Winners of the 49th annual Australian Writers’ Guild awards announced; ABC Thriller The Code makes history

ABC Cyber-thriller, The Code, steals the show at the 49th annual Australian Writers’ Guild Awards, becoming the only series in history to take home two Major Awards for both its seasons. More than twenty-five Australians were honoured at this year’s award show, which was hosted by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow.

Leading Australian screenwriter, Shelley Birse, took home this year’s top award for writing for the ABC’s cyber thriller, The Code, the show made history having won the same award for season one in 2014. The Code also one this year’s AWGIE award for Television: Miniseries – original category.

Among the nights award winners were, Andrew Knight and Osamah Sami (Ali’s Wedding) for most outstanding script for and original feature film, Shaun Grand and Craig Silvery (Jasper Jones) AWGIE Award for most outstanding script for a feature film, and Blake Ayshford and Belinda Chayko (Barracuda) for television miniseries – adaption category.

“With the advent of streaming services such as Netflix and Stan revolutionising the way we all consume screen content, there is an undeniable buzz and energy around our film and TV industries in particular,” said President of the Australian Writers’ Guild Jan Sardi.

“This heralds exciting times ahead for not only Australian writers for performance, but for the millions of viewers hungry for top-notch content on their screens and stages.”

The Australian Writers’ Guild award presented writer and comedian Barry Humphries with the 2016 Fred Parsons Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Comedy, Angus Cerini with the $60,000 David Williamson Prize for excellence in writing for Australian theatre for The Bleeding Tree, and honoured Craig Pearce with the Australian Writers’ Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.

More than 440 entries were entered into the 49th annual Australian Writers’ Guild awards. See the full list of winners below:

  • TELEMOVIE – ORIGINAL: Mary: The Making of a Princess – Samantha Strauss
  • TELEVISION: MINISERIES – ADAPTATION : Barracuda – Blake Ayshford and Belinda Chayko
  • TELEVISION: MINISERIES – ORIGINAL: The Code: Season 2 Shelley Birse
  • TELEVISION – SERIES: Rake: Season 4, Episode 407 Andrew Knight
  • TELEVISION – SERIAL: Neighbours: Episode 7202 Jason Herbison
  • COMEDY – SKETCH OR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT :The Weekly with Charlie Pickering: ‘Halal Certification’ and ‘Stadium Naming Rights’ Gerard McCulloch with Charlie Pickering
  • COMEDY – SITUATION OR NARRATIVE : Please Like Me: Season 3, ‘Pancakes with Faces’ Josh Thomas and Liz Doran
  • FEATURE FILM – ORIGINAL : Ali’s Wedding – Andrew Knight & Osamah Sami
  • FEATURE FILM – ADAPTATION : Jasper Jones – Shaun Grant & Craig Silvey
  • SHORT FORM: Slingshot – David Hansen
  • RADIO – ORIGINAL : Happy Monday – Richie Black
  • RADIO – ADAPTATION: Spirit – Donna Abela
  • INTERACTIVE MEDIA: The Forgotten City – Nick Pearce
  • ANIMATION: Beat Bugs: ‘Yellow Submarine’ Josh Wakely
  • DOCUMENTARY – PUBLIC BROADCAST OR EXHIBITION: Baxter and Me – Gillian Leahy, The Silences – Margot Nash
  • DOCUMENTARY – CORPORATE & TRAINING: Seven Women Nepal – The Birth of a Social Enterprise – Gaby Purchase and Claire Stone
  • COMMUNITY AND YOUTH THEATRE: A Kid Like Me – Sally Hardy with Alirio Zavarce
  • CHILDREN’S THEATRE: Reasons to Stay Inside – Katy Warner The Red Balloon – Hilary Bell
  • MUSIC THEATRE: The Rabbits – Lally Katz
  • CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – P CLASSIFICATION: Sydney Sailboat: ‘Trash and Treasure’ Rachel Spratt
  • CHILDREN’S TELEVISION – C CLASSIFICATION : Ready for This: ‘The Birthday Party’ Leah Purcell
  • MAJOR AWARD: The Code: Season 2 – Shelley Birse, The Bleeding Tree – Angus Cerini


  • DAVID WILLIAMSON PRIZE Given in Celebration and Recognition of Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre The Bleeding Tree – Angus Cerini
  • RICHARD LANE AWARD For Outstanding Service and Dedication to the Australian Writers’ Guild Karin Altmann
  • DOROTHY CRAWFORD AWARD For Outstanding Contribution to the Profession John Romeril
  • FRED PARSONS AWARD For Outstanding Contribution to Australian Comedy Barry Humphries
  • HECTOR CRAWFORD AWARD For Outstanding Contribution to the Craft as a Script Producer, Editor or Dramaturge Marcia Gardner
  • UNPRODUCED AWARDS MONTE MILLER AWARD – LONG FORM Mary, Mary – Penelope Chai & Adam Spellicy
  • MONTE MILLER AWARD SHORT FORM It Will Peck You – Katie Found


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