MEDIA RELEASE

Indigenous Media Mentoring Program returns in 2020

Wednesday 20 November 2019

A highly successful program aimed at encouraging more Indigenous research voices in the media is being relaunched in 2020 thanks to a grant from CSL and significant in-kind support from National Indigenous Television (a division of SBS).

After successful pilots in 2016 and 2017, the Indigenous Media Mentoring Program (IMMP) has been reinvigorated and will kick off with two days of intensive media training and mentoring in February 2020. The aim of the program is to empower more Indigenous STEM experts to have their voices heard and their achievements acknowledged in mainstream media.

“When most people think of well-known Indigenous figures they think of sports stars, artists and activists. Seldom do they think of researchers. But there are Indigenous people doing amazing things in all fields of research, from space to cancer biology and we want to ensure that they are seen and heard,” said AusSMC CEO Dr Susannah Eliott.

IMMP Mentor, Dr Misty Jenkins from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute agrees that we now have more Australians contributing to research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) than ever before, but their voices are often silent in the mainstream media.

“Culturally, it is not comfortable for us Indigenous people to easily talk about ourselves and achievements… I have personally seen the benefits [of the program] to not only individual researchers, but the wider audience, and the positive effect this has on public discourse,” she said.

Commenting on the company’s commitment to the program, CSL’s Senior Vice President, Research, Dr Andrew Nash said, “CSL is very proud to support this important program. Literacy in STEM opens up significant opportunities for young people and we envisage that participants in the IMMP program will act as strong role models for the next generation of Indigenous Australian scientists as well as ensuring Indigenous voices in science are heard in mainstream media.”

The program will support a group of researchers with training and mentoring from Indigenous journalists and senior Indigenous researchers and will be followed by short term placements in partnering media outlets.

More information is available here. Expressions of Interest are required by 9th December 2019.

Contact: Susannah Eliott

Phone: (08) 7120 8666

Email: immp@smc.org.au