02 March 2022
Sport Australia has presented legendary sports journalist Mike Sheahan with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th annual Sport Australia Media Awards.
Sheahan is one of Australian Rules Football’s most respected and influential journalists having dedicated 40 years of his career to the game.
He spent 20 years as chief football writer for The Herald Sun and won dozens of major Australian football media awards across all categories - news breaking, features and columns.
In latter years, Sheahan transitioned into a successful radio and television personality and finished his illustrious media career in 2020 after a 19-year stint at Fox Footy.
Sheahan said he was honoured to receive the award describing it as a “significant acknowledgement of the game I love.”
“Journalism gave me opportunities to meet people and go to places I would have never dreamt of, and I consider myself extremely lucky.
Speaking in front of 200 people at Doltone House in Sydney, Sheahan reflected on what he considered his greatest accomplishment in journalism.
“My proudest achievement is shining the light on concussion and waging an unofficial campaign in newspapers and on television for 20 years.”
Among his fondest career moments, he lists those spent on the set of Fox Footy’s Open Mike program which ran for 11 years and 230 episodes.
“I loved that program and the gems it would uncover.”
Sheahan is a member of the Life Member of the AFL and the media centre at AFL House in Melbourne is also named after him.
Australian Sports Commission Chair Josephine Sukkar AM congratulated Mr Sheahan on receiving the Lifetime Achievement award.
“Mike’s greatest asset has always been his unrivalled passion for the game and the role he’s played in sports media in Australia across five decades is testament to this.
“From starting his career as a 16-year-old working at the Werribee Banner while still playing the game on weekends to becoming known for his fiercely debated Top 50 player rankings, Mike has left an indelible mark on the sport.”
“I’d like to congratulate Mike and all of the winners and finalists as we celebrate 20 years of the Sport Australia Media Awards.”
Sport Australia has again awarded 14 trophies with joint winners for the Best reporting of an issue in sport category. It is the second year that joint winners have been announced at the awards which recognise the best in Australian sports media.
2021 media awards winners
See details of all the 2021 Sport Australia Media Awards finalists
- Best sport coverage by an individual – audio
Neroli Meadows, Ordineroli Speaking
- Best sport coverage by an individual – written
Phil Lutton, The Sydney Morning Herald
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Emma Kemp, Guardian Australia
- Best sport coverage by an individual – video
David Culbert, Seven Network
- Best sport profile – broadcast
Australian Story, Luc Longley: One Giant Leap, ABC TV
- Best sport profile – written
Konrad Marshall, Patty Mills: All the right moves, Good Weekend
- Best coverage of a sporting event
Seven Network,Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
- Best Sports Photography
Jay Town, Eye on the ball, Tennis Australia
- Innovation in sports media
Optus Sport, Social Media Innovation, UEFA EURO 2020
- Best coverage of sport for people with disability
Tom Decent, The power of the Paralympics, Sydney Morning Herald / The Age
- Best coverage of a community sport issue - rural & regional media
Donna Page, Newcastle cricket's turf war, Newcastle Herald
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Kristy Williams, Parkes Champion Post ‘You cannot be what you cannot see’
- Best depiction of inclusive sport
Peter Dickson, The Ripple Effect, Dickson Films
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Bowls Australia, ‘The Bowls Show’ & ‘The Right Line podcast and website’
- Best reporting of an issue in sport
Selina Steele, Michael Cain, Julian Linden Tackling abuse in football, The Daily Telegraph
Adrian Arciuli, Anna Henderson, Abdullah Alikhil, The Taliban Takeover, SBS