SBS's opportunity for culturally and linguistically diverse students | radioinfo.com.au

SBS's opportunity for culturally and linguistically diverse students

Thursday 06 November, 2014

SBS’s Media Mentorship Program is now in its third year and is providing a unique opportunity for journalism/communications students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to be mentored and undertake placements in the national broadcaster.

Melinda Boutkasaka is in the third year of a Media degree at Macquarie University and has wanted to be a journalist since a teenager. “Thanks to the SBS Mentorship Program I’m more motivated than ever to achieve above and beyond my expectations.” 

Melinda describes her story. “Despite my passion, I was discouraged from going into journalism. I was warned by family members and friends that “it’s hard being an Asian in the media industry” and I would only succeed in other careers where my obvious appearance wasn’t an issue, like law or medicine. Conversely, others would call me “brave” for venturing out into virtually untouched territory for the Asian community, encouraging me that I would be a great “face” for Asian Australians in the media, like Lee Lin Chin on SBS TV."

"I didn’t blame family and friends for worrying about how I would get into an industry that is incredibly Anglo-dominated. In fact, I agreed with them. With first-gen migrant parents from East Timor and Laos, SBS was the only TV station that resonated with the older members of my family because it gave them that small slice of home."

"I was incredibly lucky to promote this ideal through the SBS Mentorship Program at Macquarie University. Not only is it a fantastic supplement to my studies, but it’s introduced me to opportunities I never would have considered. I have experience ranging from Marketing and PR to politics, accrued from direct and indirect connections I’ve made within the mentorship program.”

Melinda recently completed a one month internship with ABC Darwin Local Radio, the highlight of her Mentorship.        

“When the opportunity to intern for ABC Darwin Local Radio arose, I was recommended because of my shameless passion for radio. I was incredibly anxious about making a good impression, because as a University student, I was insecure that my skills and expertise were inadequate for a workplace like the ABC. I was scared of being ‘that’ deadweight intern that dragged the team down with my incompetence. I felt the only thing carrying me was my genuine enthusiasm for radio, which was nurtured from my radio courses at Macquarie University and volunteer work at 2SER. After my first day I knew I was on the right career path.  My work simply felt organic, as if I’d been doing it my entire life.”

“My intern experience with the ABC, and the SBS Mentorship Program allowed me to recalibrate my career choices and cement my dream of becoming a radio producer. Additionally, I am proud to be an advocate for diversity in the media. Mainstream media, across all platforms, should resonate with the entire population. Australia, being one of the main multicultural melting pots of the world, should have a media sphere that accurately reflects the society it reaches out to.”

For more information about the program or to apply for 2015: www.mq.edu.au/sbsmediamentorship 

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