It’s been a big week in the news. The world got its first Latin American pope, Julia Gillard is Australia’s preferred prime minister again, North Korea ripped up its non-aggression pact with South Korea and a portrait of Tara Moss won the Packing Room prize.
China also had some significant news: it finally gave the rubber stamp seal of approval to its new President and Premier. The events marked the beginning of a new generation of leadership for China — the biggest change since the death of their most famous leader, Chairman Mao Zedong.
In April the Bangladeshi Government ordered the destruction of one of the largest slums in Dhaka, leaving thousands homeless. Three court hearings haven’t resolved anything.
It’s nearly winter in Bangladesh and the capital, Dhaka, is already sinking under the combined weight of grey skies, sticky air, and 12 million inhabitants. The population here is growing fast, with nearly half a million new migrants arriving in the city each year hoping to escape rural poverty.
Article published in Exchange magazine’s October 2012 edition.
We were standing on the rooftop when the first rains of the Bangladeshi Summer came gushing down. Surrounded by piles of leaves, seeds and dirt which were fast becoming mud, we watched as months of careful planning washed away before our eyes.
It was not quite the start we’d hoped for. But after committing to turn Dhaka’s grey skyline green with gardens planted by Youth Against Hunger, we needed to find some silver lining in the black clouds hovering above us. Luckily for me, Bangladeshis have a knack for bringing hope to even the most difficult of situations.
Article published in global development practitioners’ website WhyDev.
On my first day helping out with Angikaar, I was greeted by the news that a fire had swept through a large portion of homes in Rayer Bazar. Surrounded by a bunch of over-excited children, I was struck by the significance of their story and the fact that this was the first I’d heard of it, despite living in a neighbouring suburb. The next day, a hundred words in Bangladesh’s English newspaper, The Daily Star, announced the fire with unsettling objectivity and little detail. For me, this moment captured the reason behind Angikaar and the potential behind sharing those children’s stories. It was an idea that resonated with the newspaper’s tagline that we would later go on to create: “Rising voices, building a better Bangladesh.”
Article published on Australian online publication Megaphone.
China is host to the world’s largest number of English learners, but the opportunities for speaking and learning remain inadequate, leaving many Chinese English users relying on a diet of Western pop culture to get by.
This paper examines Australian news coverage of Papua New Guinea (PNG), a country with which Australia shares geographic proximity and strong historical ties. Drawing on the results of a content analysis examining coverage of PNG by The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers from January 1 until June 30, 2010, this paper aims to demonstrate that PNG is a neglected news region. This neglect – in terms of quality reporting – has produced a limited and fragmentary portrayal of PNG in the Australian media, where the majority of news stories about PNG tend to lack analysis and contextual background. The key methodologies used in this paper are content analysis and in-depth interviews with a selected number of Australian journalists currently or previously based in PNG. The paper hopes to provide insight into a much broader examination of the changing trends in international news coverage of developing countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific.
Article published for Chinese arts and culture publication In Hangzhou.
…In the heart of downtown Xiaoshan lies Xin Qiao, an open-air street food market. Between the scooters and below the lanterns lies an array of food trolleys selling delicious fresh meats, fruit and vegetables. To an outsider, it might look like a dingy, badly-lit alleyway. But venture further into the barbecue smoke for an authentic and unique dining experience.
It was as if we were floating among the stars. They sparkled above me in the sky, and gleamed alongside me in the deep black water. All we could hear was the ringing siren of cicadas, and the only hint of earthliness was the occasional campfire light flickering through the jungle. It was 4am, and we were travelling by dug-out canoe down the mighty Sepik River of Papua New Guinea. I had to pinch myself to be sure that it was real.