This year’s Communication for Social Change Award from the University of Queensland recognises the work of Radio Free Sarawak. Radio Free Sarawak founder Clare Rewcastle and colleague Peter John Jaban spoke at the symposium yesterday.
Ms Rewcastle said Radio Free Sarawak gave a radio and internet voice to isolated rural indigenous communities affected by illegal logging and land grabs in the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak.
“The group’s work also enables people to engage with others via phone-ins, informing and empowering their communities,” she said.
“For us at Radio Free Sarawak, receiving such an award is an honour and source of pride for our small team of brave and dedicated information activists.
“It is also a much-appreciated endorsement and source of protection against those forces who want to depict our project as somehow subversive or illegal.”
“This recognition, by such a respected institution in Australia, will help protect us against influential politicians who are trying to brand us as somehow criminal for not promoting their agenda in Sarawak, and it gives us a welcome profile that will help protect us from state harassment or prosecutions.”
The Reporters Without Borders organisation has named Mr Jaban, known on air as Papa Orangutan, as an “information hero”.
For more information see the following link – http://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2014/10/freedom-photo-essay-wins-uq-award