Ms Anna Coren’s illustrious career in communications spans more than twenty years.
During this time, she has been an award-winning journalist, international correspondent, news anchor, writer and director, after completing a Charles Sturt Bachelor of Arts (Communication – Journalism) in 1997.
Anna’s exemplary professional achievements were acknowledged on Wednesday 19 July during the annual Charles Sturt University Foundation Day celebrations as the winner of the Charles Sturt University Alumni of the Year – Professional Excellence Award.
Anna has reported from the frontlines of some of the world’s most pivotal events, from raging conflicts to natural disasters and political crises. Making an early name for herself in regional media and as a reporter and presenter for Nine News and Seven News, she became a much-loved face of television shows Today Tonight and Sunrise and covered major events including the Bali Bombings.
Anna said winning the Charles Sturt University Alumni of the Year – Professional Excellence Award was humbling as the University marked the beginning of what was to become a career she was highly passionate about.
"Winning this award is an absolute honour,” Anna said.
“It was at Charles Sturt where my journey began. This is where my dream of becoming a journalist took shape through encouragement, aspiration, healthy competition, and perseverance.
“It was the foundation for my future career, and I will always be grateful to Charles Sturt for this valuable experience and opportunity."
Anna’s enviable ability to report on complex critical incidents with sensitivity, empathy, and professionalism saw her appointed as the United States Correspondent for Seven News in 2005. During this time, she delivered insightful coverage of globally significant stories including covering the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War. It was the beginning of what would become a stellar career at the peak of international journalism.
Since 2008, Anna has been Anchor and International Correspondent for CNN International in Hong Kong, where she is an integral member of the global media giant’s Asia-Pacific headquarters.
Here she has covered some of the most defining events of our time, from the war in Afghanistan to the Hong Kong protests; Australia’s catastrophic bushfires; the Thai cave rescue; and the Cardinal George Pell child sex abuse trial; and interviewed world leaders, artists, actors, and sportspeople.
It is Anna’s fearless reporting from Afghanistan that played a defining role in her remarkable career. Here, Anna reported from the frontlines alongside US Special Forces, returning to cover the withdrawal of US troops, and was on the ground when the Taliban closed secondary schools to girls just days after proclaiming their reopening.
Deeply invested in telling the stories of life in the aftermath, Anna brought a news-weary world’s focus to the humanitarian crisis facing Afghan people. This included covering the desperation from poverty and starvation following the withdrawal of international aid, and a sharp rise in the sale of young girls into marriage.
Anna’s heart-wrenching coverage of the handover of 9-year-old Parwana to a 55-year-old man sparked global awareness and support, culminating in the rescue of the young girl, her mother and five siblings and a renewed impetus to address the child marriage crisis.
Anna earned an Emmy Award for Parwana’s story and a Gracie Award for the follow-up piece covering her dramatic rescue. This is in addition to numerous other accolades signifying her leadership and professional excellence on the global stage. Such recognition includes receiving an RTS Award and Emmy nomination for her breaking news coverage of the Hong Kong protests, and Anchor of the Year – twice – and Best News Story at the Asian Television Awards.
Anna has recently directed her first independent documentary film titled The Noble Guardian, tracing the journey of Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist Mahbouba Seraj and her work running the last remaining women’s shelter in Kabul.
She has also shared her experiences and insights in a dedicated chapter of the book In Her Eyes alongside other influential female journalists and is an inspiration for future generations of investigative and news reporters.
At the heart of Anna’s global success and influence is her deep personal belief that journalists have a responsibility to tell the truth, expose atrocities, and bring important stories to light.
She strives to make a positive difference in the lives of those affected by the stories she covers, both through her own actions and by enabling others to see, feel, and act.