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Estelle Blackburn  - Motivational Speakers - Walkley Award-winning journalist fighting for justĀ ...

Travels From Western Australia

Estelle Blackburn

Walkley Award-winning journalist fighting for justice

Investigative journalist and author Estelle Blackburn has dedicated her career to rectifying injustices within the Australian justice system. A passionate and courageous campaigner, Estelle demonstrates the power of an individual to alter history and make genuine change in society.

Estelle began her journalism career in Perth, where she worked for organisations like The West Australian, ABC, as well as various Government Ministers (including a Premier) in Western Australia. Driven by the desire to enact change through her own investigative work, Estelle eventually gave up full-time work and spent six years researching and writing for her own project.

Estelle’s debut book ‘BROKEN LIVES’ exposed a horrible injustice that occurred within the 1960’s that led to two wrongful convictions for murder. Estelle recounts the events that transpired in 1960’s Perth: about the serial killer who threatened a safe country town, the eight murders and 14 attempted murders, and the two innocent men who were wrongfully imprisoned for murder. Despite Eric Edgar Cooke’s numerous confessions to committing the murders, both John Button and Darryl Beamish exhausted their legal resources and lost a total of seven appeals in proving their innocence.

Despite having no professional legal training, Estelle’s commitment to justice and uncovering the truth became instrumental in shaping Australia’s contemporary justice system. With a series of trials and tribulations, Estelle discovered fresh evidence that eventually prompted the Attorney General to re-open the case, leading to the 2002 and 2005 exonerations of John Button and Darryl Beamish.

In recognition of her hard work and self-sacrifice, Estelle was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her service to the community through investigative journalism. She was also presented with a Walkley Award for the Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism, the highest honour in journalism. Estelle has also received the Perth Press Club Award, Western Australia’s Clarion Award, the Premier’s Award for Non-Fiction, the Australian Crime Writers’ Award for Best True Crime, as well as a Churchill Fellowship to study international innocence organisations.

Estelle has also been added to the Western Australian Woman’s Hall of Fame, named WA Citizen of the Year in Arts & Entertainment, and the WA Woman of the Year. Her incredible work has been featured on three hour-long episodes of ABC TV’s ‘Australian Story’, as well as on ‘60 Minutes’ and the American program ‘Forensic Files’.

An experienced and highly engaging public speaker, Estelle has given presentations across corporate, government and community sectors since the publication of her best-selling book. Dubbed the Erin Brokovich of Australia, Estelle’s investigative work has all the hallmarks of a gripping detective story that is sure to enthral any audience.


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