About StoryCasters

StoryCasters podcasting cohort 1.0 in the  Arts and Cultural Exchange recording studio with trainer and Colour Cycle podcast producer Jennifer Macey

StoryCasters is a training hub for future citizen journalists and digital producers.

Diversity Arts Australia developed StoryCasters to address the underrepresentation of young, culturally diverse content producers and critics in the arts and creative sectors. We aimed to address the lack of cultural diversity in the writing, screen, podcasting, journalism, and music industries and to form communities of practice for diverse content creators.

Funded by Create NSW and Multicultural NSW over two and a half years (2019-2021), the first StoryCasters project worked with 65 young people across Western Sydney to develop new skills and career pathways and provide industry experience opportunities. A second successful cohort launched in 2023.

Diversity Arts partners with specialist companies and individuals to co-deliver our programs. This ensures excellent continuity and mentorship, as well as industry connections. During the StoryCasters training program, participants come together for collaborations, mixers, networking drinks, and online events during the COVID-19 lockdown for StoryCasters 1.0. This results in cross-pollinations, exchanges and collaborations that extend across more than eight weeks of training in different disciplines:

StoryCasters 1.0:

  • Writing — 25 participants, mentored by Winnie Dunn and Shirley Le from the Sweatshop Literacy Movement
  • Screen — 15 participants, mentored by Maria Tran from Phoenix Eye
  • Podcasting — 15 participants, mentored by Podcast Producer Jennifer Macey
  • Sounds — 10 participants, mentored by Nicola Morton and Del Lumanta via Information and Cultural Exchange.

We rounded out the training program with masterclasses and industry talks from industry professionals like Oli Chang (of the indie group Animal Feelings) and Anisha Thomas (film music composer, Sound-How) and excursions to outlets like FBi Radio.

StoryCasters 2.0:

  • Writing — 20 participants, mentored by Winnie Dunn and Sheree Joseph from the Sweatshop Literacy Movement
  • Photojournalism — 12 participants, mentored by Isabella Melody Moore
  • Podcasting — 10 participants, mentored by Podcast Producer Nadyat El-Gawley

We rounded out the training program with masterclasses from prize-winning author and journalist Simone Amelia Jordan (including industry talks from journalists Antoinette Lattouf and Lillian Saleh) and industry excursions to SBS News and Hachette Australia.

After intensive media training, both StoryCasters cohorts were commissioned to create new content.

In 2023/24, we were excited to work with Multicultural NSW and the The New Point Magazine for our StoryCasters 2.0 program, partnering with Media Diversity Australia and Sweatshop Literacy Movement to deliver this unique program. Find out more about the StoryCasters 2.0 program.

The StoryCasters are young creatives (between the ages of 18 and 30) who identify as being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background and/or as people of colour. This includes people from non-English-speaking, migrant, and refugee backgrounds.

StoryCasters 1.0 also included Angeline Barion, Andy Thai, Aseel Harb, Ashleigh Ho, Auatama Iese, Christine Afoa, Elizabeth Mora, Faraaz Rahman, Janette Chen, Karishma Tanvi, Khaleed Al Khawaldeh, May Tran, Md Nurul Hoque, Phoebe Grainer, Rachel Marie, Rameen Malik, Samia Halabi, Stephanie Nguy, Thi Tran, Victoria Zhou, Vivian Duong, Xiaoran Shi and Yenee Saw.

Download the StoryCasters 1.0 Report

The StoryCasters project has resulted in a rich set of outcomes ranging from paid commissions and ongoing employment opportunities to creating communities of practice. Join our mailing list to download the full report and learn about the project outcomes and key learnings.

Who’s involved?

Executive Producer: Lena Nahlous, Diversity Arts Australia

Project Producers: Sonia Mehrmand (Cohort 1.0) and Simone Amelia Jordan (Cohort 2.0)

Communications and Marketing: Glaiza Perez, Claire Cao, Thuy Nguyen, and Decode Media

Project Trainers and Mentors:

Cohort 1.0: Tanya Ali (FBi Radio), Oli Chang (Animal Feelings), Therese Chen (Phoenix Eye), Winnie Dunn (Sweatshop Literacy Movement), Takashi Hara (Phoenix Eye), Serena Hunt, Shirley Le (Sweatshop Literacy Movement), Del Lumanta, Jennifer Macey, Nicola Morton, Anisha Thomas, Maria Tran (Phoenix Eye), Nancy Trieu (Phoenix Eye).

Cohort 2.0: Sheree Joseph (Sweatshop Literacy Movement), Winnie Dunn (Sweatshop Literacy Movement), Isabella Moore, and Nadyat El Gawley.

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