Aaron Kearney

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Aaron Kearney and wife Karen Shrosbery being interviewed at New York Radio Awards
Aaron Kearney
Born 3 July 1971 (1971-07-03) (age 46)
Nationality Australian
Occupation Broadcaster, journalist, sports commentator
Home town Woodville, NSW

Aaron Kearney (3 July 1971) is a multi-award winning broadcaster, journalist and sports commentator with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the 44th MEAA Prodi Journalist of the Year.[1]

He is a Walkley Award[2] and four-time New York Festival World Radio Award winner,[3][4][5][6] Kennedy Award finalist[7] and is one of the few Australians to win awards for his work for television, radio and newspapers, magazines and online.

Featured in the Australian edition of Who's Who,[8] and described by comedian Mikey Robins as "the greatest broadcaster you've never heard of,"[9] he is the host of 1233 ABC Newcastle Breakfast Show,[10] which features the Story Box - a popular blind interview segment.[11]

He is a regular contributor to several programs on the BBC World Service[12] and Radio Australia.[13]

He is an A-League Soccer/Football Commentator,[14] occasional host of the A-League Lounge podcast,[15] has called the W-League for ABC TV[16] and is a freelance writer.

He has covered some of the world major sports events from the Olympics, to the FIFA and Rugby League World Cups and AFC Champions Leagueand is the creator of a Sports Commentary training course used by broadcasters in Papua New Guinea and the Tiwi Islands.[17]

Early years[edit]

Born in Newcastle, Kearney is the son of journalist Malcolm Kearney and Pennie Kearney, a former schoolteacher and now Chief Executive of welfare organisation Mai-Wel.[18]

Kearney's family moved to Woodville, near Maitland when he was five years old. He has three younger sisters, Karlie, Salena and Amber.

Kearney was school captain of St Peter's High School and earlier attended Maitland Marist Brothers and St John's Primary School.

He studied Communications at the University of Newcastle, Australia and holds a Masters Degree and Graduate Certificate in Communications from Griffith University, Australia.[19][20]


Kearney began his career as a cadet journalist for Fairfax Media in 1990 and was the Chief Writer and co- Editor of the Hunter Valley Weekend newspaper [21] before joining Prime Television’s fledgling Hunter news service in 1993, working as a police a political reporter before becoming the Sports presenter.

An all around sports-lover, Kearney has had the opportunity to cover a range of sports across Australian media. In the year 2000, Kearney was the Chief Reporter for Prime’s Olympic Team at the Sydney Olympics, and Sports Presenter and Sports Editor for Prime Television from 1994 to 2001.[22]

He was also Master of Ceremonies for the arrival of the Olympic Torch in the Hunter [22] in front of an estimated crowd of 50,000.

He has previously presented and produced Pirate TV,[23] a television show about the now-defunct Hunter Pirates basketball club, and provided radio commentary for National Basketball League games.

Kearney hosted a popular sports/talk drive time program on 2HD from 2001–2003, and was a sports correspondent for Austereo Stations KOFM and NXFM in the early 2000s.

His works as a documentary producer and presenter include ‘Inner Mongolia’[24] - a one-hour documentary tracing a four-wheel drive expedition from the far south to the northern-most regions of Asia, ‘Hunter Holidays’ - a Getaway style program that was co-hosted with well-known Australian presenter Penny Cook, ‘Knight Fever’ [25] – a one-hour documentary tracing the Newcastle Knights historic win in the 1997 Australian Rugby League Grand Final, and ‘Cape Town to Cairo – The Ultimate African Safari.’ [26]

The ‘Cape Town to Cairo' Series consisted of four one-hour documentaries following a four-wheel drive expedition the length of Africa from the Cape of Good Hope to the Mediterranean Sea. The death-defying six weeks of filming risked Kearney and his teams’ lives under extreme circumstances, dealing with everything from wildlife to rebel gangs of militia.

Kearney joined the ABC in 2005, initially presenting 1233 ABC Newcastle’s Drive radio program and moving on to present the Breakfast program in 2007. In 2011, the program returned its best ratings in 30 years,[27] beating the main talk rival for the first time.

Since 2005, Kearney has been a sports commentator for the ABC,[28] having called a range of major sports from the Asian Cup of football (soccer) and FIFA World Cup, to the Rugby League World Cup and National Rugby League. This commentary work was recognised by ABC Radio with an Outstanding Contribution to Sport Award in 2006.[14]

In 2010, Kearney was awarded almost $70,000 in damages after he was defamed by Craig Stephens and radio station 2HD, when a talkback call from Stephens was broadcast by the station.[29]

In July 2011, he was awarded a Gold Medal at the World Radio Awards in New York City for ‘Andrew’s Story, a documentary on a young paraplegic man from the Hunter. During his time on 1233’s Breakfast program, Kearney has been nominated for 30 major media awards, has won a Walkley Award for Best Use of Media,[2] and was nominated for a Best Radio Reporting Walkley for work covering devastating storms that hit eastern Australia in June, 2007.

