Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™

Speech of Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC, Chairman of the Multicultural Media Awards

I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land and pay my respects to

their elders past and present.

I also acknowledge our guest MC, Ms. Yalda Hakim, who is here all the way from

London to cover the federal elections. She kindly agreed to MC and for that I am


Yalda used to present Dateline on SBS, and is now working as a journalist and

presenter for BBC London.

It is a pleasure and a privilege to have you here especially for our Multicultural Media Awards.

I would now like to acknowledge the presence of our other special guests, Ministers

Tony Burke and Kate Lundy, and Indigenous Elder, Brian Butler from the National

Congress of Australia’s First people.

I also welcome my Parliamentary colleagues, Deputy opposition leader Linda

Burney, Labor’s Leader in the Upper House, The Hon Luke Foley, The Hon

Amanda Fazio, The Hon Greg Donnelly, esteemed consular dignitaries, business

and community leaders. Just a word of note that the Premier Barry O’Farrell was

invited but declined and Minister Dominello was also invited but did not respond.

I take great pride in welcoming you, the representatives of our multicultural and

indigenous media, this is your night and it is but a small tribute to all the tireless

work that you do. I am proud that you have taken the time to fly in from across the

nation to join us and I extend special welcome to indigenous media for the effort

they have put on to participate in these awards.

Ladies and Gentleman, I am indeed honoured to be celebrating with you, the second

Multicultural Media Awards. A year ago, we launched our inaugural awards, right

here with Foreign Minister Bob Carr.

For me, the idea was simple, but long overdue. In 165 years of multicultural and

indigenous media, there had never been a specific event acknowledging the

achievements of the remarkable and talented people who have been serving their

communities through multicultural media.

For it is our multicultural journalists who bring communities together and break

down social and cultural barriers. You inform, you inspire, you involve and you


You have turned challenges into opportunities, and at a time when mainstream print

media is struggling, you are not only surviving, but thriving.

You have addressed the difficulties of an ageing migrant population versus

generational change by evolving and embracing new technologies, emerging

markets and social media trends.

From listening, transcribing, translating, telling stories, and explaining the culture in

a new country to connect with your old, you have been the true pioneers of

community journalism.

Ethnic Media is not just a mass communication medium; it is a personal, social,

cultural and emotional tool because it combines the voices of many into a central

accessible point.

Multicultural media has done so much to remind and link people with their

ancestry. Since the first non-English newspaper Die Deutsche Post in 1848 to

diversifying across print, radio, web, TV, satellite and social media, Australia’s

ethnic media has come a long way.

Until 1955, the foreign language press, as it was called, was viewed with suspicion,

and some thought it served as a hindrance to assimilation rather than help.

In fact, restrictions and government controls were imposed requiring publishers to

seek special permits from the Department of immigration, to print at least 25% of the

text in the English language, and forward a copy of every publication to the Cth

Investigative Service.

These restrictions were lifted in 1956 when the foreign language press was given

equal rights with the English Press and it was deemed that foreign press editors

demonstrated that they cared not only for the welfare of their nationals but for the

interests of their adopted countries as well.

Today ‘the foreign language press’, and now multicultural and indigenous media

and journalists have the capacity to bring news to every household like never before

– incorporating information on news, events, charity and social justice, real estate

and property, business, shopping, arts and cultural programs, politics, sports and


Today, you have made multicultural Australia a success by enriching it with your

talents, skill, hard work and dedication.

With one in four people born overseas and more than 300 ancestries, multicultural

media plays a unique role in capturing information and delivering to each community.

The power that you have is unmatchable and the potential is incredible.

As with multicultural media a growing and trusted voice Australia-wide, so too

Indigenous-specific media provides first-hand narratives and education to the

whole-of-Australia. In the last decade Indigenous media has developed from its

grassroots origins to staking a hold in the mainstream while retaining its


Multiple voices are growing in Indigenous-specific news media, free-to-air 24/7

National Indigenous Television, the National Indigenous Times last year became the

first weekly Indigenous newspaper, the Koori Mail, another prolific Indigenous

newspaper, and the National Indigenous Radio Service which has national reach

with 180 radio stations. There are more than 100 Indigenous-specific news media

formats in Australia today.

This empowerment of Indigenous print media, broadcast and other news formats, is

informing the national consciousness, engaging the highest public institutions in our

nation, and more importantly has highlighted issues long untold, long unheard and

therefore this goes to the heart of improving the well-being of peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as Chairman of the Multicultural Media Awards, I salute you

for your efforts, and commend you for your courage and commitment.

Tonight a number of you will receive awards and of course some wont, but in my

eyes, you are all winners. You are all winners in elevating Multicultural and

Indigenous media and recognising migrant journalists for the positive work that you

do for Australia.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our judges who had the hard task of

judging the amazing pool of talent.

I’ve left our sponsors till last. As we all know, without them this event would not

have happened. I thank them sincerely.


Thanks go to our key sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor: Ayers Alliance

And other Sponsors

Arab Bank Australia

Nimco Foods,

Ella Rouge Beauty

National Indigenous Times & MyHouse.


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