SBS Radio and the Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS) today announced student Julian Virgona as the winner of its 2018 bilingual radio scholarship – being awarded a place on the AFTRS Graduate Diploma in Radio program and a 12-month placement with SBS Radio.
Julian Virgona said: “Receiving the scholarship is absolutely overwhelming, and a truly unique and incredible opportunity. It still doesn’t feel real, and I am ecstatic every time I stop to think about it. I cannot be more excited to attend AFTRS, and work with SBS.”
SBS Acting Director of Audio and Language Content, Pip Spilsbury said: "SBS is committed to providing opportunities for talent from diverse backgrounds and we’re absolutely delighted to welcome Italian-speaking Julian Virgona to the SBS Radio team. Combining his AFTRS program with the expertise of our in-language broadcasters will provide Julian with the invaluable experience and knowledge needed to further develop his skillset in the radio industry."
AFTRS Program Leader, Radio, Lisa Sweeney, said: “AFTRS greatly values the opportunity to collaborate in this way with SBS Radio for this scholarship. Julian Virgona is an impressive inaugural recipient and we look forward to observing his progress this year as he benefits from both the SBS internship and the AFTRS learning. AFTRS and SBS are both committed to encouraging the development of diverse Australian stories and this scholarship will assist both organisations to achieve this."
The partnership aims to recognise an outstanding radio student with the overall objective of developing Australia’s bilingual radio talent. Applications were open to students of the following languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Kurdish, Mandarin, Nepali, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese. As part of the process, shortlisted applicants undertook a language test facilitated by SBS Radio, with Julian Virgona being selected as the scholarship winner. He will commence his AFTRS’ Scholarship, sponsored by SBS, on 26 February and will join SBS’s radio team in April.
Encouraging students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to pursue employment pathways in the media, SBS also developed the SBS Media Mentorship Program in 2010. In collaboration with SBS, NITV, Macquarie University and the Ethnic Communities Council of New South Wales, the program has also expanded to include students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.