1233's Breakfast Story Box interview segment was named the Best Two-Way Telephone Talk Interview Show at the 2013 New York Festival Radio Awards. Kearney handed a telephone to a listener in May 2012 and it has been passed from one person to another each day ever since. Each recipient is interview by Kearney live on his show.[30]

In early 2016, Kearney transferred from ABC Newcastle to ABC International.[31]

Kearney is also a freelance writer, with his work appearing in Fairfax Media, football website The Roar[32] and ABC’s The Drum.[33] This freelance work was recognised when he was awarded the MEAA Prodi for Best Print Feature Writing 2011[34] for an ANZAC feature carried by the Fairfax press and the MEAA Prodi Best Specialist Journalist.

The judges said: "Aaron Kearney is a deserving winner of this award: he has demonstrated considerable talent, extending across media with apparent fearlessness and aptitude. [He] writes with style and verve, shares an intrinsic sense of sentiment and nuance, and challenges modern ideology."[35]

Kearney’s 2011 piece "Apocalyptic Hyperbole Leave Journalism Speechless"[33] is a widely cited in journalistic and academic circles.[36][37]

Additionally, as a freelance reporter, his work has been carried by SkyNews Australia, C7 Sports Network, TV3 New Zealand, the BBC and NBC America.

Kearney worked alongside Matildas goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri as play-by-play commentator of ABC TV's W-League coverage in late 2012, while regular commentator Peter Wilkins was calling Champions League Hockey. Kearney is the creator of a Sports Commentary Training Course that has been adopted by the Papua New Guinea National Broadcasting Corporation and by indigenous broadcasters in the Tiwi Islands.[17] An article on his course was featured in the June 2013 edition of industry journal, Walkley Magazine.

Kearney was a finalist for Travel Writer of the Year at the Kennedy Awards for "Kicking Tiwi Goals", written for Fairfax.[7]

He released a CD, Kokoda – Steps to Healing, after completing the Kokoda Track in 2008.[38]

Personal life[edit]

He has two daughters and is married to ABC and former BBC journalist Karen "Kip" Shrosbery.[39]


  • Bronze Medal - New York Festival Radio Awards 2017 for "World's Best Radio Programs" - Best Sports Coverage[5]
  • Australian Sports Commission Media Awards - Finalist - Best Coverage of a Sport by an Individual[40]
  • Silver Medal - New York Festival Radio Awards 2015 for "World's Best Radio Programs" - Social Issues[4]
  • Kennedy Awards – Travel Writer of the Year 2013 - Finalist[7]
  • Silver Medal - New York Festival Radio Awards 2013 for "World's Best Radio Programs" - Best Two-WayTelephone Talk Interview Show [41]
  • Gold Medal – New York Festival Radio Awards 2011 for "World’s Best Radio Programs".[3]
  • Walkley Award – Best Use of Media – 52nd Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism [2]
  • MEAA Prodi Journalist of the Year 2011 [1]
  • MEAA Prodi Best Print Feature Writing 2011 [1]
  • MEAA Prodi Best Specialist Journalist 2011 [1]
  • MEAA Prodi Best Radio Journalist 2011 [1]
  • MEAA Prodi Best Radio Current Affairs Special 2011 [1]
  • ABC Radio Best Use of Medium Finalist 2011 [1]
  • Commonwealth Government Sports Achievement Award – 1233 Challenge Cup - 2011 [42]
  • Yooralla Media Award – Best Radio Documentary – 2011 [43]
  • Two-time winner Australian Sports Commission Media Award for football coverage/commentary – 2007 and 2009 [44]
  • ABC Radio 2010 Broadcaster of the Year Finalist
  • Walkley Award Nominee - Radio News Reporting – 52nd Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism- for coverage of June Long weekend Storms [2]
  • ABC Radio Award – Outstanding Contribution to Sport -2006
  • 2009 MEAA Prodi Awards – 2009 Radio Journalist of the Year [45]
  • 2009 MEAA Prodi Awards - Radio Current Affairs Special of the Year [45]
  • Paul Bodington Award for Outstanding Radio Feature/Package 2009 [46]
  • 2009 Voiceless Media Awards – Finalist
  • ABC Radio – Program of the Year Finalist - 2008
  • OPSO Media Award – Inter-Generational Journalism- 2008 [47]
  • ABC Radio Award – Best New Talent finalist - 2006
  • Key contributor to ABC Radio Metropolitan Station of the Year Award won by 1233.
  • Australian Deaf Association Clear Speech Award – First Sports Presenter to win the award in 30 years – previously won by the likes of Trish Goddard and Ross Symonds
  • Australian Lawn Bowls Reporter of the Year
  • Speedway Journalist of the Year
  • Australian Journalists’ Association Highly Commended Sports Feature of the Year
  • Australian Journalists’ Association Prodi Sports Feature Writer of the Year
  • Australian Journalists’ Association PF Adams Prize for Cadet Journalist of the Year


