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Team 2015

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Saba is Senior Lecturer in journalism at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She has worked as both a broadcast and print journalist within Australia and internationally since 1995. Saba was a broadcaster/producer for Radio Jordan English service for four years. She also worked on a contract basis for CNN, World New Events (USA), and Dubai TV. In Australia she worked at 3ZZZ Melbourne Ethnic Community Radio, a consultant for SBS, and is a certified radio trainer.
— SABA BEBAWI - Project Director and Study Tour Leader
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Andrew Dodd is the Program Director of Journalism at Swinburne. He was a broadcaster at ABC Radio National, where he presented many of the network¹s programs and founded the Media Report. He was a national reporter at ABC TV¹s 7.30 Report and a business and media reporter at The Australian newspaper. He has also worked at Triple R FM and RadioNetherlands and has freelanced for The Age, Crikey and several other publications. He has reported from Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, North
America and Africa.
— ANDREW DODD - Study Tour Leader and Editor
My name is Juliette Strangio and I am currently studying at Swinburne University of Technology, in a Degree of Film and Television Production. With a background in photography and writing, I have been exceptionally lucky to have been able to direct a variety of short films, documentaries and music videos both as a student and professionally. I currently work as a freelance writer and following university I hope to become a part of Filmmakers Without Borders located in Sierra Leone.
— JULIETTE STRANGIO - Study Tour Documentary Film Maker
CHRISTINE BYLLAARDT
Being a part of the Australian first foreign correspondent tour is a privilege and an opportunity that I am lucky enough to be apart of. As I am of Middle Eastern background, I am excited to travel to places like the UAE and Jordan to connect with the culture, and accurately reporting the things I observed. Through this study tour I aim to gain as much experience and independence as I possibly can, whilst taking in the culture around me and trying to understand what life is like through the eyes of the locals. I am a keen writer and traveller, and incorporating journalism into the things I love to do is a career I aspire to pursue. Becoming a foreign correspondent is the reason I wanted to become a journalist, and learning how to do so from the other side of the world is a huge stepping-stone for my future. I have a passion for writing about people and events, and I am looking forward to changing the minds of others through journalism.
— CHRISTINE BYLLAARDT
Hi! My name is Krystal, I am 22 years of age and pretty much ready to take on the world, but I will start with The Middle East. I have big goals and even bigger dreams and one step at a time I will tick them off my bucket list. I would say that I was made for Journalism, but more and more I am starting to think that Journalism was made for me. I am obsessed with this field, a passion, which has stemmed from my childhood, demanding that I be the star of the home video every time, hosting each holiday or commentating every junior football game. I am excited to challenge my self in the Middle East and see how my abilities as a journo grow. Exciting things to come!
— KRYSTAL MIZZI
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I’m Chad Phillips and am a 3rd year journalism student at Swinburne University. I am heavily involved in Melbourne’s community radio and TV sector for more than a decade, I’m fascinated about global current affairs and news. When I am not studying, I’m an avid ‘shoe string’ backpacker, having travelled to most of the continents. I hope the foreign correspondent tour will open new opportunities and skills in a career as an international broadcaster and journalist.
— CHAD PHILLIPS
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This study tour to the Middle East is a massive opportunity for me. Travelling is an enormous passion of mine and, to me; it’s about experiencing different cultures and seeing what other parts of the world have to teach you. I’m really interested to experience the Middle East for myself without the negative influence portrayed by the Australian media. It will allow me to gain real understanding of what it’s like to be a journalist. Hopefully over the two weeks I will further develop my skills, especially how to change my journalistic nature to suit various cultures. I will have the opportunity to meet and engage with experts who have worked with many international networks. This is a massive chance to ask for advice and to learn about their experiences as a foreign correspondent. Most of all, I’m hoping that this study tour helps me to understand where in the media industry I can see myself.
— EDWINA TOOHEY
Hi I’m Stefania, I’m 22 and in my final year of journalism studies. My passions include writing, travelling, reading books (not in digital), and quality coffee. My aim on this study tour is to unveil the untold and tell memorable stories, I will do my upmost to understand the region and its culture. I know this experience will teach me a world of new things and bring me closer to my professional journalistic goals, and I cannot wait to share my journey with my comrades and our readers.
— STEFANIA DI PAOLA
This opportunity is a once in a lifetime experience. Travelling to countries like Dubai and Jordan, gaining cultural experiences such as Petra whilst also working in the real time 24 hour news cycle as a Foreign Correspondent is ultimate in developing my journalism skills. I’ve always wanted to be a foreign correspondent, watching programs like Dateline, ABC’s Foreign Correspondent and Four Corners, have inspired me to become a journalist. These journalism programs, have uncovered stories not reported in mainstream media, changed the way people perceive an issue and highlight the need for journalists like them. There is a certain stigma around the Middle East from general public, their views are made up mainly of what they see/hear on commercial networks, it excites me that I may be able to inform and give a different perspective regarding life in the Middle East. I look forward to this study tour allowing me to network with like-minded journalists, give me a real life insight into what it would be like to be a working foreign correspondent. Creating stories that an audience will be able to connect to, changing some opinions and shining a light on issues is a challenge I cannot wait to undertake. I feel very honoured to be selected for this study tour, it’s a dream of mine and the ultimate cultural and professional experience.
— CAITLIN MCMULLEN
I am a final year Journalism student at Swinburne. I have had a keen interest in the history and politics of the Middle East for as long as I can remember. I was lucky enough to travel through Turkey and Syria several years ago and am grateful for the chance to return to such a diverse and beautiful part of the world. The work we produce on this study trip will be the foundation of me getting a job as a journalist if they still exist next year.
— THOMAS WHARTON
I am looking forward to immersing myself in a culture I know very little about. Seeing what defines this land and its people, rather then peering in through the lens of my television. Hopefully by the end of this trip I will have made some good friends, eaten some nice food and written a story or two.
— AARON RALSTON
I am a journalism student studying at Swinburne University in Australia, Victoria. I am an aspiring foreign correspondent and has have stories feature on channel 31. I enjoy travelling and speak two languages German and English. I take a large interest in world cultures, languages, people and the environment.
— DEREK SCHLENNSTEDT
Currently studying Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at Swinburne, just about to finish my degree at the conclusion of this study tour. I wanted to do this study tour, because Its an opportunity not many people get to do this study tour where they get to work out on the field, cover stories and break news to let people know what is happening in another part of the world.
— MICHAEL THOMPSON
I’m a 21-year-old journalism student that firmly believes in making the most of every opportunity. I’m currently in my third and final year of study at Swinburne University and wish to pursue a career in the industry as soon as possible. Having never travelled to the Middle East, I look forward to being immersed in a society so socially, economically and culturally diverse from our own. By participating in this study tour I hope to gain first-hand experience into the life of a foreign correspondent while gaining valuable life experiences!
— TARA SMITH
My name’s Steve and I’m in my final year of a Media degree at Swinburne. I’ve had stints interning (and doing coffee runs for famous journalists) at ABC’s 7:30 and The Conversation. I also worked at SYN, producing and presenting radio & TV including shows like Get Cereal & 1700. I love travelling and and I’m extremely excited to explore the Middle East, a region I don’t know much about. Reporting on international stories is exciting and something that I’d love to keep working on in the future. In the past I was a professional race driver, and in my free time I play music, video games and brush my hair.
— STEPHEN JONES