Wendy Bacon

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Wendy Bacon
Born 1946 (age 70–71)
Occupation Journalist, academic
Nationality Australian
Alma mater University of Melbourne (BA)

Professor Wendy Bacon (born 1946) is an Australian academic and investigative journalist who now heads the Journalism Program at the University of Technology, Sydney. She was awarded Australian journalism's highest prize, a Walkley Award in 1984 for her articles about police corruption in New South Wales.

Bacon is the daughter of a doctor and the sister of the former Premier of Tasmania, Jim Bacon. Educated at the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne, she attended the University of Melbourne in the mid-1960s where she was active in the anti-Vietnam War campaigning.

Early life and education[edit]

In the late 1960s, Bacon attended the University of New South Wales, where she edited the student newspaper Tharunka. She was also part of a group that distributed a publication called The Little Red Schoolbook which had explicit information about sex.[1]

When she was 23, Bacon was convicted for exhibiting an obscene publication and jailed at Mulawah Women's Prison for eight days. Her brief experience in prison led her to later co-found the support group, Women Behind Bars, in Sydney and also exposed her to incidents of police corruption.[2]


Bacon wrote a series of articles in the National Times newspaper on the attempted bribe and murder of Detective Michael Drury in the 1980s and this story formed the basis of the award-winning ABC television mini-series, Blue Murder.[3]

Bacon has worked in both print and television, working for the Nine Network on the Sunday program and 60 Minutes, The National Times and The Sun-Herald, and Dateline on the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

Bacon enrolled in graduate law school in 1977.[4] Upon graduation in 1979 she applied to join the New South Wales Bar Association,[4] but was rejected on character grounds as an unsuitable person. In his judgment, Justice Reynolds stated that the decision was "a question of whether a person who aspires to serve the law can be said to be fit to do so when it is demonstrated that in the zealous pursuit of political goals she will break the law if she regards it as impeding the success of her cause".

Subsequent to this she became a journalist and, during the mid-1980s, was involved in reporting the case of High Court judge Lionel Murphy. Murphy, who was alleged by some to have connections to organised crime,[5] was charged with perverting the course of justice, and convicted, but was acquitted after two appeals. Bacon received a Walkley award in 1984 for her exposure of official corruption in New South Wales.[6]

From 1991 to August 2012 Bacon was an academic at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she taught journalism at the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ).[7] She continues to write as a freelance investigative journalist, with a series of articles about one police officer's corrupt framing of his ex-wife eventually leading to the overturn of a miscarriage of justice.[8] Bacon also runs courses in freedom of information law for Fairfax Media.[9]


  1. ^ James Franklin. "Corrupting the Youth: A History of Australian Philosophy". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  2. ^ Sorensen, Tracy. "Wendy Bacon: 'a more repressive mood'". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  3. ^ "Trove Biography". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  4. ^ a b Wendy Bacon (2003-11-22). "I Fought the Law..". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2011-05-30. 
  5. ^ Whitton, Evan. "Can of Worms II". Networked Knowledge. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  6. ^ "Miles Ago". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  7. ^ Wild, Natalie (August 2012). "Farewell for Wendy Bacon". cfsites1.uts.edu.au. Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, University of Technology, Sydney. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  8. ^ Bacon, Wendy (2010-07-24). "Roseanne Catt ordered to pay former husband". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  9. ^ "About ACIJ/Staff". Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ). Archived from the original on 12 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 

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