our delegates

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Our study tour alumni are the heart of Australia-Middle East Journalism Exchange and we are extremely proud of each delegate who has participated in our program. However, going on a study tour is just the beginning of an ongoing process for our delegates. After returning home, they remain engaged with the other region through their new professional and personal networks, and as a member of AMEJE’s alumni association. Some of our delegates are now working as journalists, some are undertaking post-graduate study, but all are committed to improving the relationship between Australia and the Arab world through their work.

Learn more about our delegates from their profiles (as written before each study tour began).

 

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laura clements

Laura was raised on a 2000 acre farm near Crookwell, NSW, where her family grew sheep and wool for five generations. Though not a farmer herself, this upbringing instilled in her the importance of agriculture and primary industry, and an appreciation of the challenges faced by people working in those sectors. Laura is Secretary of the Crookwell Agricultural Pastoral and Horticultural Society which promotes agriculture in the area. She still lives in Crookwell and commutes 90 minutes each way to Canberra for university classes.

Laura’s first time on a plane was on the way to a working gap year at a boarding school in Hampshire, England. Travelling through Europe inspired her to travel more and roused in her a general curiosity about the world, especially global affairs and politics.

Returning to Australia at the start of 2013, Laura began an arts degree at the ANU but she switched to the University of Canberra in 2014 to study law and journalism. Now in her fourth year of study, Laura has realised that journalism has been her calling all along and she hopes one day to work as a foreign correspondent.

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claire grinsell-jones

Claire is a final year student at the University of Canberra studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Communications in Journalism double degree. Having initially enrolled in a nursing degree, she decided after her first year to focus instead on her main passions.

Claire’s interest in writing began when she was young and she has always been an avid reader. Biographies have long been one of her favourite genres and this has sparked a drive to share people’s stories. While she has experimented with many different forms of journalism throughout her degree, she most enjoys writing and photojournalism. Claire files regularly for Curieux magazine and is a member of both the University of Canberra Press Club and the University of Canberra Communication, Advertising and Media Society.

Claire loves to travel and was fortunate to have taken many trips while growing up with her family, though never to the Middle East. She is looking forward to applying and further developing her journalism skills while on study tour.

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lucy harrington

Lucy is studying a Bachelor of Communications in Journalism and Bachelor of Science double degree at the University of Canberra, and is passionate about communicating complex issues in accessible and informative ways.

Her interests in this field were honed on a recent working trip to a South African game reserve and an environmental science study tour to New Zealand. She is excited about the learning opportunity presented by the 2017 AMEJE study tour and hopes to graduate with a more grounded understanding of the region and a focus on cross-cultural communication.

During her time at University of Canberra, Lucy has been heavily involved in university societies and events, including the UC Press Club, Comms Ball Committee and Environmental Science Society. She works as a student ambassador for the university while also juggling a number of other part-time roles in hospitality and communications.

Lucy writes regularly for mastheads such as OutinCanberra and Curieux Magazine. As part of this work she enjoys meeting and interviewing new people to produce content covering a wide range of topics.

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tom storey

Having lived in Canberra for most of his life, Tom has always enjoyed the political atmosphere of the city. Over the years he has had many frank and open discussions with a range of people about what is most important in their lives, and it is this desire to listen to others’ stories that drove him to enrol in a Bachelor of Communications in Journalism at the University of Canberra.
 
Tom’s study at UC and love for travel has so far taken him to the USA where he was able to witness the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election firsthand while on exchange at George Mason University. The experience of living on an American campus during the election only fuelled his passion for international politics. During this trip, Tom also interned with the ABC Washington bureau, learning firsthand the value of accurate foreign reporting.
 
Away from journalism, Tom takes great pleasure in watching and playing sport, listening to podcasts, and watching classic films.

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alyssia tennant

Born and raised in Adelaide, Alyssia commenced a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of South Australia in 2014. While co-presenting a current affairs show for the student radio station, she developed a keen interest in audio storytelling as a means to communicate complex issues. This led to a job as a producer at Radio Adelaide. After two years, Alyssia decided to continue her degree at the University of Canberra, due in part to its proximity to Australia’s political centre.

Alyssia’s interests in human rights and international affairs have been solidified by her university coursework and the diverse people she has been able to meet as a result. She believes that journalism is a means through which she can help influence positive change by sharing the voices of under- or mis-represented people.

Alyssia’s work has been widely published but she’s most proud of her contributions to Right Now magazine. She recently completed an internship at SBS News which furthered her interest in international current affairs, and she is currently the Vice President of the UC Press Club. After graduation, Alyssia hopes to work in radio or print journalism.

2016 university of canberra study tour

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naomi avery

Born in Melbourne and raised in Canberra, and with a passion for writing and the performing arts, Naomi has dreamt of working as a journalist since the age of eight. In 2013, Naomi commenced a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies/Bachelor of Communication in Journalism. During her time at university she has co-hosted a radio show, undertaken internships at the ABC, the Canberra Times, HerCanberra and Brumbies Rugby, and has developed keen interests in human rights, national security and world affairs. These interests were solidified when she travelled to the Czech Republic to study international relations and security in 2015. She is also the 2016 President of the University of Canberra Press Club.

Naomi hopes the Australia-Middle East Journalism Exchange study tour will provide her with greater insight into the Middle East and the region’s relationship with Australia.

