Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Scholarship winners announced for emerging content creators with disability

The Morrison Government has partnered with the ABC to offer the Regional Storyteller Scholarship and provide work experience for talented content makers with disability.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the $30,000 scholarship provides a unique opportunity for regional Australians with disability to build their skills and share their stories with a national audience.

“We are proud to announce that this year’s scholarship winners are Tara Bufton from Launceston, TAS, and Mandy McCracken from Kilmore, VIC. The winners were selected from a broad pool of talented applicants that shared their unique and innovative ideas from across Australia,” Minister Ruston said.

“Creating opportunities for content makers in regional communities to share their stories will help ensure Australians with disability feel seen and heard, and break down barriers to employment.

“Building the skills and experience of young people with disability and supporting them to obtain meaningful employment are key priorities in the new ten year National Disability Strategy currently being developed across all levels of government.”

The ABC’s Director of Regional & Local, Judith Whelan, said the scholarship continued to play an important role in discovering and nurturing talent from regional content makers with disability.

“We have had the benefit of some incredibly talented scholarship winners working with our own content makers in all parts of the country, telling their stories which have resonated deeply with our audiences,” Ms Whelan said.

“Now in its fourth year, this scholarship has been instrumental in furthering the careers and aspirations of very talented content makers with disability, allowing them to showcase their skills and experience through a range of avenues.”

Tara will produce a radio series exploring the different stigma people with complex mental health conditions experience, and promote self-acceptance through authentic storytelling. Mandy will seek to capture the daily joys and obstacles of living as a quadruple amputee through radio segments and interviews.

“Tara and Mandy will join a talented group of scholarship recipients that have produced incredible content that aims to inspire and educate, and have gone on to receive further employment opportunities in the media and entertainment industry,” Ms Whelan said.

This includes previous scholarship recipients Emma Myers, who is currently working on digital article and television commissions for ABC Newcastle and ABC News, and Eliza Hull, who has been offered a part time contract with News Radio.