The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) has announced the recipients of five merit-based scholarships that, in partnership with industry, will support students from under-represented groups in the Australian film and broadcast sectors to continue their education at the School.
AFTRS works with its partners to offer over 35 scholarships that prioritise access and equity: so the most talented creatives across Australia can access our world-leading creative education.
The two recipients of the 2023 Women in Cinematography Scholarship, supported by Sony, are Hiruni Dharmasena and Jacqueline Sharah, both currently studying the Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production.
Jacqueline Sharah said: “I feel blessed to have received such a scholarship! Thank you AFTRS and Sony for this opportunity and for recognising emerging female cinematographers. This scholarship allows me to dedicate more time to the final year of my full-time studies to advance my knowledge of cinematic and lighting techniques. My time at AFTRS has been immensely enriching in learning cinematography, and I’m excited to apply these skills during my final year at AFTRS and in the future when working in industry. My goal is to be a Director Of Photography, and I’m inspired by female DOPs who are paving the way for women like me.”
The recipient of the 2023 Pariya Taherzadeh Radio Scholarship is Sarah Young. Sarah said: “The generosity of this scholarship affords me the chance to participate and excel within one of Australia’s greatest learning institutions for media. To be considered part of the collective of talented past recipients is an enormous honour for me and I hope to accomplish a lot during my year at AFTRS.”
Pariya Taherzadeh is a highly successful AFTRS alumna in podcasting and radio who herself benefited from the AFTRS scholarship program.
“The last few years has been extremely hard for a lot of people and this was my way of giving back,” Pariya said. “Receiving the Selwyn Speight Excellence Scholarship helped enormously for me to be able to both study and pay bills. Both would not have been possible without it. I have experienced the benefits of how the Scholarship impacted my career in a positive way and I wanted to give the same opportunity to someone else.”
This year’s recipient of the ABC Selwyn Speight Excellence Radio Scholarship, Ben Lewis, will be interning at the ABC as part of the Scholarship program.
He commented: “Being awarded the ABC Selwyn Speight Excellence Radio Scholarship is incredibly validating to me and it has given me both reassurance and reinforcement that I have the potential to develop a fill-time career in the radio industry; an industry I am immensely passionate about and enjoy working in. The Scholarship will be invaluable as it will allow me to upgrade my equipment and the professional experience from interning with the ABC is something I will never be able to repay.”
The 2023 Glenn Daniel Smooth FM Scholarship has been awarded to Alana Calvert. The Scholarship, in honour of the renowned radio journalist and podcast professional Glenn Daniel, is awarded each year to help develop Australian radio, news and journalism talent. Sophie Blanch has been awarded the 2023 Onbass Gentle Giant Scholarship. This Scholarship was established by Gentle Giant Media Group and the Onbass Fund for students who show creative excellence and who also require financial assistance to study at AFTRS. It is awarded to a student commencing the Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production.
CEO of AFTRS, Dr Nell Greenwood, said: “The AFTRS Scholarship program is growing year on year, and we are very grateful to the commitment of our partners who recognise the value of creating opportunities for talented students from under-represented groups in the screen and broadcast industries. We want to open the doors to the School as wide as possible, and we thank our Scholarship funders for their support in creating the next generation of incredible storytellers.
“The screen and broadcast industries are rising to the challenge of ensuring representation from across the Australian community and AFTRS is proud to be at the forefront of that change.”