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Glen Innes student wins $10,000 scholarship to help share the voices of regional Australia.

Posted on : 24 January 2022

The future of journalism is looking bright today as the RAS Foundation (RASF) announces northern NSW student Kate Newsome as the recipient of the 2022 JB Fairfax Award for Rural & Regional Journalism and Communications.

Established through a private donation from Mr John B Fairfax AO in 2008 to identify and assist up-and-coming rural journalists, the award is presented to a journalism or communications student who has demonstrated a passion for reporting on issues affecting rural and regional communities and wishes to become a voice for regional Australia.

Growing up on a sheep and cattle farm near Glen Innes in rural NSW, Kate has been exposed to the many hardships of rural life - drought, bushfires, the imbalance of opportunities and access to resources, the impact of the pandemic – all of which have contributed to her passion for rural affairs and the pivotal role played by the media.

Now in her 3rd year of a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications) at the University of Sydney, Kate says she has her sights set on a career that will embrace her roots by focusing on rural and regional stories and addressing the misrepresentation of these communities.

“I believe thorough journalism and a strong media presence in rural and regional Australia is more important now than ever before. It has the power to educate, advocate, investigate and allow for overlooked experiences to be shared and voices to be heard,” Kate said.

“I have seen how the misrepresentation of regional and rural areas can misinform the metropolitan understanding of issues facing these communities, and I wish to help change that.”

As the 2022 JB Fairfax recipient, Kate will receive a $10,000 cash scholarship for the academic year and three significant internship opportunities within the rural media landscape – with Australian Community Media at The Land Newspaper, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in their Brisbane newsroom, and as part of the Sydney Royal Easter Show media team.

After the financial strain of relocating to Sydney for study and the impact that the pandemic’s restrictions have had on face-to-face studying and networking, Kate is incredibly grateful for the opportunities afforded by the scholarship.

“The JB Fairfax Award will provide an invaluable foundation to a career in media through the support and internships it provides and will give me the opportunity to make a real difference for communities like mine across rural and regional Australia,” Kate said.

RASF Manager, Cecilia Logan says this year’s applicants were of a very high calibre, and the future of regional journalism is looking bright.

“The quality of applications and the passion for regional and rural issues coming through this year were outstanding. It’s inspiring to see so many journalism and communication students, like Kate, recognise the value of reporting rural and regional stories,” Cecilia Logan said.

“It is an honour to call Kate our 2022 JB Fairfax Award for Rural & Regional Journalism Communications recipient. She has shown incredible enthusiasm and talent towards regional and rural storytelling, and I cannot wait to see where this scholarship will take her.”

The JB Fairfax Award for Rural & Regional Journalism and Communications will be presented to Kate at the Sydney Royal Easter Show on Sunday 10th April.

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