Radio Australia | ABC
Mr Dorney received the inaugural Media Award of the Australian Council for International Development at a ceremony in Canberra today.
In this photo Sean (left) is seen in the NBC's Port Moresby newsroom in 1974 with journalists Bruce Bertram, the late Albert Asbury and Bob Lawrence.
He told Radio Australis he was "very humbled" but also "a bit surprised" to receive the award.
"I just hope it concentrates the attention of the rest of the media in Australia on how important these Pacific neighbours are," he said.
"The mainstream media might not realise it but I think there is a real interest in Australia in our neighbours and how they are developing.
"The New Zealand media I think pays far more attention to the region than the Australian media does."
Executive Director of ACFID, Marc Purcell, said the award recognised Mr Dorney's exceptional work in covering development and social issues in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific over the course of a long and varied career.
"Mr Dorney's contribution in reporting on the lives and challenges facing people in the Pacific has been nothing less than outstanding," Mr Purcell said.
"Our members congratulate Mr Dorney for the wisdom, professionalism and candour he has shown in telling Australians about our closest neighbours for over 25 years."
Mr Dorney's work in the Pacific began in 1974 when he was sent on secondment to PNG’s National Broadcasting Commission.
"It was a wonderful time to be a journalist and to be in PNG," he said.
He lived and worked in PNG for almost 20 years between 1974 and 2000 and is the only foreign correspondent to have been both deported and awarded honours by Papua New Guinea's government.