Åsa Wahlquist was a rural journalist for over 30 years.

Åsa has a degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Adelaide. She has worked as a winemaker at her family’s vineyard, Botobolar at Mudgee in Central west NSW. Botobolar was the first vineyard to be organically credited in Australia.

Åsa began her career as a rural journalist at the ABC. She has worked on Country Hour and Australia All Over on ABC Radio, and on Countrywide at ABC TV. She moved to print at the Sydney Morning Herald in 1991, wanting to write about agriculture and resource use for the broader public. She also worked as the rural writer for The Australian for 13.5 years.

She is the author of Thirsty Country, published by Allen & Unwin, in 2008 about Australia’s water crisis. Tim Flannery described the book as “a brilliant and incisive account of one of the most pressing issues of our time”.

In 2015 she wrote ‘Snails Bay Sabot Sailing Club, 1962-1973. A sailing club for children in Balmain’. It was published with the assistance of Leichhardt Council. She is currently working on a history of sailing in Balmain.

Åsa has won a number of awards for her work in radio, TV and in print. They include a Walkley Award, in 1996, for a three part series, published in The Land, called The Gutting of NSW;  The Australian Government Peter Hunt Eureka Prize for Environmental Journalism in 2005; The European Community Journalist Award in 1993, and several Dalgety Awards and McKellar Awards for rural journalism.

Åsa’s interests include Iyengar Yoga, sailing, dyeing wool with plants, knitting, her dogs (both German short-haired pointers), reading and community gardening. She currently sails a TS16 with the Drummoyne Sailing Club.

She can be contacted on awahlquist(at)

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