AFTRS announces recipients of five merit-based scholarships 

The Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS) has announced the recipients of five merit-based scholarships that will support students from underrepresented groups in the Australian film and broadcast to continue their studies.

Scholarships include the Pariya Taherzadeh Radio Scholarship, ABC Selwyn Speight Excellence Radio Scholarship, Glenn Daniel Smooth FM Scholarship, Onbass Gentle Giant Scholarship and the Women in Cinematography Scholarship.

For the scholarships, AFTRS worked with different partners to offer the selected creatives the opportunity to take their education further.

Sarah Young, who was awarded the 2023 Pariya Taherzadeh Radio Scholarship, 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 successful AFTRS alumna in podcasting and radio who 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 ScholarshipBen Lewis, will be interning at the ABC as part of the Scholarship program. 

“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,” Lewis said.

“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. 

The two recipients of the 2023 Women in Cinematography Scholarship, supported by Sony, are Hiruni Dharmasena and Jacqueline Sharah. Both recipients are currently studying a Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production.

Jacqueline Sharah said she feels “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.” 

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.”

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