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Trailblazer and storyteller recognised in Alumnus of the Year awards

Trailblazer and storyteller recognised in Alumnus of the Year awards

Published:09 February 2018

Tanya Orman has spent the past couple of decades blazing the trail for diversity on screen, which is one of the key factors behind her selection for CQUniversity’s Alumnus of the Year – Industry Excellence Award.

For passionate storyteller Tanya Orman, it’s not enough that the media informs Indigenous people about specific issues of importance to them.

She also wants Indigenous people to be represented as part of the ‘mainstream’ media narratives.

“If we don’t see an Indigenous person on the TV as an economist talking about the latest issues, we don’t believe they exist,” Tanya says.

“We have Indigenous lawyers, doctors and business people and it’s important to make this known … issues such as family, mortgages, health services, affect us all.”

Tanya has spent the past couple of decades blazing the trail for diversity on screen, which is one of the key factors behind her selection for CQUniversity’s Alumnus of the Year – Industry Excellence Award.

Her career highlights include receiving the National Drug and Alcohol Award for Excellence in Media Reporting for a series of reports on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome; NITV being nominated for three Logie Awards in 2016 and being a Walkley Awards finalist in 2013; and gaining mainstream exposure on the issues and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

She is also the current Chair of the World Indigenous TV Broadcast Network (WITBN), which represents broadcasters from Norway, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA, with a vision to preserve and promote Indigenous languages and cultures worldwide.

Melissa Misztal, Director of Development and Alumni Relations says “this inspiring CQUni graduate is now recognised as a champion for youth, women in leadership, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people”.

“As one of a handful of Aboriginal women in senior leadership roles in the media, Tanya has been empowering people who would otherwise have a marginalised voice, while making an exceptional contribution to her industry, as one of the youngest TV executives in Australia, through great skill, passion and dedication."

Tanya is a Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman from North Queensland who was raised on Kanalu country in Central Queensland.

In 1997, following graduation from CQUniversity in Rockhampton with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Communications and Journalism, Tanya embarked on her media career.

She worked as a journalist and producer for 10 years for a number of organisations including the ABC and SBS, bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories to a mainstream audience.

In 2007, Tanya was invited to be one of the first Commissioning Editors for the new narrowcaster National Indigenous Television Ltd (NITV). The aim was to reflect and celebrate everything Indigenous culture had to offer, to inspire youth and to make Elders proud. News reports grew from an initial 5-minute update to a live 30-minute weekday broadcast in 2011.

Four years later, Tanya became NITV’s Channel Manager and led the organisation’s transition into the SBS network, and its launch as a 24-hour free-to-air channel.

The channel is available to 95% of homes in Australia and is watched by more than three million people per month.

Through her work for NITV, Tanya creates and delivers Indigenous stories, languages and cultures to audiences in Australia and internationally.

Throughout her success, Tanya has remained involved with CQUniversity.

In 2016, Tanya returned to Rockhampton to speak at a CQUniversity Community Aspirations Program (Cap-ED) networking function about the importance of tertiary education and her journey of success.

The following year, she was Guest Speaker at CQUniversity’s Academic and Talent Aspirations Program, where she inspired and empowered current high school age students to enter tertiary or vocational training.