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Bamboo Ceiling – ABC Leads on Diversity Leadership

The ABC has partnered with the Asian-Australian Leadership Summit and its “40 Under 40” awards for the most influential Asian-Australians.

It’s an effort to help demolish the so-called “bamboo ceiling,” which is preventing Australia’s Asian community leaders from taking up positions in the wider community, and to address the under-representation of Asian-Australians in the media.

The ABC’s Asia Pacific Newsroom, which is based in Melbourne, ran a community engagement session with some of 2021’s “40 under 40” awardees and participated in other events around media diversity.

(Actor and commedian Diana Nguyen was the overall winner of the 2021 40 Under 40: Most Influential Asian-Australians Awards)

The ABC has also run content exploring the issues faced by the Asian-Australian community and leaders, including a story about young Australians building careers during the pandemic and an interview with actor, writer, producer, theatre-maker and comedian Diana Nguyen, the overall winner of 2021’s 40 Under 40 Awards.

An initiative of Asialink at the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University, Johnson Partners and PwC Australia, the 40 Under 40 Awards form part of the Asian-Australian Leadership Summit.

Now in its third year, the initiative seeks to reshape the debate and confront Australia’s “bamboo ceiling.”


The chief executive of the awards and co-convenor of Asia Link, Jenny McGregor, said that harnessing the talents and experience of Asian-Australians was critical to Australia’s future.

She said in a statement:

Our partnership with the ABC will help elevate the under-representation of Asian-Australian leaders on the public agenda and share the stories of their remarkable achievements across the nation and to the region.

The director of the ANU Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership said:

We are proud to be working and partnering with the ABC – an organisation that is walking the talk on diversity and inclusion through its diverse and inclusive reporting, analysis, storytelling and outreach.

The ABC is also offering a series of summer internships in association with Media Diversity Australia.

The two six-week placements will be in Melbourne with ABC Everyday and one in the South Australian newsroom in Adelaide.

The program, being run in partnership with Google News Initiative, is open to students entering their final year of media/communications studies who are keen to get industry experience at a mainstream media outlet over the summer break.

The internships will be full-time, starting next January, and come with a weekly stipend.


Applicants will come from a First Nations or culturally or linguistically diverse background, or have an interest in growing First Nations and cultural and linguistic diversity in Australia’s newsrooms.