SBS Board hosts ‘in conversation’ community forum

Friday 24 February 2017 

News Release

Hosted by SBS Insight presenter Jenny Brockie, the ‘Conversations with SBS – Board Community Forum’ was an opportunity to ask questions and hear directly from the recently appointed Chairman of SBS, Dr Hass Dellal AO, Managing Director Michael Ebeid, other members of SBS’s Board of Directors, Dot West, Bill Lenehan, Daryl Karp and Peeyush Gupta, as well as senior SBS management.

SBS Chairman, Dr Hass Dellal AO, opened the discussion commenting on the important role community consultation has played in the evolution of SBS.

Dr Dellal said: “I have a passion for SBS, and I know that you all have a passion for SBS. We have served the early migrants that came to this country really well, and we continue to serve them. We now have that same responsibility and obligation for Australia’s newer communities, to really serve them well. That’s what we’re about. We serve them through the stories we explore, and we do that through consultation.

“There are so many important issues to tackle and we need to make sure we are for all Australians - Indigenous Australians, new arrivals, as well as the earlier migrant communities - so we all come together as a nation.

“Simply being a culturally and ethnically diverse nation does not constitute a successful multicultural country in the absence of good policy and good consultation. SBS was one of those good policy decisions. It’s ours, it’s all of ours,” Dr Dellal added. 

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid spoke about how SBS is continuing to evolve to be able to provide more opportunities for Australia’s diverse communities to access more content than ever before.

Mr Ebeid said: “The media sector has changed more in the past five years than it has in the past 50. One of the things that we’ve been really focused on is evolving SBS to ensure we’re keeping up with the way that audiences are consuming media. 

“That’s what we’re focused on, using technology to reach more Australians, be available to more communities, and continuing to evolve. But importantly we are making sure that our content is distinctive to every other network, and that has never been more important to us. 

“We’re proud to be a network that reflects what you would see walking down any street in any city or town in Australia, more than any other network,” Mr Ebeid added. 
The discussion throughout the 90 minute event covered a wide range of topics reflecting the diverse communities that SBS serves including the SBS Radio Services Review currently underway, the importance of promoting languages, the need to serve younger audiences through channels like SBS VICELAND while also helping older audiences take advantage of digital technology including SBS On Demand, as well as Indigenous employment and pathway opportunities.  

The community forum followed the first SBS Board meeting of 2017 held at SBS’s headquarters in Artarmon on 23 February. The event also provided a valuable opportunity for representatives of different community groups and organisations with a shared interest in the programs and services SBS delivers, the chance to connect and engage with one another. Attendees were also provided with a preview of upcoming SBS content for 2017. 

SBS will continue to host similar public events throughout the year, with details to be published on the SBS website as they become available.