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).

#OzinMorocco18

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alyssia algeri

Having known from an early age that she wanted to be a journalist, Alyssia Algeri commenced a Bachelor of Communications majoring in journalism at Deakin University in 2017. With a passion for cross-cultural communication, she hopes to promote a greater appreciation of diverse cultures amongst the Australian public.

Alyssia is thankful for the opportunities she’s had to study overseas while completing her degree. Prior to #OzinMorocco18, she spent a semester in Italy learning in depth about European culture and history, and deepening her understanding of pressing local issues such as unemployment and lack of access to quality education.

Alyssia aspires to tell untold stories to a wider audience and sees journalism as an opportunity to enhance awareness of social issues around the world. She is passionate about language learning as it allows her to connect with those from different cultures on a deeper level. Alyssia speaks Italian fluently and is currently learning her third language: Spanish.

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mitch clarke

Mitch Clarke began his journalism studies in 2016 after a Diploma in Tourism proved his passion for communications. Currently in his final semester at Deakin University, Mitch has enjoyed incorporating real life experiences into his work and freelancing for various publications. He enjoys being a part of the team at Dscribe, Deakin’s online newspaper, where he is the social media editor. He believes that the rise of social media is of great benefit to modern journalism, and that it’s absolutely fundamental to reaching a large audience.

As an aspiring television reporter, Mitch’s journalistic drive comes from understanding the privilege of being granted a platform to tell stories from all over the world, questioning authority and being a voice for those who are unable to speak.

Mitch is most interested in reporting on social issues, inequalities and animal rights. While outside of study and work, he enjoys AFL (he is a massive Richmond fan), tennis, learning new things, and visiting new places.

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bella d’monte

Bella D’Monte studies a Bachelor of International Studies with a double major in journalism and international relations. She grew up in a defence force family which gave her a worldly outlook on life at a young age and has resulted in her strong interest in international affairs journalism.

Bella loves immersing herself in other cultures and in 2016 enjoyed a semester in Italy, on exchange at the University of Torino. She is a global leader at the Deakin Global Mobility Office assisting students and facilitating greater awareness of Deakin’s international programs by creating social media and video content. Bella is currently Secretary, and has previously been Vice President, of the Deakin University Study Abroad Club where she works with incoming exchange students.

Outside of work, Bella enjoys volunteering and has always been passionate about the welfare of others and giving back to her community. She currently volunteers at her local homeless shelter and has previously helped in soup kitchens and nursing homes.

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caitlin johnson

Caitlin Johnson studies a Bachelor of Communications majoring in Journalism at Deakin University. Having grown up immersed in music composition and production, she finds that her fluency in sound editing transfers nicely to multimedia news production. Caitlin achieved A2 level German while in high school and, in the process, discovered a passion for learning language. Now at university, she is working towards a Diploma in the Arabic language.

An opinionated writer, Caitlin enjoys writing feature stories, such as her 2018 article “Victim or Whistle Blower?”. Self-motivated and independent, she continuously challenges herself and endeavours to learn in the face of diversity. Caitlin believes that her inquisitive nature and research skills, along with experiences like the #OzinMorocco18 study tour, will equip her to produce valuable journalism.

After graduation, Caitlin hopes to secure a role in the journalism industry and then turn her attention to chasing another dream: learning Russian.

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jessica trichias

Jessica Trichias began her journalism journey when she enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts degree at Deakin University in 2015. After visiting Al Jazeera in Qatar she became excited by the prospect of becoming a journalist with a focus on the Middle East region. Jessica is now majoring in Journalism, International Relations and Middle East Studies, and is halfway through a Diploma in the Arabic language.

Jessica is also enthusiastic about photography, demonstrated by her vast collection of film and digital cameras. She takes a disposable film camera with her wherever she goes and likes to capture photos of people and places from both Melbourne and abroad. She believes photography is an integral part of telling a good story.

#ameje18

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ruby becker

Ruby is in her final year at the University of Canberra, studying a Bachelor of Journalism and specialising in Social and Digital Campaigning. She is passionate about environmentalism and social justice issues and aims to integrate these with her journalistic pursuits.

Ruby is interested in the future of online news and applying journalistic values to contemporary forms of communication, such as videography and social media campaigns. She applies these interests outside of her degree by working as a co-editor for the student-run publication Curieux, and as a content producer in a digital marketing team.

Ruby is secretary of the UC Press Club and is a member of the UC Advertising and Marketing Society. In 2016, she was an exchange student at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, during which time she travelled extensively and immersed herself in the United States political scene by reporting on protests in New York City after President Trump’s election.

