ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose has used the release of new audience data from the public broadcaster to urge better diversity in Australia’s media and boardrooms and call for more to be done on the environment.
Buttrose, speaking on ABC Radio National this morning, revealed the broadcaster had just completed surveying 50,000 of its audience and found that environmental issues were top of mind for many people and, she added, the ABC were looking at better ways to incorporate green issues into its programming.
She also said that diversity in Australia’s boardrooms was another big issue to come out of the survey results that will be officially released in the new year.
“Much of the media is white and we’re not all white,” Buttrose said.
“Let’s look at diversity. Do we have enough Asian representation? Should we have some Asians on the board? Do we have enough Middle Eastern representation? Should we have Middle Eastern representation on the board? Many Australians are not represented well enough and it’s about time we change that.”
She also lamented that Australian workplaces had become too politically correct and the loss of “larrikinism” had had a detrimental effect.
“I think Australians are especially good-humoured people, and we like to josh each other in the workplace, and we should be able to do that without anyone being offended or sensitive about it. We’re far too sensitive,” she said.
“We’ve sort of suppressed that side of our character. I think we need to bring back the larrikin element of Australia and be very proud of it, because it’s very unique to us,” Buttrose added. “Our larrikins are pretty special.”
Buttrose added that other top level issues to come out of the survey, called Australia Talks, found that respondents felt passionate about Indigenous issues, a fairer go for people in country areas and the climate was a significant concern.
“Anyone in government who thinks the Australian people do not believe in climate change is absolutely blinkered in their thinking,” she said.