2010 Social Change Award winner Sharad Sharma
2010 Social Change Award winner Sharad Sharma
20 May 2011

Nominations are open for the world’s only communication for social change award, offered by The University of Queensland.

Submissions for the award close June 24, which is administered by UQ’s Centre for Communication for Social Change (CfCSC) at the School of Journalism and Communications, and granted annually to individuals and organisations making significant contributions in the field.

“This award has been extremely successful in acknowledging unsung and courageous people, across the world,” Centre Co-Director Associate Professor Pradip Thomas said.

“Everyone is welcome to nominate an individual or organisation who uses communication to create poverty alleviation and improve people’s lives.”

The 2010 Social Change Award was presented to Sharad Sharma, a New Delhi-based political cartoonist and founder of World Comics India.

Mr Sharma has conducted more than 500 workshops and trained more than 10,000 people in disadvantaged communities to express themselves using simple “grassroots comics”.

Winners of the 2011 award will receive a $2500 prize at a special ceremony in October.

Winners will be selected by an independent jury including UQ Professor of Public Administration Ken Wiltshire AO, Annmaree O’Keefe of the Lowy Institute, Peter Cave of ABC, and Fiona Crockford, Assistant Director of Citizen Engagement and Political Analysis at AusAID.

Previous honourees include New Dawn Radio Station in Papua New Guniea’s autonomous province of Bougainville, and John Dada, founder of the Fantsuam Foundation in Nigeria.

“The centre primarily places listening at the centre of development, creating environments for people to realise their individual capacity to create change,” Dr Thomas said.

Since its establishment in 2007 the CfCSC has received funding from AusAID, the UNFAO (spell this in full), UNESCO, and the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research.

Co-directed by Associate Professor Pradip Thomas and Associate Professor Elske van de Fliert, current projects include capacity building and participatory engagement with rural farmers in the North West Highlands of Vietnam, and using simulation games to train researchers in Indonesia to listen and engage communities.

For more information visit the centre’s award page.

Media: Jessica London (07 3346 3092, j.london@uq.edu.au) or Allison Rock at UQ Communications (07 3365 2619 or a.rock1@uq.edu.au)