10 December 2007

‘Positive Teens’ wins Radio category
at the 2007 Human Rights Awards

The 2007 Human Rights Radio Award has been presented to Positive Teens which was produced by Julie Kimberley and broadcast on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters program on 17 April 2007.

The award was accepted by Ms Kimberley at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Human Rights Medal and Awards ceremony at the Sheraton on the Park Hotel in Sydney today.

Positive Teens dealt with the prejudice, secrecy and stigma faced by young HIV positive people who had contracted the virus from their mothers. In exploring what is a sometimes hidden and not well understood issue, the people interviewed talked openly about discovering they were HIV positive, of losing their mothers (and fathers and siblings) to the illness at very young ages, and of having to make decisions about trust and disclosure almost every day - often having to move schools and break friendships in the process to keep their secret safe.

In arriving at their decision to give the Human Rights Radio Award to this program, the judges noted that, through airing the complex realities of life for these young people, Positive Teens powerfully educated listeners about the injustices and hardship caused by attitudes that discriminate against those who are different. The candour, bravery and honesty with which the young people concerned told of their deepest feelings is a testament, not only to them, but to the interviewing skills of the journalist, Julie Kimberley.

Another program, A Light at the Door, produced by David Busch, was recognised as highly commended in this category.

This program examined the various religious  human rights groups that have been drawing attention to the ongoing trade in human beings around the world through human trafficking and bonded labour. These groups have only emerged in recent years but are making a distinctive and important contribution to the global anti-slavery campaigns, and have brought with them a unique combination of both grassroots and global networks.

The judges felt the program encouraged action and raised awareness that people trafficking can no longer be thought of as just a regional problem, but an internal one to Australia.

A Light at the Door aired on ABC Radio national on the Encounter program on 23 September 2007.

Other awards presented at the ceremony today are for achievements in Law, Arts Non-Fiction, Television, Print Media, Community Awards for both organisations and individuals and the prestigious Human Rights Medal. For more information see www.humanrights.gov.au/about/hr_awards

Media contact:  Brinsley Marlay (02) 9284 9656 or 0430 366 529