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					                                       SBS Submission

                 Australia in the Asian Century Issues Paper

SBS welcomes the opportunity to engage in the discussions about Australia in the Asian Century. As
Australia’s multilingual and multicultural broadcaster, we have been engaging with Asia since our
establishment over 35 years ago. In the three decades since SBS Television was launched we have
seen SBS audiences and content change dramatically. The original focus on post-World War II
European migrants has diversified to include people from every continent – but particularly Asia. Our
most recent content initiatives are firmly focused on Asia content and themes – specific examples
include the pilot of Mandarin News Australia and the Chinese Virtual Community Centre (Chinese
VCC), PopAsia, Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta, and the online documentary The Dragon Children.

As Australia prepares for the Asian Century, SBS has three important roles:
        To foster an accurate understanding of the challenges of the Asian Century – through
         encouraging the familiarisation of Australians with the politics, cultures, languages and
         societies in our region.
        To encourage Asian literacy to equip young Australians to harness the burgeoning
         opportunities and provide Australia with the skill-set to resolve global issues.
        To ensure that there are strong role models for young Australians of both Asian and non-
         Asian backgrounds to strengthen social capital through understanding what it means to be
         Australian today.

SBS is committed to playing a strong role in the Asian Century. In meeting our purpose to inspire all
Australian to explore and appreciate our multicultural world and contribute to an inclusive society,
SBS aims to:
        Increase the amount of Asian language content offered across SBS platforms.
        Incorporate Asian cultural and linguistic content that appeals to our target audience into
         SBS vertical segments which currently attract the largest audiences and drive the SBS
         brand: Documentary; Film; Food; Football; News and Current Affairs; and Radio.
        Use our balanced and diverse news and current affairs programming to provide fair and
         accurate background and context to Asian stories.
        Encourage exploration of Asian culture in Australia and our regions through content
         commissions and acquisitions.
        Demonstrate SBS’s unique understanding of what Asian Australians want to know and
         need to know content, through our capacity to engage multicultural audiences across
         multiple platforms.
        Increase and enhance SBS’s links to Asian culture and language education programs
         through outreach projects with secondary and tertiary institutions.
           Develop more signature content that builds awareness and encourages exploration, such
            as Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta and Go Back to Where You Came From.
           Demonstrate SBS’s unique ability to connect audiences to Australia’s multicultural life,
            through partnerships and events and across all our platforms.
           Explore opportunities to participate in co-productions with Asian public broadcasters and
            content makers.

Discussion point – Community engagement
SBS’s Corporate Plan sets out a clear objective for SBS to be the catalyst for the nation’s
conversations about multiculturalism and social inclusion. Through our content offerings and the
accompanying interaction with audiences on new media, SBS illustrates the conversations that are
had and can be promoted throughout Australia.

SBS would welcome discussion with the Australia in the Asian Century Task Force to evaluate
different channels for engaging with our audiences in the conversations about the Asian Century.
SBS would also be interested to bring together a panel of SBS journalists and staff to speak directly
about their experiences and understanding of Australian audiences’ engagement with Asia – across
culture, news and current affairs, and new media.

All of our properties, in particular news and current affairs, have interaction with audiences through
Facebook, Twitter, and individual websites. These offer insight into Australians’ opinions and
concerns. They range from Dateline and Insight, to the Chinese VCC1 and the youth audience
engaged with PopAsia. The SBS audience is diverse, and has a high proportion of people with
international backgrounds and interests.

As another example, a new SBS initiative is the CQ or cultural intelligence project. CQ describes the
capacity to bridge or benefit from diversity and cultural complexity. For SBS it is a website
(, a television program, and a place for frank discussions about multiculturalism
and society.

After the 2011 success of Immigration Nation and Go Back to Where You Came From, and heated
national debates about asylum seekers and immigration and (often polarised) commentary following
the announcement of the federal multiculturalism policy, the first CQ was a media and diversity
forum with ‘thought leaders’ – key stakeholders, commentators, academics and journalists – which
was broadcast in December 2011.

SBS undertakes and commissions a wide range of research about trends in multicultural Australia to
better fulfil its obligations to ‘reflect Australia’s multicultural society’. This has included focus groups
and research with individuals from language groups including Hindi and Mandarin, and also research
which has examined Australians’ public opinion on, and current attitudes to, immigration and a
range of other multicultural issues. SBS would be happy to share its research with the Task Force. A
number of these publications are already public.2 More detail is available in Appendix 1.


SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                            2
Discussion point – Defining elements of the Asian Century
One defining element of the Asian Century will be the astounding number of people in Asia who will
become fully digitally media literate. This will have tremendous implications:
         Education – literacy standards will increase dramatically.
         Health – information will reach all citizens.
         Consumerism – will drive demand for goods and trade.
         Political systems –citizen-led change will grow in strength.
         Media content – an enormous increase in demand will change both Asian and Australian
          viewing patterns and consumption.

Technology and economics dictate the consumption of media, including television, film, music and
social media. As the numbers of the middle class increase, so does the demand for media in all
forms. This demand is unprecedented, and shows no sign of slowing.

The size of the market for media is growing faster in Asia than anywhere else. The internet currently
connects 2 billion people. However, by just 2015, it is predicted to reach 3 billion.3 It is estimated
that half of the people on the internet use social media.

The recent Facebook IPO document, revealed the astonishing facts:
         50% of Americans use Facebook, 38% of Australians – but only 5% from Asia
         However, that Asian 5% is still 184 million people – more than the US’s 175 million users
         250 million people use Facebook every day, 845 million monthly active users
         over 70% are outside the US
         2.7 billion likes or comments on Facebook every day
         100 billion friendships.4

On YouTube:
         70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
         YouTube is localized in 39 countries across 54 languages
         60 hours of video are uploaded every minute
         Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day
         More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US television networks
          created in 60 years.5

         In March 2012 the 25 billionth app was downloaded from the Apple app store
         Google reached 10 billion Android app downloads in December 2011.6

3 (February 2012)
4; Justin Milne
(Quickflix) Speech to Australian Broadcasting Summit 2012, 23 February 2012.

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                          3
This growth will continue, driven by the rise of tablets in computing in particular. In the US, the
overall number of tablets doubled over Christmas 2011.7 There are 2.6 million tablets in Australia.8
As the price of tablets continues to fall, the uptake will continue apace.

The implications are enormous, not just for entertainment and social media, but for education and
health. Australian media companies and broadcasters need to be engaged in the Asian media

In India, a new tablet, the Aakash, is being sold for US$47 to the public and US$35 to students and
teachers. The low-cost devices are intended to “lift villagers out of poverty” by teaching them basic
computer skills, including word processing and web browsing. The Indian government intends to get
the Aakash tablet into the hands of no less than 10 million students across the country. In the first
two weeks after its release, 1.4 million orders were reported to have been placed.9

If an Australian company, perhaps in association with SBS In Language, created content for this
tablet, the size of this “pilot” program would dwarf the size of the entire Australian domestic
education market.

SBS’s role
William Roedy, former chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International, ran MTV’s 172 locally
programmed TV channels outside the US in 162 countries in 33 languages. Speaking in Australia in
February, he stated, “Australia is very well positioned. While you have only two per cent of the
world’s population, your proximity to Asia, the growth engine of the world, is a great opportunity.”10

For SBS economic and social developments, the rise of the middle class and social, and cultural and
intellectual engagement are closely intertwined.

SBS’s most important contribution to the media environment as we embrace the Asian Century is
our unique Charter, encapsulated in our Purpose, to foster a cohesive society and encourage the
exploration of Australia’s and the world’s cultural diversity.

Media is an important part of the social environment for all Australians. This trend is stronger for
young people in Australia who are immersed in electronic media as a regular part of their daily life,
spending increasing amounts of time consuming media – on an ever-increasing variety of devices.
Adolescents in Australia are among the earliest to adopt new technology and one of the most avid
groups of users of social media in the world.

This generation will become the mainstay of the workforce from 2025, just as China and India
resume their historical position as the world's top economic powers.

As young people grow up in the modern media world, important aspects of socialisation are taking
place, especially with regard to identity related issues such as occupational preparation, gender role
learning and the development of a set of values, beliefs and aspirations. Strong public broadcasters,

   William Roedy, Speech, Australian Broadcasting Summit 2012, Sydney, 23 February 2012.

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                          4
showing a diverse and welcoming Australia, are integral to the formation of a sophisticated and
open world view.

SBS’s potential role in helping prepare this generation is perhaps especially strong. Recent research
indicates that Australians aged between 15-25 years relate to SBS as an ‘explorer brand’ which is
comfortable in pushing the envelope of ideas, attitudes and debate.

