The 2017 Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards took place in Sydney last week, celebrating the contributions made by multicultural media outlets to the Australian media landscape.
The event was MC’d by ABC reporter Kumi Taguchi, who shared a very powerful message on the night that certainly struck a chord with me.
Kumi, whose father is Japanese and mother is Australian, introduced a young girl Angela on stage to help highlight the importance of having more diverse faces in local media to inspire the next generation.
Reiterating the message of her speech in a Facebook post after the event, Kumi wrote:
“A great evening at the Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards. It was a privilege to meet so many people from all walks of life and be part of an important event. The highlight was little Angela, below.
“She’s only 7 and came up to me a few times during the night. She wanted a photo taken together then just hung out near my table. Right at the end of the night she was there again, just as I was about to go back on stage.
“I asked her if she would come with me. (I have to ask my Mum, she said). She got permission and up we went. I spoke of how part of the reason Angela probably connected with me was because she saw something familiar in my face. And how, when I grew up, there was no-one who looked like I did on TV.
“This is why diversity on every level and in all areas of life is so important. At times I don’t want to wear the multicultural tag: I want to be recognised for all other parts of who I am. But when I meet the Angelas of the world, I’m reminded that there is a role to play. Thank you, Angela, for reminding me of that. May your future be super bright.”
What I love so much about Kumi’s message is that it speaks so directly to my experience growing up in Australia, and struggling to identify many faces in the media during that time who are from a South-Asian background.
Nowadays when I have receive messages from Indian and Sri Lankan girls via social media, thanking me for representing South Asian women in media so to speak, I remember why I became a journalist, and why it’s so important to foster even more diversity in the industry going forward.
Winners of the 2017 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards:
- Best Investigative Story: Xinyu Li – Australian New Express Daily
- Best Editorial/Commentary: Vijay Badhwar – Indian Down Under
- Photo of the Year: Noel Kessel – The Australian Jewish News
- Best News Report: Joshua Levi – The Australian Jewish News
- Best Radio/Audio Report: Soraya Caicedo, Esther Lozano, Claudianna Blanco – SBS Spanish
- Best TV/Audio-Visual Report: Omar Dabbagh – SBS
- Best Use of Digital Media: Boris Etingof, Gina McKeon, John-Paul Marin and Matt Smith – SBS
- Publication of the Year: The Australian Jewish News
- Best Short-Form Feature: Michele Grigoletti and Silvia Pianelli – Migrantes Foundation
- Young Journalist of the Year: Tia Singh
- Best Long-Form Feature: Trinh Nguyen and Olivia Nguyen – SBS Radio
- Public Interest Award: Ben Hills, Simon Vandore and Marshall Heald – SBS
- Student Award: Yenee Saw
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Endre Csapo