This is definitely a great win for Asian/Asian Aussies, and shows what awesome things can happen when you have diverse faces and voices. Jeremy Fernandez is one of those journalists who is so versatile that he can basically report on anything and fill any role the news cycle requires.
ABC News in making this announcement called Fernandez “ABC’s most prolific and versatile presenters…”. As of Monday, 11th September, he takes over from Juanita Phillips as the main presenter of ABC’s NSW 7pm News. Congratulations!
This is significant for us Asian/Asian Australians because it is evidence that we can take up important and influential positions and demonstrates that othering us does nothing and just moves Australia backwards. We also need to remember that where this is great news and is meaningful for the fight and advocating for better representation and visibility in the media, it is just a start and we need to continue to see more of our faces and hear more of our voices as news hosts.
Fernandez stated this about taking up this big position (via ABC News https://www.abc.net.au/news/backstory/2023-09-11/-jeremy-fernandez-to-host-nsw-7pm-news/102832458?fbclid=IwAR1rlql0RoTznCnj0-_4_top_MYCr6L16CXWyn91VTVXuJ5XfQS3r4NxEws):
“The moment when the significance of this really hit me was when ABC Sydney presenter Richard Glover said to me, ‘you know, you’re only the fourth anchor since 1956’, and I thought, ‘wow, that’s a pretty big title to take on and I’m very humbled by it”.
“But I also think symbolism can only go so far, the job of fair representation isn’t done by having a brown-skinned newsreader.”
“The task of reaching and relating to diverse audiences is about which stories we choose to cover, how we choose to cover them, who we choose to give a voice to when we tell stories.”
Fernandez is Malaysian born, and it was his father’s career as the chief editor of the biggest English language newspaper in Sabah, Borneo, made him both hate and love journalism. He hated the crazy hours his father had to work, but loved the career when he did a media program for his high school production.
Check him out if you are in NSW and we look forward seeing more Jeremies in the days, months and years to come!