AFTRS graduate wins gold at coveted New York radio awards

Staff Writer

AFTRS Radio graduate Pariya Taherzadeh has won two awards at the New York Festivals Radio Awards, including the Gold in the History category.

Taherzadeh won the Awards for her radio feature Escape from Iran which tells the story of how she and her mother escaped from Iran on camelback following the 1979 Iranian revolution.

The feature was broadcast on Radio National while Taherzadeh was working as part of the AFTRS/ABC Selwyn Speight Diversity Scholarship program, which she was awarded in 2018.

Taherzadeh worked at Radio National and triple j for a year before joining Mamamia where she now works as a podcast producer.

AFTRS head of radio, Fyona Smith, said she was pleased to see Pariya’s work recognised globally.

“Pariya and her mother Jaleh’s story is incredible and important. When Pariya first arrived at AFTRS, her curiosity and determination for extraordinary audio storytelling were evident.”

Taherzadeh added: “I wanted to be in the media from a young age but, as a refugee, there were very limited opportunities. No-one in my direct family had been to university before me.

“Studying at AFTRS and winning the Selwyn Speight Diversity Scholarship changed my life.

“The skills I learned at AFTRS were incredibly useful when I started work in radio and the Scholarship gave me opportunities that I could only ever have dreamed of.”

While working for a year at the ABC, Taherzadeh was invited to use those skills to both produce on-air programs and produce the show.

“Making the feature was a way to tell my Mum that I loved and appreciated her and winning the awards is an acknowledgement of the sacrifices she made to give me opportunities in Australia.”

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