Founded by journalists Isabel Lo and Antoinette Lattouf in 2017, Media Diversity Australia (MDA) is a national not-for-profit organisation working towards creating a media landscape that looks and sounds like Australia.
After more than six years, Lattouf has stepped down from the board and away from the organisation to focus on her writing and broadcasting projects. As the MDA farewells Lattouf, it welcomes new non-executive board directors as the charity grows in scale and impact.
Lattouf said: “This is really bittersweet for me. I am tremendously proud that MDA has helped to slowly shift and change things in the industry, which will produce better journalism and better connections with audiences. Yet, it’s the sort of organisation that in an ideal world wouldn’t need to exist if quality, fairness and inclusion prevailed.”
There’s so much I am proud of, but the two things that stand out as I reflect on my time with MDA is the two iterations of the agenda-setting research, Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories? and the fact that what started as a volunteer organisation run by working journalists now has a passionate team of paid staff who will continue doing this important advocacy.”
MDA provides paid fellowships for early career journalists, mentorships for women of colour with leadership aspirations, academic research, an award at the Mid-Year Walkleys, strategic industry memberships and partnerships that disrupt the status quo and pave pathways for diverse representation across Australian media.
Co-fonder Isabel Lo said: “MDA wouldn’t be where it is today without Antoinette’s courage, tenacity and advocacy. I am immensely proud of the work we have done together. Of course much work remains, which is why we are bringing on two additional non-executive board directors who will help us steer the ship.”
Proud Wiradjuri man Brendan Thomas has joined the board as MDA’s newest non-executive director with almost 30 years experience working in the criminal justice system.
Thomas said: “I’m really impressed with what Media Diversity Australia has achieved since its launch in 2017 and I am excited to support and guide their advocacy as the team seeks to speed up the pace of change in the media.”
Last month Sheryn Omeri KC was welcomed to the board as non-executive director, joining founder, Isabel, and chair Alvaro Rodas Fernandez, who has been serving on the Board since 2020.
Omeri KC said: “I am honoured to accept this appointment to the Board of MDA. I look forward to contributing to its objective of encouraging the development of a more diverse media landscape in Australia, reflective of our modern multicultural society, in order to enhance news reporting and public debate on important issues.”