I inform the House of progress I have made on establishing the first Multicultural Media Awards in New South Wales. Multicultural community media outlets and their journalists have never been properly recognised. Disappointingly, neither governments nor non-government departments have ever, as far as I can tell, endeavoured to establish a system to recognise multicultural media outlets and the journalists that run and operate these important media outlets. Since the first multicultural newspaper in Australia, Die Deutsche Post, was published in Adelaide in 1848, there has never been a State award recognising ethnic media; or since the launch of the first Italian language newspaper, the weekly Uniamoci, which started in 1903; or the first Greek-Language newspaper, Australis, which started in 1914; the first Chinese-owned newspaper, the Chinese Australian Herald, or Guangyi Huabao, which was launched in 1894; or the Arabic Sout-el-Moughtareb, the Voice of the Emigre, which was founded 1969 and the El-Telegraph, which started in 1970.

Today there are many language print and electronic mediums including Vietnamese, Indian, Macedonian, Nepalese, Maltese, Greek, Iranian, Japanese, African, Arabic, Armenian, Bangladeshi, Bengali, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Croatian, Filipino, Polish, Tamil, Sri Lankan, Turkish and others. Many of them have been established for years, yet received neither assistance nor recognition. I name most language media to emphasise the point that there are so many languages and so many people who work in media institutions as well as many others who rely on the information they disseminate. I therefore now have the pleasure to inform the House that, with the support of a panel of distinguished members of our multicultural community, I have commenced the process instituting the first Multicultural Media Awards to ever take place in New South Wales and in Australia. Ethnic community media in Australia are valuable institutions that contribute to our vibrant multicultural society. They ought to be given the respect that they and their respective communities deserve.

Multicultural community media have the capacity to raise awareness of community issues that are not immediately accessed by mainstream media. I use by way of illustration the most example of the Daily Telegraph's coverage of the recent murder case of an Australian Pakistani, Shonoz Qidwai, which was first reported by a Pakistani News website Sada-E-Watan, which means Echoes of a Nation. Media organisations in Australian, Asian, European and African communities as well as in the Indian Subcontinent and Arabic communities are booming. The recent Australian Middle-East media launch of the EI-Telegraph newspaper on a daily basis is an example in point. The proprietors certainly are brave taking the decision to print an ethnic broadsheet newspaper on a daily basis in a competitive world when these days sizeable institutions, such as Fairfax Media and News limited are downsizing and changing their business orientations.

Multicultural, non-English and Aboriginal and community media have grown in significance and in stature, but unfortunately the silence on their worth has been deafening. That silence must now be broken and due recognition of migrant and Aboriginal media must now be formalised. Non-English language journalists should now be recognised and their contributions commended. For instance, Simon Ko from Sing Tao gave 30 years of service. He has never received proper recognition for the service he has given to many of the one million Australians of Chinese heritage in our community. People like the late Peter Indari and others who contributed so much to Arabic media in Australia ought to be recognised. I am sure there are many, like Theo Skalcos in the Greek media, and many other distinguished journalists or media owners in Indian, African, Asian, Arabic, European and other media outlets who are waiting to be recognised for their hard work and commitment to journalism and journalistic ethics.

The Multicultural Media Awards are intended to recognise excellence among journalists, photographers, graphic artists, editors and publishers from the ethnic community and Indigenous media. The Award categories will include the Best Investigative/In-depth Story; the Best Article On Immigration Or Social Justice Issues and Promotion of Social Harmony; the Best Editorial Commentary; the Best Overall Design Of Print Publication; the Best Overall Design of an Online Portal; the Best Photograph; the Best Video; the Best Audio; and the Best Multimedia Package. I commend the Multicultural Media Awards to the House. I look forward to the support of all political parties—Government, Opposition and crossbench—at the upcoming inaugural Multicultural Media Awards that will be presented at the New South Wales Parliament.



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