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helena game

Born and raised in Canberra, Helena has been fascinated by people and their stories her whole life. Her interest in cross-cultural communication and international issues was sparked in her final two years of school when she took Global Relations, a class that taught students a mixture of politics, international relations and philosophy. Helena carried on this interest to her Bachelor of Communications in Journalism degree at the University of Canberra where she is also studying creative writing.

Helena is especially passionate about the power of journalism to tell the stories of those who would otherwise be silenced. She hopes to make it her priority as a journalist to do just that, especially in parts of the world that are currently misrepresented.

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sarah kleven

Sarah grew up in Cooma, a small town in the Snowy Mountains, and now lives in Canberra while studying a Bachelor of Communication in Journalism and majoring in International Studies. Sarah did high school work experience at her hometown newspaper, the Monaro Post, and was asked to return for work after graduation. During her time at the newspaper, she developed a broad range of valuable skills as an editorial assistant. With a strong grounding in local and regional news, Sarah is now eager to develop a more global outlook. 

With a life-long appetite for travel, and a long-term interest in history, Sarah has developed a passion for learning about global politics, humanities and cross-cultural communication. She is looking forward to using and develop the skills she has acquired at university and at work on the 2016 Australia-Middle East Journalism Exchange study tour.

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chester ward

As a member of an Australian Defence Force family, Chester has been travelling the world for most of his life. He attended boarding school in India and worked in the United States as a camp counsellor and most recently spent two months in Japan studying language and culture.

Chester originally had ambitions to become a chef, but after working in the food industry decided that it was not for him. Instead, he developed a passion for journalism and writing interesting and meaningful news stories. Throughout his degree he has developed a deep appreciation of journalism’s role in today’s rapidly changing media landscape.

Chester hopes to one day work in radio and have a successful career in the journalism industry. He is proud to be a part of the Australia-Middle East Journalism Exchange program in 2016, and looks forward to applying the skills he has learned at the University of Canberra in a real world setting.

2016 qatar university study tour

L-R: Dana Al-Haddad, Hind Al-Naama, Raja Aderdor, Hasna Hamid, Ahd Mohamed

L-R: Dana Al-Haddad, Hind Al-Naama, Raja Aderdor, Hasna Hamid, Ahd Mohamed

Dana Al-Haddad is a mass communication student who is passionate about new media. Her aim is to spread positive messages and bring the voices and concerns of people to the authorities. She has represented her school and university at a wide range of conferences and events in Qatar and throughout the region. Dana wants to use the study tour to Australia to build knowledge that will be beneficial to her country and to her future work colleagues.

Hind Al-Naama is a mass communication student pursuing a minor in business. She has won several awards for high achievement throughout her time at university and volunteers widely in the community. Hind plans to use the study tour to Australia to experience new cultures and media practices first-hand, and to build professional networks.

Raja Aderdor is a mass communication student pursuing a minor in English literature and linguistics. She volunteers widely throughout the community and is passionate about photography, filmmaking and travelling. Raja hopes the study tour to Australia will enrich her cultural knowledge and skills, which will push her forward to make more creative movies.

Hasna Hamid is a mass communication student pursuing a minor in press, radio and television. She plans to use the study tour to Australia to gain practical skills that will let her build a better future.

Ahd Mohamed is a mass communication student who is passionate about community outreach and volunteer work. She has worked as a junior reporter for the Doha Centre for Media Freedom and is currently the vice president of the Youth’s Lens initiative at the Qatar Centre for Voluntary Activities. She has also participated in and helped to organise many events related to media and development. Ahd hopes the study tour to Australia will help her gain experience, make connections with people from different cultures, and become familiar with international media environments.

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2015 university of canberra study tour

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scheherazade bloul

Scheherazade's passion for global politics and cross-cultural communication stems from her culturally diverse background and life-long drive to travel. She was born in Sydney and raised in Canberra, and is fluent in three languages.

Initially wanting to be a war photographer, Scheherazade developed an interest in journalism as a means by which to explore and communicate complex issues. To this end, she commenced a Bachelor of Communications in Journalism and Bachelor of Arts double degree at the University of Canberra in 2013. Scheherazade hopes to put the skills she's developed to good use as a foreign correspondent in Africa and the Middle East.

Scheherazade believes that in our contemporary world the need for informed journalism is greater than ever before, as is the need for improved international coverage in Australia.

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zac schroedl

Zac is a final-year journalism student at the University of Canberra. He is a talented creative writer, having written screenplays, a number of short fiction stories, and a children’s book. However, Zac’s real interest lies in non-fiction after discovering a flair for retelling real life experiences during his gap year in Amsterdam.

Since then, Zac has worked hard to develop his multimedia and feature writing skills. In 2014, he produced a video about freeganism titled “Frank Eats Out of Bins” that received wide acclaim. He also wrote and directed a short film, “Cybo”, which explored the theme of identity on the Internet. In 2015, Zac wrote a feature article about the medical hair growth industry after embedding himself as a client for eight months.

Zac is inspired by the gonzo work of Louis Theroux, Sabour Bradley and Diego Buñuel. Like these journalists, he is concerned with "soft" news stories about interesting people, unusual situations, and the exotic reaches of the planet. His ideal project would be to produce a TV program which documents the unique stories of people living in iconic cities.

Zac is an avid football fan and has a lifelong dream to attend a World Cup.