In remote Kabwum district in Morobe Province, Kevin Dayonga grew up fascinated by the mysteries of the world. From the vanishing sun to the prospect of rainwater filling the ocean, his curious mind pondered it all. But it was the mechanics of radio voices that truly captured his attention.
Years later, Kevin’s passion for journalism and advocacy for underrepresented communities to give them a voice, led him to pursue a Master of Combined Studies in Media and Communications and Creative Industries at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, through the Australia Awards Scholarship.
As a child, Kevin’s father, a police officer who served in remote areas, made sure the family always had access to the radio so that they could stay informed about the world around them.
Kevin recalls: “We would gather around the Panasonic shortwave radio to listen to the news. My favorite was the school’s program. The melodious beating of the kundu (traditional handheld drumming instrument) with the Bird of Paradise chirping created a beautiful atmosphere.”
Kevin spent 12 years in the media and communication sector, working for the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for seven years and five years working in an international development agency supporting journalists in provincial radio stations to create relevant content to promote good governance. He traveled to many places in the country and abroad, collecting content, interviewing people of varying backgrounds, and documenting interesting stories.
However, Kevin also recognized a gap between media practitioners and their audience.
“Journalism and media practitioners churn out content every day, but I wonder if the information is being understood or gets out. There is a huge disconnect that needs to be understood and resolved.”
Determined to address this issue, Kevin wants to gain a greater understanding of contemporary production, distribution, and audience engagement approaches, to advance his knowledge of creative media project design, aesthetics and management.
“These are skills I need, to expertly respond to the challenges associated with the changing mediascape in ethical and socially engaged ways,” he says.
Kevin is particularly interested in digital production, distribution, and audience communication and engagement strategies, as well as online journalism and media practices. By empowering communities to tell their stories through various media platforms, he believes he can help bring their experiences to the attention of decision-makers and make a positive impact on the world around him.
Kevin is one step closer to achieving his mission, having just arrived in Australia this year to start his masters through Australia Awards. “This new knowledge will accelerate my career and contribute to the development of the nation in this fast-moving contemporary environment we live in,” he says.
He encourages others who have a passion for their work and want to be more effective in their field, to apply for an Australia Awards Scholarship.