Estelle Blackburn is a Walkley Award-winning journalist who spent six years researching and writing the book Broken Lives, published in 1998.
Estelle’s self-funded work exposed an injustice which led to the 2002 and 2005 exonerations of two men convicted of Perth killings in the ’60s – the longest-standing convictions to be overturned in Australia. Her unfunded, determined sleuthing unearthed fresh evidence that prompted the Attorney General to allow the men new appeals after they had lost a combined total of seven Appeals in the ’60s.
Coming across the story by chance and persisting with it has turned Estelle’s life around. From a journalism career with The West Australian, the ABC and the Government Media Office, Estelle has become a crusader for justice.
Estelle’s latest book The End of Innocence tells her story of the years of research and writing Broken Lives, and was launched at the Sydney Writers Festival in 2007.
Her work for justice has won Estelle an array of awards including an Order of Australia Medal in the Queens Birthday Honours List, for community service through investigative journalism, a Churchill Fellowship, the prestigious national Walkley Award for the greatest contribution to the profession, and the Perth Press Club Award for sustained excellence in journalism.
Estelle has been included in the 25 Most Outstanding Western Australians, and won Western Australia’s Woman of the Year. She has been the subject of three one-hour episodes of the ABC’s Australian Story televised in 1998, 2002 and 2007, a 60 Minutes segment and an episode on the US Forensic Files program titled ‘Dueling Confessions’.