The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE ANNOUNCES MULTICULTURAL MEDIA AND INDIGENOUS AWARDS

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The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE  announces the second National Indigenous Human Rights Awards scheduled for 21 October 2015, to be followed by the fourth Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards scheduled for 11 November 2015 both happening in the Strangers Dining Room of the New South Wales Parliament. As convenor, it is a great honour to have launched these two unique signature awards—unique because one recognises the work of multicultural and Indigenous journalists and the other Indigenous Australians for their contributions to human rights.

First, the National Indigenous Human Rights awards are special because the nominators and nominees, as well as the judging panel and the award presenters and award recipients, are all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders who have contributed to the advancement of human rights and social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Our keynote speakers and award presenters for 2014 were Mrs Yalmay Yunupingu, Ms Gail Mabo and Mr Anthony Mundine. I am hoping that they will be the presenters again with this year’s keynote speaker Tauto Sansbury, a Narungga elder, who was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent National NAIDOC Awards. Mr Sansbury has worked to close the gap in inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians for more than 30 years.

In 2014, as in 2015, three awards will be presented, one named after teacher and musician, the late Dr Yunupingu—the Dr Mandawuy Yunupingu Social Justice Award. The second is named after the formidable land rights campaigner, the late Eddie Mabo—the Eddie Mabo Lifetime Social Justice Achievement Award and the third and final award for courage was named in honour of three times world champion boxer, none other than Anthony, “The Man”, Mundine. The National Indigenous Human Rights Awards are dedicated exclusively to the first peoples of this nation who have given their best in their struggle for social justice and human rights. The awards recognise the ongoing struggles of the past two centuries and the fight for equality, fairness and social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

There is no greater rights struggle on this continent than that of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Aboriginal people have suffered—and continue to suffer—death, poverty and homelessness. We must continue our commitment to tackle poverty, eliminate homelessness, prevent deaths in custody and combat the causes of suicide. Suicide rates are rising at horrific levels. The statistics are heart-wrenching. For the first peoples, the crisis is much worse and suicide rates are unacceptably high. We should invest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, education, housing and welfare reform, and we should recognise and support advocates and those who work hard for the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

I turn now to the Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards. Multicultural media has contributed to the Australian way of life since 1850s and until 2012 there has been no stand-alone recognition for the journalists, owners and administrators of such media outlets. I am indeed honoured to have initiated these awards, now in their fourth year but proudly renamed as the Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards. History has shown the important role the multicultural media has played Australia-wide, so it was time to recognise the work of multicultural and Indigenous media in our community.

The awards not only showcase the talents of multicultural and Indigenous community media but also aim to encourage innovative journalism in New South Wales. The awards recognise excellence amongst journalists, photographers, graphic artists, editors and publishers from the ethnic and Indigenous media. The awards also serve as a vehicle to promote these media outlets and encourage greater recognition of the role these media outlets play in the dissemination of information and their positive role in keeping young migrant and Indigenous communities involved and informed.

I am proud to note that the Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards keynote speaker for 2015 is Jeff McMullan. As members would be aware, Mr McMullan has been a journalist, author and filmmaker for 50 years. Jeff McMullen’s work includes many decades as a foreign correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, reporting for Four Corners and 60 Minutes, interviewer, and anchor of the 33 part-issue series on ABC Television, Difference of Opinion, and host of televised forums on the National Indigenous Television Network. The nominations for the Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards and the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards are now open. I look forward to two successful community events for 2015.

 

 

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