The AWGIEs are the Australian Writers Guild’s much respected accolades for excellence in screen, television, stage and radio writing, with this year’s 50th annual ceremony held in Sydney on Friday 25th August. The awards are based solely on the merits of the writer’s original script, as opposed to the final product seen on screen.
The winning script, for which the resulting episode aired in Australia on 22nd September 2016, saw a terrified Olivia Fraser-Richards (Raechelle Banno) kept as a virtual prisoner in her bedroom, at the hands of an online predator watching her every move via webcam.
With Olivia led to believe the perpetrator was Kirk, a man who had sexually abused her back in London, it was later revealed to be a cruel joke played on her by Tabitha Ford (Eliza Scanlen).
BTTB previously singled out this episode as one of the high points of the 2016 season, in an article we collaborated on for TV Soap magazine.
Home and Away had tough competition from Neighbours this year, with the Melbourne based series receiving all three remaining nominations in the category for Episode 7417 (written by three-time winner Sam Meikle), Episode 7477 (Sue Hore) and Episode 7492 (Peter Mattessi).
Home and Away has a strong history of AWGIE success, and won the award 9 years in a row from 2005-2013, with this year marking the 13th AWGIE overall.
It also marks the first AWGIE award for Faith McKinnon, whose long history with Home and Away stretches back to 1999 when she began her career as a script assistant on the show. After briefly relocating across the globe, where she worked on the revival of UK soap Crossroads, Faith returned to Australia and has continued to work on Home and Away at various points over the years—both as a writer and in Script/Story Producer roles. Faith’s other work include the series All Saints, Neighbours and Winners and Losers.