SBS Urdu

In conversation with Michelle Rowland –a representative of ‘modern Australia’

SBS Urdu

Michelle Rowland

Minister of Communications Michelle Rowland posing for a picture during her election campaign. Source: SBS


Published 29 June 2022 at 1:49pm
By Rehan Alavi, Nida Tahseen
Source: SBS

Federal Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland spoke to SBS Urdu on various topics, including the government's plans for Australia's changing media landscape. SBS Urdu had a tete-a-tete with recently appointed Minister of Communications Michelle Rowland.


Published 29 June 2022 at 1:49pm
By Rehan Alavi, Nida Tahseen
Source: SBS


Minister of Communications, Michelle Rowland emphasised the need of reflecting Australian diversity in every platform including media. The key points discussed during the conversation with SBS Urdu are:

  • Media diversity in Australia
  • Support for regional newspapers
  • Role of public media
Upon asking about her top agenda as Minister of Communications, Michelle said, “Australia has changed vastly in the last decade. We need to make sure that our regulatory system and our legislative framework are set up to be properly representative of all Australians irrespective of their journey and irrespective of where they live or work. This is an enormous job to do, but at the same time we have so many people in our community really making efforts to engage and making efforts to be representative of people and that needs to be encouraged as well. It is about ensuring connectedness to everyone to have that equality of opportunity.”  

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She reiterated her promise to formulate a fund to support regional and local newspapers, “The pandemic and its associated challenges have highlighted the importance of local news and that is expensive. We will deliver on having a regional and local newspaper publishers’ fund. We are going to fast-track investment to have access to paper which is needed to produce a lot of these publications, but of course, we have enhanced money towards community broadcasting and developing a news media assistance program to formulate measures to support public interest journalism and media diversity.”

She further pressed on the need to make every aspect of media more representative of the diverse communities residing in Australia. She extended her views on diversity by saying that diversity is not restricted to ethnicity only, it also includes gender and demographic diversity as well. In doing so, she appreciated the role of SBS, “SBS itself is a really great example of the role government plays in promoting diversity and inclusion. We have seen scholarships for journalists from diverse backgrounds, but we really need programs that depict the modern face of Australia and they all help and that’s across news, sports, drama, children’s programs, lifestyle.”



She also apprised us of a fact about herself, “I have noticed on ABC and SBS that when I turn on the TV I see myself. I represent a very diverse community, so when I turn on these programs more and more, I feel like, I am seeing myself and that’s so important for our community. You can’t be what you can’t see. People should really have that confidence that the media particularly the public broadcasters are reflective of that view, so SBS and ABC are setting up a really good example in that respect and as a minister I really want that to continue.”



She argued that the public broadcasters should not be treated as political footballs and announced further funding during the next five years, “We will fund ABC and SBS with five-year funding terms and we will restore that 87 million dollars cut which ABC said was inhibiting its ability to deliver on its charter. We are going to be offering respect for the ABC and SBS as our public broadcasters for the important democratic institutions that they are.”



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