attending Manypeaks Primary School then Great Southern Grammar.
She obtained degrees in politics and media and communications at UWA and a diploma in broadcast journalism from Edith Cowan University.
“Growing up in Albany definitely grounds you,” she said.
“A lot of what we do is talking to people to make them feel comfortable to speak about things that may not be comfortable.
“My upbringing in Albany has helped my ability to do that.
“The schools I went to, especially Manypeaks, put you up on a stage at assemblies or class readings and you are pushed into public speaking at a very young age.”
Ms Murray said she had a passion for her industry and being able to share the stories of the world.
“I enjoy the fast-paced workplace that being a journalist puts you in,” she said.
“Going to work and not knowing what story you will cover each day, they are always interesting and always very different.
“Journalism is always the first draft of history and a job that puts you on the frontline of history as an eye witness for events.
“It’s very rewarding.”
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