To further stimulate conversations about racism in Australia, the NSW Reconciliation Council has pulled together a panel of diverse Australians who all have something to say. You can have your say too, please submit your comments via our facebook page, you will also be able to join the conversation via Twitter.
Join Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr. Helen Szoke, Fear of a Brown Planet's Nazeem Hussain, UN Youth Ambassador, Benson Saulo and comedian Jennifer Wong. The evening will be hosted by ABC's Steve Cannane and will feature music from Ngaratya.
Date: Thursday 31 May 2012
Venue: Seymour Centre, Sydney
Steve Cannane is a news journalist and current affairs reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Steve started with Triple J reporting for current affairs during The Morning Show. In 2004 he moved to report, produce and present Triple J's current affairs program, Hack where he was awarded the 2006 Walkley Award for Broadcast Interviewing.
Since then Steve has broadened out to working on television including stints with Triple J tv, while working on pop culture, documentary and current affairs programs for the ABC. He currently presents The Drum on ABC News 24 and is a reporter on Lateline.
Dr. Helen Szoke
Helen Szoke was appointed as Australia’s full time Race Discrimination Commissioner in 2011. Up until her appointment, Helen Szoke was the Commissioner with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Helen is a Patron of New Beginnings and the Australian Arabic Women's Foundation Inc. Helen has been involved in education and the community sector for a number of years and in 2011 was recognised with the Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Award for contribution to Human Rights.
Together with Aamer Rahman, Nazeem is half of the hit comedy duo “Fear of a Brown Planet” which in 2008, took out the Best Newcomer Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. In 2007, Nazeem entered Triple J’s Raw Comedy and beat hundreds of other hopefuls to reach the Victorian State final.
Since then, he has gone on to perform sold out shows around the country. Nazeem has performed at the Oxfam Comedy Gala, broadcast on Network Ten and has also appeared as a panellist on the ABC’s Q & A and the 7pm PM Project on Network Ten.
Nazeem performed at the Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne & Sydney Comedy Festivals in 2011, in ‘Fear of a Brown Planet Attacks.
Benson Saulo is 23 years old and lives in Melbourne –but grew up in Tamworth (Gomileroi Country) and began working at ANZ when he was 15 through the Indigenous Traineeships Program which he completed in 2005.
Benson moved to Sydney to study at the University of Technology of Sydney and worked in Business Banking as an Assistant Manager until his recent appointment, in 2011 as the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations. He is the first Indigenous Australian to be appointed in this role.
Benson has undertaken a number of board positions including being a on the board for Reconciliation Victoria, Aboriginal Advisory Board to the Victorian Electoral Commission and EastWeb; a youth lead philanthropic board focusing on Indigenous, Refugee and Asylum Seeker community initiatives.
Jennifer Wong is a writer and stand-up comedian from Sydney, Australia. Offstage, she has written for the series return of Good News Week (2008), web editor of RoveDaily (2009), and researcher on Can of Worms (2011), all on Channel Ten.
In 2011 she was one of five Australian comedians selected to perform in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s new talent showcase, Comedy Zone, and included in The Sydney Morning Herald’s/The Age Metro’s list of top ten new comics to watch in 2011.