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2017 PMMA Finalists

2017 Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards Finalists

Best Investigative Story

Usha Ramanujam Arvind, Indian Link, “Challenging the eurocentric bias in HSC history”

The draft HSC history syllabus exposed a lack of Indian content, leading academics and the Indian community to fear the degradation of Indian content in history studies. A case is argued for greater Indian history content for high school students to increase understanding between Australia and the emerging global giant, India.  

Read the story here

Xinyu Li, Australian New Express Daily, “Dear women in darkness, why are you silent?”

Exposing the devastating, and often silent reality of domestic violence in the Chinese community, this story powerfully highlights why members of migrant communities may feel unable to leave abusive relationships, and calls for governments to do more to empower domestic violence survivors with the courage to leave.

Read the story here

Mark Whittaker, Simon Vandore and Jeremy Lord, SBS, “Out of sight: the untold story of Adelaide’s gay-hate murders”

Little is known about historical gay hate crimes perpetrated in Australia, outside those widely documented in NSW. For the first time, this SBS exclusive investigation exposes the devastating impact of gay hate crimes in Adelaide’s shadowlands, highlighting the impunity of police and indignity of the era.

Read the story here

Best Editorial/Commentary

Vijay Badhwar, Indian Down Under, “Old age is catching up, so plan”

Part of an informative series about aged care and the growing needs of a sizeable number of Indian seniors, Indian Down Under urges the community to start serious conversations about the Indian community’s elderly population.

Read the story here

Sam Wallman, Kylie Boltin and Genevieve Dwyer, SBS Online, “Winding up the window: the end of the Australian auto industry”

An innovative piece of reportage featuring a unique and playful pictorial style interrogating the human impact of the end of Australia’s automobile industry, and the personal consequences for workers who dedicated their lives to making cars in an era of boom and bust.

Read the story here

Gurcharn Singh Kahlon, Punjabi Herald, “Rising levels of domestic violence in Australia”

Shining a light on the issue of domestic violence in the Indian community, in particular the Punjabi community, Gurcharn powerfully urges for a combined effort to eradicate domestic violence in Australia and by citing the words of a Sikh guru who calls for the honour and respect of all women.

Read the story or translation here

Photo of the Year

Noel Kessel, The Australian Jewish News

Capturing a moving moment when a young Yazidi woman, held captive as a sex slave by ISIS fighters, met an elderly Holocaust survivor. Noel captures the powerful intergenerational solidarity and strength in the face of extreme adversity, highlighting the universal power of courage and empathy.

Tony Palliser, Fiji Times

Promoting cross cultural understanding and diversity in the modelling industry, Tony captures our multicultural society through the lens of the modelling and advertising industry, encouraging models from all religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds to participate in the industry.

Ravinder Singh Virk, Indian Link

Ravinder captures the moment of connection and joy during a new and inspiring program called ‘Turbans and Trust’ which encourages the general public to tie a turban on their head to connect with the Sikh community. This starts a conversation around Sikhism and fosters cross cultural and interfaith understanding.

Best News Report

Joshua Levi, The Australian Jewish News, “Recalling the words of an angel”

Exclusively uncovering the unpublished poetry of Australian Jewish girl Thalia Hakin, who was tragically killed in the Bourke Street Mall attack, Thalia’s voice lives on through her poetry, and reactions to her death expose a broken-hearted community in mourning.

Read the story here

Iman Riman, SBS Arabic24, “Voices from inside Nauru and Manus detention centre”

In spite of attempts to limit journalists’ access to offshore detention centres, SBS Arabic24 built relations with detainees in Nauru and Manus Island to tell their unique and powerful stories first-hand.

Read the story here

and ongoing coverage of the story here

Pawan Luthra, Indian Link, “Too close to call”

An exclusive Indian Link survey provided a comprehensive profile of the Indian community’s voting intentions during the last federal election. Indian Link’s survey outcomes and predictions largely mirrored the final outcome of the election.

Read the story here

Best Radio/Audio Report

Soraya Caicedo, Esther Lozano, Claudianna Blanco, SBS Spanish, “The untold story of the SBS broadcaster who died on 9/11”

This powerful documentary tells the story of the first Australian who died during 9/11, aboard one of the planes to plunge into the twin towers. SBS Spanish reveals the heartfelt and the untold personal story of Alberto “Pocho” Dominguez, a leader and hero in the Australian Spanish community.

Listen here in spanish

Listen here in english

Jarni Blakkarly, SBS, “In one church, an apology for treatment of gays”

This story shines an important light on the experiences of migrants with religious backgrounds and the impact of homophobia in the church. For many migrants, connection to faith is fundamental, highlighting the call for the church to be more accepting of the LGBTI community.

Listen to the report here

Diana Bogueva-Koprinkova, SBS Bulgarian, “The spirit of Victoria Zabukovec”

Part of an interview series demonstrating the important legacy of Bulgarian migrants to Australia, this intimate and personal interview with the first Bulgarian broadcaster in Australia touches on war and oppression, retaining Bulgarian traditions in a multicultural Australia and joyous recollections of food and traditional songs.

