Occasional Reporter

Sophie McNeill

Sophie made her first documentary in 2001 at age 15, when she travelled to East Timor to film the country's health crisis.

A member of the Dateline team from 2005 until 2010, and twice winner of a Young Journalist of the Year Award, Sophie reported from countries as varied as Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Thailand and Mexico.

Sophie began making documentaries in 2001... her first film highlighted the crippling health crisis in a recently-liberated East Timor, for which she received Western Australia's Young Person of the Year Award.

In 2003, McNeill's investigation into the death of an asylum seeker who'd been held under Australia's mandatory detention policy won her the MEAA's Student Journalist of the Year Award, Best Newcomer at the West Australian Media Awards and Best Emerging Director at the West Australian Screen Awards.

She was also a New York Film Festival finalist for her 2005 story Shoot the Messenger, which detailed the shooting of an unarmed, wounded Iraqi in a Fallujah mosque by an American soldier.

Sophie's work for Dateline twice earned her a Young Australian TV Journalist of the Year Award, both for her 2007 report from Gaza on the Palestinian civil war, Palestine: Divided It Falls, and her harrowing account from Afghanistan in 2009 of the abuse and discrimination facing women after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan's Shame. She also won the overall Young Journalist of the Year Award for the report from Gaza.

In 2007, she was also nominated for a Walkley award for her camerawork in her story from Lebanon, Sects in the City.

Her reports from 2009 also included a look at the human cost of Pakistan's war against the Taliban, The Battle for Pakistan, and the battle over East Jerusalem, Hot Property.

In 2010, Sophie won a Walkley Award for Questions of Oruzgan, which investigated the deaths of six Afghans, five of them children, at the hands of Australian special forces soldiers.

In her spare time Sophie loves to write, her work appearing in The Independent newspaper, New Matilda website and Yen magazine.