Embedding representation & coloring the media canvas with Mariam Veiszdah CEO Media Diversity Australia
In the spirit of spinning a yarn with CEO of Media Diversity Australia, Mariam Veiszadeh an award-winning human rights advocate, lawyer, diversity and inclusion practitioner, contributing author and media commentator, whose journey, through the digital waves of this episode, speaks for itself.
Mariam was most recently an Executive Director at Diversity Council of Australia, founded the Islamophobia Register Australia, and has held multiple board positions on important functional institutions of Australia
Her captivating TEDxSydney talk advocating for greater cultural diversity, was featured as an Anti-Racism Champion by the Australian Human Rights Commission and currently sits on the Commission's Expert Advisory Group for the Workplace Cultural Diversity Tool as well their Multicultural Advisory Group. Mariam has worked as radio commentator for the ABC radio and as a columnist for Fairfax media.
With many accolades to her name including the Fairfax Daily Life 2016 Woman of the year, the 2015 Westpac Woman of Influence and Welcoming Australia Life Member Award in 2021, Mariam is renowned for influencing positive change both in the workplace and in society more broadly.
The dynamic exchange on the challenges as a South Asian Heritage woman of colour, fighting accents, identity, race, pet to threat syndrome, and the stairs to leading rooms is many floors away, that Mariam also shares. How do some get to take the lifts?
We also talk about Afghanistan, within this year lots has happened in Afghanistan, in fact lots has been happening for a long time. Afghanistan has many transitions of various governments and regimes over time The atrocities of Taliban on women & children, one of the reasons Mariam with her family had to leave Afghanistan to salvage their lives.
Often thought of Afghan minorities, the Hindus & the Sikhs and the Hazras - who also have been natives of Afghanistan for thousands of years, with ancestry over hundreds of years, were always seen as outsiders. Similar is the story of Ughyurs. And also the minorities in Australia, as we speak in length with Mariam.
Diaspora should not be treated as outsiders, and how also not to take the diaspora for granted that once the diaspora settles, like colonialism they will remain silent and not voice for progress of the adopted democracy.
Mariam's great insight into intersectionality and how experiences of people of colour play out in everyday life, especially in workplaces, how passive and aversive racism can occur even without explicit intent. Representation, cultural appropriation, and the colourful canvas in Media rooms, houses, corporates - critically questioning some of the representations in popular media giving useful insight into sometimes representation is just not enough.
This episode is another celebration of the Australian stories of impact of diversity, inclusion and together with her vision for Media Diversity Australia with founders Antoinette Lattouf and Isabella Lo.
Wired Global Media and Advisory remains committed to forging our podcast series, In the spirit of Spinning Yarns and The Diaspora for a long time to come.