Media Diversity Australia salutes its co-founder and welcomes new non-executive directors.
Founded in 2017, Media Diversity Australia is a national non-profit organization that hosted an event with CEOs and industry executives earlier this month (pictured).
After more than six years, co-founder Antoinette Lattouf stepped down from the board to focus on writing and broadcasting projects.
“This is really bittersweet for me. I am tremendously proud that MDA has helped slowly move and change things in the industry, which will produce better journalism and better connections with the public. However, it is the kind of organization that in an ideal world would not need to exist if quality, equity and inclusion prevailed,” said Lattouf.
MDA offers paid scholarships for early-career female journalists, mentorship for Black women with leadership aspirations, academic research, an award at the Mid-Year Walkleys, strategic industry memberships and partnerships that disrupt the status quo and open pathways for diverse representation across Australian media.
“There are so many things I am proud of, but the two things that stand out as I reflect on my time with MDA are the two iterations of agenda setting research, Who can tell Australian stories? and the fact that what started as a voluntary organization run by working journalists now has a passionate team of paid staff who will continue to carry out this important advocacy work,” said Lattouf.
“MDA wouldn’t be where it is today without Antoinette’s courage, tenacity and advocacy. I am immensely proud of the work we have done together. Of course, there is still a lot of work left, which is why we are hiring two more non-executive directors who will help steer the ship,” said co-founder Isabel Lo.
Proud Wiradjuri man Brendan Thomas has joined the Board as the new non-executive director of MDA with nearly 30 years of experience in the criminal justice system. He has worked on a number of significant legislative, policy and service reforms for victims of crime, Aboriginal people, domestic violence and the prosecution of serious crime. He conceived and chaired the groundbreaking Designing Out Crime Research Center at the Sydney University of Technology and is the author of many innovative justice and human services reforms in NSW.
“I am truly impressed with what Media Diversity Australia has achieved since its launch in 2017 and am thrilled to support and lead their advocacy as the team seeks to accelerate the pace of change in media,” he said.
Sheryn Omeri KC was welcomed to the board as a non-executive director last month, joining founder and chair Isabel and Alvaro Rodas Fernandez, who has served on the board since 2020.
“I am honored to accept this appointment to the MDA Board. I look forward to contributing to his goal of encouraging the development of a more diverse media landscape in Australia, reflecting our modern multicultural society, in order to improve news reporting and public debate on important issues,” said Omeri.