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Dona Sirimanne named winner of 2021 Brian White Scholarship

University of Sydney student Dona Sirimanne has been named the winner of the 2021 Brian White Scholarship.

In her final year of a Bachelors of Secondary Education/English Literature, the student from Dundas, New South Wales, was selected as the recipient of the award from among 10 finalists from five universities, following a workshop with leading radio news directors.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner congratulated Dona on winning the scholarship, which will see her undertake an eight-week paid placement, working for two weeks each at Nine Radio, Southern Cross Austereo, Australian Radio Network and NOVA Entertainment in the Sydney newsrooms.

The workshop was conducted online for the second year due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. It was led by commercial radio news leaders, Deborah Clay (ARN), Michelle Stephenson (NOVA Entertainment), Natalie Peters (Nine Radio) and Natasha Jobson (Southern Cross Austereo).

The finalists took part in a series of newsroom exercises and were required to record a live cross about a current news event. They also had the opportunity to receive individual feedback and advice.

Dona said she was honoured to have been selected for the scholarship. ”I’ve always loved the production and broadcast aspects of news radio and can’t wait to learn as much as I can during the scholarship.”

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