Annika Smethurst (born 1987) is an Australian journalist. She writes for the Herald Sun.

Annika Smethurst
Born1987 (age 32–33)
Alma materMonash University
Annika Smethurst on Twitter

Life and careerEdit

Smethurst graduated from Girton Grammar School in Bendigo, Victoria in 2005.[1] She studied journalism and international studies at Monash University, beginning her degree in 2007 and completing her Honours thesis in journalism in 2010.[2] She spent a semester of her degree at Bishop's University in Quebec, Canada.[1] After graduation, Smethurst started a traineeship with News Corp Australia.[3]

In 2012, while a reporter at the Bendigo Weekly, Smethurst played an important role covering the Jill Meagher missing person case and homicide investigation. Smethurst lived close to Meagher's house at the time and said that covering the story was difficult for her.[4]

In June 2012, Smethurst joined the Herald Sun reporting team.[1] In 2013, Smethurst and her colleagues, James Campbell, Matt Johnston, Michelle Ainsworth and Mitchell Toy, were nominated for a Walkley Award for their investigation into the back-room dealings of the office of the then Victorian premier Ted Baillieu, which exposed secret conversations between the premier's chief of staff and Tristan Weston, an adviser to the deputy premier Peter Ryan.[5]

Smethurst joined the Herald Sun's Canberra team in 2015. In December 2015, she won the 2015 Walkley Award for All Media Scoop of the Year for her investigation of the "Choppergate" expenses scandal involving Bronwyn Bishop's inappropriate use of parliamentary travel entitlements.[6] She also won two Melbourne Press Club Quill Awards for her work on choppergate.[7]

In 2017, Smethurst won her second Walkley Award, also in the Scoop of the Year category, for her story about taxpayer-funded trips to the Gold Coast made by Sussan Ley MP, to buy a flat.[8] Ley was forced to resign as Health Minister as a result of the scandal.[9]

Espionage exclusive and AFP raidEdit

On 4 June 2019, the Australian Federal Police raided Smethurst's home over a story she published in 2018.[10] She had been reporting on "alleged plans to allow greater surveillance of Australian citizens," with agents searching her computer, phone, and home. At the time of the raid, she was the political editor of the Sunday Telegraph of Sydney.[11] In her original report in April 2018, she "revealed top secret emails between Department of Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo and Department of Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty, discussing a plan to allow the cyber spy agency to snoop on Australian citizens." A "tepid" response to the raid, which included going through her cookbooks and underwear, from the prime minister resulted in criticism from the press and organizations such as the Australian Lawyers Alliance.[12] News Corp called it a "dangerous act of intimidation."[13] The AFP confirmed the raid was not only to uncover her source, but to potentially look into Smethurst and News Corp as targets for a criminal charge.[14]


  1. ^ a b c Annika Smethurst (Riley, 2005 alumna), Old Girtonians' Association, 5 November 2012, archived from the original on 14 March 2016
  2. ^ "Monash graduate Annika Smethurst wins Walkley for Bishop's chopper scandal". Monash University. 4 December 2015. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016.
  3. ^ Annika Smethurst, Scoop Of The Year, Herald Sun, "Bronwyn Bishop’s Chopper Scandal", The Walkley Foundation, 2015, archived from the original on 17 March 2016
  4. ^ Radford, Anthony (4 October 2012). "Locals bring Jill Meagher tragedy to us". Bendigo Weekly. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Smethurst and Herald Sun team nominated for Walkley". Monash University. 21 October 2013. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Herald Sun journalist Annika Smethurst wins Walkley Award". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. 3 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Annika wins two Quills for her work on the Choppergate scandal". Monash University. 21 March 2016. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016.
  8. ^ All Media: Scoop of the Year 2017, The Walkley Foundation, 2017, archived from the original on 21 September 2018, retrieved 21 September 2018
  9. ^ Anderson, Stephanie; Belot, Henry (14 January 2017). "Sussan Ley quits as health minister as Malcolm Turnbull flags political expenses reform". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Australian journalist's home raided over spying report". BBC News. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  11. ^ Elfrink, Tim (5 June 2019), ’A bad, sad and dangerous day’: Australian police raid public broadcaster, seize emails and documents, United States: The Washington Post, retrieved 11 July 2019
  12. ^ Molloy, Shannon (5 June 2019), Federal Police rifled through journalist Annika Smethurst’s undies drawer in seven-hour raid, Australia:, retrieved 11 July 2019
  13. ^ Hunter, Fergus (4 June 2019), 'Dangerous act of intimidation': AFP raid home of News Corp journalist, Sydney, Australia: Sydney Morning Herald, retrieved 11 July 2019
  14. ^ Remeikis, Amy (4 June 2019), Police raid on Annika Smethurst shows surveillance exposé hit a nerve, England: The Guardian, retrieved 11 July 2019