Australia’s leading international student news website

Career advice: ‘Don’t feel your background is a disadvantage’

Nkandu Chipale Mwenge

Thu May 02 2013

Radio Active Media Forum 2013

STUDENTS in media who feel disadvantaged by their cultural backgrounds need to learn to play to their strengths, ABC news reporter and anchor Auskar Subarkti tells participants at the Radio Active Media Forum on the weekend. Nkandu Mwenge reports.

Award-winning multi-platform journalist Auskar Surbakti from the ABC speaking about his journalism experience and inspiring budding journalists. Photo: NEMBC via Facebook

Award-winning multi-platform journalist Auskar Surbakti from the ABC shares his experiences about breaking into mainstream media. Photo: Jasmine Budisa, Administration Officer of NEMBC

Award-winning multi-platform journalist Auskar Subarkti advises aspiring broadcasters not to “feel disadvantaged” by their backgrounds and not to “neglect (their) first language skills”, but use these attributes as leverage to get them into mainstream media.

Mr Subarkti, who has worked for Ten News, SBS and now the ABC, was addressing students at Radio Active, a one-day media forum held at the Multicultural Hub in Melbourne last Saturday.

An initiative of National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC), the forum was aimed at getting youth broadcasters from community radio stations around Victoria and young people from the community not yet involved in the media, to meet each other and network.

Drawing from lessons learnt in his career, Mr Subarkti cites the time he used his knowledge of his native Indonesian to cover post-tsunami 2004 stories for media outlets.

Subarkti encourages aspiring journalists to volunteer with different broadcasters in order to widen their skills, because specialists in one field don’t add much value to corporations.

He says students should also take advantage of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to enhance their appeal to would be employers.

Other speakers at the Forum included 2010 young Victorian of the year Wesa Chau, Radio National Journalist and SYN (Student Youth Network) Board member Georgia Moodie, comedian and former amazing race contestant Mohammed El Leissy and Erin McCuskey from YUM studios.