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By Peter Lynch
Publisher, Big Splash media
I’ve put on my judge’s wig to pick award winners a couple of times of late.
My last outing was the AMY digital marketing awards – a real eye-opener and a tribute to the amazing talent Australia has amassed in this highly competitive field.
But one set of awards that always awakens a sense of pride and amazement are the NSW Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards. Yes, they may be small – but they are also incredibly significant.
My outing last year as a last-minute addition to the judging panel was a revelation. Not just about how skilled and committed many of our multicultural communicators are. But also about how many different obstacles they have to overcome to get their messages across.
Language is just one. But cross-cultural understanding is another.
You can feel the incredible tension between traditional cultural norms and new Australian ideas in almost every entry.
I still remember reading an agony aunt column for Muslim women. It was written with incredible candour – but also with wit and delightful optimism. At a stroke, it showed we all face the same dilemmas, even if the solutions are sometimes different.
Incredible exposes were carried out with a professionalism that filled me with admiration. And on budgets that amazed me.
The Australian Jewish News’ stories of abuse in their own community contributed to the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Their courageous team were on the receiving end of vilification for their efforts.
Francesca Rizzoli of SBS won the best long form feature for a series on how Syrian refugees living in Australia feel about their home country.
All of these stories add greatly to community understanding.
Their many platforms, from websites to newspapers, show a diversity and community service that should be lauded more often. No multi-national buyouts on offer when one of these publications faces financial hardship. And no hand-ringing from our politicians either.
So good on the NSW government for sponsoring these awards. I’m looking forward to reading, viewing and experiencing the contributions this year with real anticipation.
If you want to enter, go to http://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/awards/premiers_multicultural_media_awards
There are 14 categories and entries close on June 5, 2017.
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