Narrogin Senior High School alumna Caitlyn Rintoul has received one of Australian journalism’s highest honours — a Walkley Award — for her series of ground-breaking reports unearthing the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in WA’s mining industry. A reporter for The West Australian newspaper, Ms Rintoul won the business journalism category at the 2022 Walkleys for her series of exclusive stories uncovering rape allegations and sexual harassment claims made by female fly-in, fly-out workers at some of WA’s biggest mines. The stories led to companies admitting an alarming number of sexual assaults and harassment in the resources sector, triggering a landmark WA parliamentary inquiry. Her work prompted more victims to come forward, while forcing an unprecedented apology from executives and significant commitments to overhaul workplace behaviour. At the Walkley Awards ceremony in Sydney on February 25, the judges praised her tenacity in taking on the country’s biggest companies. Ms Rintoul was born in Albany and raised in Newdegate where she attended Newdegate Primary School. She attended NSHS, boarding at the residential college, where she had a stronger focus on playing sport than writing after being named Sportswoman of the Year four times. “Sport is often the centre of the universe for regional communities, it helps develop interpersonal skills, communication, cooperation and build new relationships,” Ms Rintoul said. “My time involved in country sport especially helped me see how common goals can bind people together. “Playing and coaching teams, I learnt that despite your differences, you all have to work together.” Ms Rintoul said she always had an interest in the news but it was not until the end of high school that she considered studying journalism. “I was always a big news consumer, I just didn’t really switch on that it could be a career,” she said. “My dad would always have the radio playing in his farm ute out on the paddock and when we would get home he’d flick straight to the news. “My dad’s a lifelong learner, he’s always reading, listening and watching what’s going on in the world beyond our farm gate. “I suppose I’ve mirrored that because I was also fascinated by issues and events around the world.” After some encouragement from her English teacher, Ms Rintoul undertook a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public relations which included a semester abroad at Thompson Rivers University in Canada. She chased stories in Esperance and Mandurah before moving to Perth to work for The West Australian, covering business, crime, courts, politics and human interest stories. She is also the chief of staff for The Sunday Times. “Being a journalist is a great honour and a career I would recommend to anyone,” Ms Rintoul said. “It’s incredibly important that rural and regional Australia is represented within the industry and that stories from the bush are told and not forgotten. “If you’re an aspiring journalist in the Wheatbelt, it may sound cliche, but life is too short to deny yourself the opportunity to do something you love because it’s an incredibly rewarding career.” Ms Rintoul’s Walkley win came after her award for best print news coverage at last year’s WA Media Awards.