Listen here in bulgarian

Best TV/Audio-Visual Report

Omar Dabbagh, SBS, “Teen Syrian refugee dreams of becoming a professional pianist”

Demonstrating the strength of human spirit, teenager Mark Bonja from Aleppo was forced to flee his home during the civil war, and was unable to play piano for years. With the help of new friends in Australia, Mark was able to return to his love of piano and music.

Kassahun Negewo, SBS Amharic, “Leaders say traditional cultural practices led to woman’s death in Australia”

This exclusive investigation uncovers dilemmas between traditional Ethiopian marriage mediation and Australian law in dealing with domestic violence, following the tragic death of a 25 year old Ethiopian woman at the hands of her husband.

Watch here

Neena Badhwar, Indian Down Under, “Is India’s dowry culture coming to Australia”

Interrogating the role of India’s dowry culture as a possible cause for domestic violence in the Indian community, Indian Down Under calls for the strict ban of dowries in Australia noting women are pressured and traumatised by the tradition.

Watch here


Young Journalist of the Year

Omar Dabbagh, SBS

Omar’s Arabic language skills and wide community contacts have enabled him to cover many breaking news stories across multimedia platforms for SBS, highlighting issues and topics from voices not normally heard in mainstream media and gaining insights form new migrants to Australia.

Nitasha Bhatia, Indian Down Under

Nitisha is a talented student who has written articles of Indian match making and domestic violence. She is a voice for young women and girls in her community through her writing and her active role in the Indian local media.

Tia Singh, Indian Link Media Group

Tia is an active young contributor to Indian Link and writes about matters relevant to Indian-Australian youth. She has previously been published in Marie Claire Australia and writes regularly for Indian Link and the NSW Law Society Journal.


Best Long-form Feature

Trinh Nguyen and Olivia Nguyen, SBS, “Exploitation of Vietnamese businesses rampant”

Exposing the exploitation and underpayment of migrant workers in Vietnamese restaurants in Australia, this multi-platform feature employs undercover investigative journalism to explore how some cultural practices may enable exploitation.

Watch here in vietnamese

Watch here in english

Kathy Marks, SBS (freelance), “A brutal history – the killing of Wubanchi Asfaw”

The result of a year-long operation to penetrate the close-knit Ethiopian community in Australia and address the underrepresentation of reporting on Ethiopian domestic violence in mainstream media, Kathy calls for new conversations around domestic violence in multicultural communities.

Read the story here

Susan Cheong and Lucy Fahey, ABC, “Escape from the north – the long and perilous journey of a North Korea defector”

A young North Korean defector’s pursuit for freedom and her subsequent journey of self-discovery as she finds peace and acceptance in Australia are chronicled in this tale of survival. This story reveals the power and strength of Australia’s multicultural society and invites us to celebrate the journey of Soo-jung Ra as she discovers her dreams.

Read part 1 of the story here

Read part 2 of the story here

Public Interest Award

Ben Hills, Simon Vandore and Marshall Heald, SBS, “Dangerous love – death and violence on Australian visas” 

This piece powerfully interrogates the consequences of online romances and partner visas on female migrants looking to start a new life in Australia, exposing unreported experiences of exploitation, abuse and even murder of e-brides.

Read the story here

Saba Vasefi, The Guardian (freelance), “It’s not enough to speak up for refugee women. We have to listen to them too”

This editorial piece demands readers listen to and learn from females with refugee backgrounds, highlighting the importance of understanding refugee women's identities and issues from their own perspective.  

Read the story here

Brooke Boney, ABC, “Aboriginal death in custody: inmate died in Sydney prison after being ‘restrained and sedated’”

As incarceration of Indigenous people continues to rise, Brooke builds a relationship with the family of the Indigenous man to uncover the true cause of their son’s death, and calls for transparency in reporting on Aboriginal deaths in police custody.

Read the story here

Watch the story here

Student Award

Yenee Saw, “Why a racist ArtsSoc blog matters”

A poignant self-reflection which opens a conversation on unconscious bias and racism, Yenee says international students feel isolated at university because English is their second language and pledges to embrace her cultural identity and urges her readers to do the same.

Read the story here

Leyla Kaya, “Weaving my own tapestry”

Leyla uses this highly personal account to examine the ways forced identities are impacting upon the lives of Muslim women in Australia’s 21st century. She interviews Muslim community leaders and gathers evidence and statistics to demonstrate how media portrayals of Muslims impact identity.

Listen to the story here

Sargun Bhatia, “The leaders of tomorrow”

Sargun reveals her insights following an internship at Harvard University, reflecting on identity in a globalised world. Gaining an understanding of 'otherness', especially in the context of the fear of the unknown leads to a discussion around how young people can work towards increasing understanding and promoting tolerance.

Read the story here


The winners will be announced at an invitation-only gala event in Sydney on Wednesday 30 August 2017. We wish all our finalists Good Luck!