Mar 6 2018

The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and the ABC have chosen Iranian refugee Pariya Taherzadeh as the recipient of this year’s $19,000 Selwyn Speight scholarship.

Pariya arrived in Australia with her parents as a toddler in 1989. The couple had been ostracized in their war torn home country because of their interfaith marriage and were granted refugee status.

Although Pariya was educated in Australia, she continues to speak fluent Farsi and her family have maintained Iranian customs and norms in their home.

Pariya will have the opportunity to tell these and other stories through the scholarship which is made available through a bequest from the late, distinguished ABC journalist Selwyn Speight.

The payment will help towards tuition fees and other living expenses while Pariya studies in the 2018 Graduate Diploma in Radio. She will also intern at the ABC throughout the year, and receive a 12 month employment contract at the conclusion of the course.

ABC Director of Regional and Local,  Michael Mason said: “We’re very pleased to be able to work with AFTRS to offer this terrific opportunity to Pariya. It’s a genuine pathway to an exciting career in radio.”

AFTRS Program Leader Radio Lisa Sweeney said: “AFTRS and the ABC are both committed to encouraging the development of diverse Australian stories and this monetary support for a talented student such as Pariya will assist both organization to achieve much-needed diversity.”

The purpose of this scholarship is to expand and enrich AFTRS’ student community by recognising and supporting an outstanding Radio student who has been selected on the basis of merit from eligible students from diverse cultural, ethnic or socio-economic backgrounds, or from otherwise underrepresented minority groups.

Scholarship recipient Pariya Taherzadeh said: “I am extremely excited to be the recipient of the ABC Selwyn Speight Scholarship and feel a sense of not only reward but also great privilege for the opportunity to study at AFTRS and work at the ABC.”

Image: Pariya Taherzadeh


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.