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Home - NSW Regional Media Awards". prodis.alliance.org.au. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d "ABC Newcastle nominated for two prestigious Walkley awards". www.abc.net.au. 18 October 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "It's gold, gold, gold for ABC Newcastle!". www.abc.net.au. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "New York Festivals - 2015 World's Best Radio Programs™ Winners". www.newyorkfestivals.com. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  5. ^ a b "New York Festivals - 2017 World's Best Radio Programs™ Winners". www.newyorkfestivals.com. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  6. ^ "New York Festivals - 2013 World's Best Radio Programs™ Winners". www.newyorkfestivals.com. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  7. ^ a b c http://kennedyawards.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/KENNEDY-AWARDS-MEDIA-RELEASE.docx
  8. ^ http://www.crowncontent.com.au/whos-who-in-australia.html
  9. ^ Robins, Mikey (25 April 2013). "Hanging out with @aaronkearneyaus the best broadcaster you've never heard of unless you live in Newie where he's a god! ps girlfriend hot". twitter.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  10. ^ "Features - ABC Newcastle NSW". www.abc.net.au. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  11. ^ http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/worldsbestradio/2013/pieces.php?iid=453550&pid=1 plus https://soundcloud.com/tags/story%20box
  12. ^ "Searching for swimmers in the South Pacific, Sportshour - BBC World Service". BBC. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  13. ^ "Vanuatu’s colourful cricket revolution". m.radioaustralia.net.au. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  14. ^ a b "Aaron Kearney - ABC Newcastle NSW - Australian Broadcasting Corporation". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  15. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/a-league-lounge/id588589848[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Kearney, Aaron (7 November 2012). "Excited to confirm I will be having a stint calling @wleague for ABC TV during Nov/Dec. Covering for the legendary @wilkosport #bigshoes". twitter.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  17. ^ a b KEARNEY, AARON (29 March 2013). "AUDIO: Kicking Tiwi goals: sport in the tropical north". theherald.com.au. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  19. ^ http://au.linkedin.com/pub/aaron-kearney/67/727/287[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/online-verification/index.php
  21. ^ "State Library of New South Wales /Catalogue". library.sl.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  22. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  23. ^ "Aaron Kearney - ABC Upper Hunter NSW - Australian Broadcasting Corporation". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  24. ^ http://www.blackmagicmedia.com.au/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=45&category_id=16&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=199
  25. ^ "Knight fever". 10 July 1997. Retrieved 10 July 2017 – via Open WorldCat. 
  26. ^ "Ultimate African Safari - Capetown to Cairo". www.blackmagicmedia.com.au. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  27. ^ "What People Watch, What People Buy - Nielsen" (PDF). au.nielsen.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  29. ^ Page, Donna (30 June 2017). "The price of talkback". theherald.com.au. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  30. ^ "The 1233 Story Box - Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  31. ^ "Meet The Media: Aaron Kearney at The Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Beyond PR: Asia". en.prnasia.com. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  32. ^ "Aaron Kearney - The Roar". The Roar. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  33. ^ a b "Apocalyptic hyperbole leaves journalism speechless". abc.net.au. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  34. ^ Magnus, Anna. "Winners and Finalists 2011 - Presentation - Event". prodis.alliance.org.au. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  35. ^ http://www.alliance.org.au/winners-of-the-44th-northern-nsw-journalism-awards-announced
  36. ^ "Murdoch International Students". fr-fr.facebook.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  37. ^ "i-Apocalypse! 2012?". wordpress.com. 23 April 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  38. ^ Kearney, Aaron; Quality, Camp (10 July 2017). "Kokoda : steps to healing : The Camp Quality challenge". Retrieved 10 July 2017 – via Trove. 
  39. ^ "Kip and i are delighted to welcome to the world edith grace kearney. mum and baby doing superbly. - scoopnest.com". Scoopnest. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  40. ^ Commission, Australian Sports Commission; jurisdiction=Commonwealth of Australia; corporateName=Australian Sports. "Finalists announced for 2016 ASC Media Awards". www.ausport.gov.au. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  41. ^ "New York Festivals - 2013 World's Best Radio Programs™ Winners". www.newyorkfestivals.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  42. ^ "Northern NSW Football". northernnswfootball.com.au. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  43. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  44. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  45. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  46. ^ http://blogs.abc.net.au/nsw/2009/05/abc-newcastle-w.html?site=sydney&program=newcastle_station_announcements
  47. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 October 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-18.