P atrick Lion has been a journalist for major newspapers and news websites for more than a decade, working as a national and state political correspondent, news editor, investigative journalist, freedom of information specialist and financial reporter. 

With 11 years working for News Corp Australia and two years with the Daily Mirror in London, he is a two-time finalist in the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of The Year Award (Under 28), winner of four Queensland Clarions and runner up in the National Press Club’s Wallace Brown Award recognising emerging talent under 30 in the Australian parliamentary press gallery.

Lion most recently worked as a news editor for The Daily Mirror newspaper in the United Kingdom, steering the paper’s news coverage on major events such as Brexit, The Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan, Donald Trump and everything from domestic issues to showbiz. He previously worked as a news reporter for the paper’s global website, Mirror.co.uk, covering breaking events such as the Grenfell Tower blaze and the 2017 British terror attacks – including being part of the small night team that broke the story of the Manchester Arena concert suicide bomb. Nominating the story for best breaking news coverage, Britain’s Online Media Awards said: “The suicide bombing at Manchester Arena was the most horrific and fast-moving story of the past 12 months. Mirror Online was the first news outlet worldwide to report what had happened and continued to be the most authoritative source as the story developed.”

Lion was previously based in Canberra, Australia, at Parliament House for three years as a national political correspondent for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, with his work also published in News Corporation’s other big-selling papers, tablet editions and websites in other states around Australia.

He switched to federal politics in 2011 after covering state politics in Queensland as the political writer for the state’s biggest-selling newspaper, The Sunday Mail, and earlier as a member of The Courier-Mail‘s daily state political team.

Lion has reported on visits by world leaders such as US President Barack Obama and royals including Queen Elizabeth II; two federal election campaigns; two state elections; four federal and four state budgets; the Rudd government’s 2010 Henry Review of Taxation; the Abbott government’s 2014 commission of audit; several state and federal leadership challenges including the Kevin Rudd-Julia Gillard battles during the 2010-13 minority government; the High Court of Australia; as well as policy areas including economics, defence, climate change, immigration, foreign affairs, consumer affairs, justice, welfare, gaming and financial services.

Scoops have been his focus during his decade in news, including investigations that have triggered several new pieces of legislation and led to the downfall of senior politicians and public servants.

His biggest exclusives include the Liberal National Party’s secret contracting of a Labor staffer to compile dirt files on Government Labor MPs, including an eight-page liftout of the 50 leaked files. He was a finalist in News Corp Australia’s Scoop Of The Year award for this exclusive out of the company’s 150 papers (see below).

In early 2012, he broke with a colleague the story of the leaked swearing video of then Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd from his time as prime minister – triggering Rudd’s first leadership challenge against successor Julia Gillard.

While in Queensland, Lion broke the story of Labor Premier Anna Bligh’s failure to declare a free family holiday worth $50,000 at the mansion of a director of a developer – which months later won the multibillion-dollar contract for Australia’s then largest road infrastructure project, Airport Link (see below).

Lion’s reports on the state’s payday lending industry throughout 2006 and 2007 triggered the introduction of Queensland’s first interest rate cap, stopping vulnerable people being charged up to 1600 per cent, and received acknowledgement in State Parliament from the Bligh Government.

“I also recognise the efforts of Mr Patrick Lion from The Courier-Mail who has closely followed this story for many years,” said Attorney-General Kerry Shine, introducing the Consumer Credit (Queensland) Special Provisions Act in May 2008.

Lion has specialised in freedom of information reporting, revealing the often humorous efforts of judges to demand entitlements and the inappropriate conduct of bureaucrats and politicians. In one front page headlined “Crumple of the bailey”, emails revealed a judge launching an angry campaign for a bigger wardrobe because his current one was 10cm too short, crumpling his robes.

His FOI investigations on casinos revealed rising numbers of children being found abandoned at sites while parents gambled, triggering the government to introduce tougher laws allowing parents to be jailed. Further, a secret government decision to allow gamblers to feed larger notes into gaming machines was reversed and the original $20 limit restored after his reporting.

In another FOI case, he spent 18 months successfully fighting to reveal the troubled finances of Queensland’s major sports stadiums.

Leaks helped remove the boss of Queensland’s Royal Children’s Hospital in 2008 for financial mismanagement, including using its charity funds to give nurses beauty treatments during an industrial dispute.

Lion obtained statutory declarations showing Deputy Premier Paul Lucas dodged between one and four demerit points while Transport Minister after his driver took the punishment for the bad driving of his boss.

Further stories in this series triggered the sacking of Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Michael Choi after uncovering his appalling driving record – before another exclusive reporting that his replacement was being sued over a car accident.

During a stint helping launch afternoon newspaper mX in 2007, Lion broke the story that forced Australia’s top band, Powderfinger, to rewrite their forthcoming album only weeks before release over contempt concerns after he obtained a copy of a song about the Palm Island death-in-custody case. The manslaughter trial had been due to begin days after the album hit shelves and went to No. 1 (see below). He also broke the story of Powderfinger’s huge joint concert tour with Silverchair after discovering the formation of a company called Powderchair.

Lion was a finalist in the The Walkley Young Australian Journalist Of The Year Award in 2009 and 2011. His four Queensland Clarion Awards include two for Best Business Journalism and the Young Journalist of The Year Award as well as four other nominations in investigative and print news categories.

His time as a general news reporter included covering local council politics, transport, health, police and court rounds and the 2006 death of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin.

Lion started his reporting life as a cadet in The Courier-Mail’s finance section in 2005, also writing for News Corp nationally, after working as a copyboy and copytaker for the paper, getting lunches and mail and taking copy over the phone from journalists after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

He also was a music writer and critic, interviewing artists including Noel Gallagher of Oasis, The Killers, Ben Harper, The Kaiser Chiefs and PJ Harvey.

He began his career with News Corporation in 2003 in The Courier-Mail’s classified advertising department, selling and designing motoring, careers and for sale bookings.

Born in Cairns before attending high school in Toowoomba, Lion holds a bachelor of journalism and bachelor of business double degree from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

You can view his full CV here:

View Patrick Lion's profile on LinkedIn  .


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