Freelance grants for reporting on Asia

Encouraging more and better reporting on Asia

What happens in Asia shapes what happens globally. The continent is home to half the world’s population and its economy is bigger than the rest of the world combined.

Few countries are as closely tied to Asia as Australia. Yet coverage of Asia does not always keep pace with its importance.

Established with the Walkley Foundation, the Judith Neilson Institute Grant for Asian Journalism aims to encourage more and better reporting on Asia by Australian journalists and media outlets.

Grant recipients

Grants worth a total of $25,000 have been awarded to three freelance journalists.

  • Aarti Betigeri “Lucky You: A podcast exploring the perils of inter-country adoption”

The judges said Aarti Betigeri’s pitch for a podcast series on the inter-country adoption of children into Australia from Korea and elsewhere in Asia promises a revelatory look at a practice that was commonplace for decades. The telling of this story is essential not only for those directly affected and their families, but for policymakers considering this complex issue. The decision to fund the project was a vote of confidence for both the depth of the idea and Aarti Betigeri’s proven ability to deliver meaningful journalism in an Asian context.

  • Mell Chun, “Podcast: Tasmania’s Chinese history”

The judges were excited by Mell Chun’s plan to tell the story of the long and rich history of Chinese settlers in Tasmania via her podcast. She will explore the Chinese influence on Tasmania’s culture and economy and illuminate forgotten or little known facts about the impact of Chinese settlement. Mell writes, “We often view people of colour as ‘newcomers’, but learning about the history of immigration helps us to understand that Australia’s heritage is not so white as we might imagine.” This is a timely project, in the judges’ view, and will provide an insight into under-explored community history in Tasmania’s rural and regional areas.

  • Nicole Curby, “The Wait”

The judges said The Wait podcast, to be co-hosted by Nicole Curby and Mozhgan Moarefizadeh, seeks to explore one of the most damaging but little known ramifications of Australia’s asylum policies – that of refugees stuck in transit in Indonesia. Drawing on Mozhgan’s personal experience as a refugee caught in transit for seven years, they hope to provide context to Australia’s often simplistic immigration debate, to unpack difficult issues around border protection and national identity, and to raise questions about the political rhetoric of immigration, the nature of protection and where borders lie.

Judges

  • Zoe Daniel, Journalist, ABC
  • Patrick Elligett, News Director, The Age
  • Ben Doherty, Acting Pacific Editor, Guardian Australia
  • Prue Clarke, Senior Executive Officer, Judith Neilson Institute
The Walkley Public Fund

About the partner

Established with the Walkley Foundation, the Judith Neilson Institute Grant for Asian Journalism aims to encourage more and better reporting on Asia by Australian journalists and media outlets.