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United Nations Association of Australia - Media Peace Awards 2015

Brussels, Melbourne, October 30th, 2015 (UNAA/SIGNIS). At the end of October, the winners of the Media Peace Awards of the United Nations Association of Australia were announced. The UNAA Victoria is a non-profit, non-government, membership-based, community organisation working to promote the aims and ideals of the United Nations and seek support for the UN and its programs and agencies.

The primary purpose is to raise awareness about the UN and its work and engage the Australian community on key issues on the UN agenda. They play a critical role in connecting Australians with the United Nations and educating the community on key international and local environmental, human rights and social justice issues.

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Miss Dhu who died while in custody. Picture: Facebook

The winning stories of the 2015 UNAA Media Peace Awards have set an extremely high standard for social justice journalism. The Australian’s report “Miss Dhu” drew attention to the continued disproportionate rate of indigenous deaths in custody, winning its category. This story used the death of one young woman to expose the systemic failure of public policy in Western Australia, leading to the WA Premier announcing a policy review and changes to the treatment of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. Through unprecedented access to the Papuan Highlands,

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Wild side lolat villagers wait by their airstrip. Michael Bachelard

Michael Bachelard’s winning piece ‘High Tension’, revealed a complex story that challenges the preconceptions surrounding what occurs in a little known part of our immediate region. Norman Hermant of ABC won the TV News category for his coverage of the transition to ‘Consumer Directed Care,’ through which older Australians are being intimidated, further impoverished by the changes and largely ignored. The story of a daughter coming to understand her mother’s life as a Polish survivor of the Siberian gulags, who once abandoned her in an Adelaide orphanage won the TV Documentary category. ‘Once My Mother’ is a deeply personal story from Sophia Turkiewicz, reflecting on the experiences of refugees and trans-generational impacts of trauma. The intimate radio documentary from ABC Radio National ‘The Storm’ won its category, taking listeners inside the mind of an adult male who has suffered childhood sexual abuse. This brave documentary stimulates public awareness of the long term and wide ranging impact of childhood sexual abuse. SBS World News Radio’s continued coverage of the Snedden extradition case won its category. The case sets an important legal and political precedent for Australia. The visual exploration of the lives of women and children inside the Dadaab refugee camp won the photojournalism category.

Edwina Pickles’ photographs highlight the resilience of women and children living inside the world’s biggest refugee camp. The online installation ‘Still Our Country’ offers a detailed, sympathetic and moving glimpse into life in an around Ramingining township. The creative approach to showing the lives of the Ramingining people provides a positive and insightful look into Indigenous Australian life and culture, winning the Best Online category. SBS Insight offered a compelling piece of broadcast journalism that put youth in a position to tell their own stories. ‘Holroyd High’ presented a powerful understanding of what a socially cohesive and multicultural society can look like, winning both the Children’s rights category and the Multicultural Issues category.

Channel ten’s The Project won the newly introduced Climate Change category, with its ability to communicate complex subject matter to a mass audience. ‘Renewable Energy Target’ promotes one of the most crucial elements of climate change, the transition of the energy system. The documentary ‘Crack Up’ presents the cold face of mental illness, while simultaneously casting a light on what is achievable when the right support is provided, winning the new Promotion of Disability Rights and Issues category. The story of the last surviving Yan-nhangu speaker, Laurie Bauymarrwangga (‘Big Boss’) offers an insight into ways for progressing understandings of Aboriginal culture, alongside the difficulties Aboriginal communities face as they compete with an increasingly globalised world. ’Big Boss’ won the Promotion of Indigenous Recognition category The Archer Magazines Issue Four offers a series of articles and images ageing and sexuality, challenging stereotypic views and winning its category for promoting positive images of the older person. Living Black Radio took out the Women’s Rights award for breaking community silence on violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. The conversations held on this program will help to continue to raise awareness both within the indigenous community and outside of it. The Awards were presented at the Presentation Dinner held on Friday the 23rd of October at the Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne.


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