Outside of work and study, Ruby enjoys reading and learning about new things, cooking, exercising, and exploring new places.

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benito carbone

Following his childhood dream of being a journalist, Benito commenced a Bachelor of Media with a major in Journalism at the University of Adelaide in 2016. These studies, along with several parallel work roles, have greatly improved his understanding of how the news media work. Benito’s interest in international news shines through his work on Radio Adelaide current affairs program The Wire, where he produces stories on foreign policy, the Middle East, and other far-reaching topics such as religion.

Along with such “hard” news rounds, Benito also has a keen passion for sports media. He currently writes, commentates and produces multimedia content for Basketball SA’s Premier League, and writes for NBL team the Adelaide 36ers. He’s currently an intern with A-League news organisation The Football Sack, attending press conferences and interacting with award-winning journalists, as well as writing articles across a variety of platforms.

Benito was proclaimed Young Citizen of the Year in the 2018 Port Adelaide Enfield Australia Day Awards for his volunteer work in both journalism and the local community. After graduation, Benito hopes to secure a role in the journalism industry and chase another dream: learning Italian.

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dale carter

Born in Perth, Dale moved to Adelaide in 2013 to complete year 12 and begin study at the University of Adelaide. She initially followed one of her passions and enrolled in a Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science. However, her interest in this field was always shared with media studies and multimedia production, and Dale is now in her final semester of a Bachelor on Media with a major in Journalism. The #AMEJE18 study tour will be her final university activity before graduation.

Dale volunteers at Radio Adelaide where she writes scripts for the breakfast program and produces its online content; and also at Channel 44 and Variety SA in various media positions. In 2017, she travelled to regional communities for the South Australian Council of Social Service and interviewed public figures on the subject of digital inclusion and how internet connectivity affects their communities regarding the roll-out of the NBN.

Dale has a passion for travelling and would one day like to combine journalism and travel into the ultimate dream career. By taking part in the #AMEJE18 study tour which incorporates these two elements, she hopes to take one step closer towards her dream becoming reality. Dale is looking forward to not just developing her journalism skills on the tour, but also her cultural understanding.

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sarah hill

Sarah is studying a Bachelor of Communications and Journalism at the University of Canberra. She has an immense interest in people and hearing their stories; one of her biggest motivations for pursuing a career in journalism is to help share people’s stories with a wider audience.

Sarah is passionate about human interest journalism and she enjoys using all forms of media including feature writing, audio journalism, film and photography. After graduation, she hopes to work in investigative journalism and documentary production.

Travel has always been a big part of Sarah’s life and she has travelled to many different places throughout the world, although this will be her first time in the Middle East. She believes that travel and cultural exchange is an effective way of building understanding and relationships across countries.

Sarah is looking forward to taking part in the #AMEJE18 study tours so she can find interesting stories in the Middle East and apply her journalism skills to share them with Australians back home.

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gabrielle kneipp

Gabrielle grew up in a small NSW country town where a work experience opportunity at the local newspaper sparked her interest in journalism. After attending a lecture by ABC foreign correspondent Sally Sara in her first year of university, and considering her own love of travel and writing, she began studying a Bachelor of Communication in Journalism and International Studies at the University of Canberra.

Gabrielle is grateful for the several opportunities she’s had to study overseas during her degree. In 2016, she travelled to Mexico City on exchange and learnt about Latin American culture and history while being immersed in it. At the end of that semester, she flew to Cuba as part of a small team filming a documentary about innovative environmental and entrepreneurial grassroots community projects.

Enriched by such inspirational experiences, Gabrielle is excited to learn about Jordan and Qatar on the #AMEJE18 study tour and share her stories with audiences back in Australia.

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ashleigh roberts

Ashleigh discovered a love for writing and photography at an early age after filling many journals and finishing countless disposable cameras. She is now in her final year of study at the University of Adelaide completing a Bachelor of Media in Journalism while undertaking several communications internships.

After experiencing some doubts about her chosen field, Ashleigh last year took part in a Japanese Media Industries and Cultures study tour which allowed her to study at the prestigious Ritsumeikan University and visit prominent media organisations such as the Asahi Shimbum and the Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation in Kyoto and Osaka. The experience revitalised her passion for the media and opened her eyes to possibly combining her love of travel with a journalistic skillset in order work overseas in the future.

Ashleigh is looking forward to the #AMEJE18 study tour and hopes to use the experience of collaboration with media professionals in the Middle East to develop journalism skills she can use throughout her career. In her spare time, Ashleigh loves listening to a variety of podcasts, reading and spending time with her loved ones, especially her Toy Poodle, Bridgette.

#ameje17

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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.