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Sean Dorney

ABC/Australia Network Pacific Correspondent
Sean Dorney

Sean Dorney has been covering news and developments in the Pacific Islands region for 38 years and is currently the ABC/Australia Network Pacific Correspondent.

In 1979 the ABC appointed Sean to be its PNG Correspondent, a job he did for five years until being deported in 1984 following a dispute between the ABC and the then Somare Government. Six years later, the Foreign Minister who ordered his deportation, Rabbie Namaliu, was Prime Minister and he awarded Sean an MBE – giving Sean the rare distinction of having been both deported from and honoured by the country he has spent much of his career covering.

After 18 months in Darwin Sean rejoined the ABC and was posted back to Port Moresby, serving for another 12 years as the ABC’s PNG Correspondent. After serving for many years in this role, Sean relocated to Brisbane to become the ABC/Radio Australia Pacific Correspondent until 2006, when he took on his current role.

Sean has written two books - Papua New Guinea: People, Politics and History since 1975 (Random House, Australia, 1990); and The Sandline Affair – Politics and Mercenaries and the Bougainville Crisis (ABC Books 1998). In 2000 his two hour television documentary series, Paradise Imperfect, was aired.

Sean won a Walkley Award in 1998 for his coverage of the Aitape Tsunami disaster and in the same year the Pacific Islands News Association honoured him with PINA’s Pacific Media Freedom Award. In 1999, the Queensland Branch of the Media Arts and Etertainment Alliance (MEAA) honoured Sean with its “Most Outstanding Contribution of Journalism Award”. The Australian Government made Sean a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2000 in recognition of his service to Australia as a foreign correspondent. And in October 2012 the Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) awarded Sean its inaugural Media Award for his career long coverage of development issues in PNG and the Pacific.

At Easter in 2009, Sean was on a reporting assignment in Fiji when Commodore Bainimarama’s military regime deported him.

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