Two UTS journalism students were honoured at the annual Mid-Year Walkleys on Wednesday night, the media industry’s most prestigious awards.

Third year student Charlie McLean was awarded the Student Journalist of the Year award for investigations on illegal vape sales, doctor shopping and a study on state corruption commissions that he published on Vice and the UTS student journalism site Central News.

Victoria Pengilley, who is finishing her degree at UTS and works fulltime at the ABC, won the June Andrews Award for Women’s Leadership in Media alongside Sally Sara for their interviews on RN Breakfast and The World Today: Taliban interview, Shukria Barakzai and Hasina Safi.

It was the second Walkley award Pengilley has picked up in the past five months after scooping another with Sara for Radio News and Current Affairs at the main Walkleys ceremony in February.

The portfolio of stories entered by McLean, who is currently overseas, was described by the judges as “impressive and a well-rounded body of investigative work”.

“His pieces showed keen journalistic instinct and were very well researched, well argued and told compelling, vital stories,” they added.

Fellow UTS student Rafqa Touma was also nominated for the award alongside Curtin University’s Casson Ho.

UTS students have won the Walkleys’ Student Journalist of the Year award for two years running and fielded five of the six nominees. They also picked up 11 awards at the JERAA student journalism awards in November.

Saba Bebawi, head of Journalism, said: “Our UTS journalism students never cease to amaze us with their achievements!

“Their success at the Walkley awards is a testimony to their hard work and the hard work of their instructors. We hope to continue to provide a journalism environment at UTS where students can flourish as future journalists.”

Central News editor Martin Newman said: “We’re really proud of what our students are achieving and gratified that their hard work and creativity is being recognised.

“Both Victoria and Rafqa are doing outstanding work with ABC Radio and Guardian Australia, respectively, for such young journos and Charlie consistently, ambitiously aims for the stars with his story concepts and then shows he’s got the skills to pull it off.”