Discussion point – Social developments, social attitudes toward Australia
A key point for the Task Force to consider is that the policy settings in Australia are what people
from other countries examine in determining their views. With the internet, Australia and
Australians’ reputation and image is heightened or lowered in an instant – including views of racism,
inclusion and opportunity. At its best, SBS is evidence of the inclusive nature of Australian society. It
demonstrates the government’s commitment to a multicultural society. It is unique in the world, and
is greatly valued by migrants in particular not just for its content but for what it says about their
chosen homeland’s public validation of diversity. It also sends a strong message to people in other
countries that the Australian government welcomes them.

SBS’s submission centres on the intersection of Australia’s multicultural policy settings and how
these will affect Australia’s ability to capitalize on the Asian Century. For SBS, the defining elements
of the Asian Century are the need for Australian citizens to understand the diversity and complexity
of Asia, and how SBS can help increase Australians’ Asian cultural literacy.

Making a success of multiculturalism is vital for Australia today. The shift from a country formed by
predominantly European migrants to one featuring increased numbers of migrants from Asia and
the Middle East has fundamentally changed Australian society. Contemporary Australia is more
culturally and linguistically diverse than ever and, whatever the actual settings of migration policy in
the future, that trend is likely to continue. This increased diversity creates many opportunities, but it
also introduces stresses and strains: a successful society requires continuous work. In a globalised
worldwide economy, it is vitally important that Australians have the skills to not only navigate
Australian society, but also the world.

Successful multiculturalism implies a richer culture and a more outward looking society, able to
embrace the challenges and opportunities of a globalised world. It offers economic benefits by
bringing a wealth of cultural and linguistic skills to Australia, creating connections to other countries
and economies, ensuring migrants and temporary workers participate in the work force, and making
Australia more attractive to skilled migrants, businesses, tourists and international students.

The Government’s People of Australia policy notes that multiculturalism and cultural diversity give
Australia a “competitive edge in a globalised world”. Connections between Australia’s culturally and
linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and multiple homelands provide new trade and business
opportunities for Australia. Multiculturalism and multilingualism advantage Australia with an
essential set of ‘soft’ skills in a global economy – the cultural and linguistic skills of our population
and workforce.

As Asian economies expand, the competition for trade intensifies. Australia competes for
international businesses, capital, skilled migration, tourism and for international students. Choices
about where to establish a branch of a business, take a holiday or go to university may be influenced
by a range of factors including cultural comfort and access to culturally and linguistically appropriate

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                             5
services. This is not only a decision for the business person or student but is also affected by the
needs of partners and families.

SBS has an important role in linguistic and cultural maintenance – as well as keeping Australian
communities in touch with the contemporary realities of their homeland cultures and political

Discussion point – Australia’s place in Asia
The impact on the broader community of multicultural media, particularly SBS, is to make all
Australians engage with cultural difference. It generates acceptance of diversity (including workforce
diversity) and makes Australians more open to difference and ‘cosmopolitan’ in their engagements
with international partners.

SBS leads Australian media in broadcasting the real faces of Australian society today. Our screens
feature modern diversity – from the faces on our news bulletins to the multicultural drama East
West 101 (based on a real police unit). Recent media reports and social media storm have
highlighted the dismay of actors and the community about the ‘whiteness’ of Australian television.11
This ‘whiteness’ and monocultural views are not the message Australia should be sending to the

In 2010 SBS conducted qualitative research with three large language communities – Hindi, Chinese
languages and Arabic speakers – to find out about their media usage, attitudes to media and
engagement with Australian society. The following findings were common to all groups:
         they do not believe that they are properly represented in Australian media – they do not
          have a voice;
         where they are portrayed it is in the form of stereotypes;
         the Australian media does not deal with controversial matters affecting their communities
          in a balanced manner;
         SBS is seen as an exception and is more trusted than other media sources;
         community members receive much of their information and entertainment from foreign
          media sources via satellite or online; and
         communities are very concerned about this situation as they have a strong desire to
          participate fully in Australian society.

Particular concerns were raised in the Indian and Arabic groups. For example in the context of the
issue of attacks on Indian students respondents from the Indian community indicated that most of
the information they received about the issue came from Indian media sources. As a consequence
many of the messages of reassurance or advice from police and government did not get through to
the Indian community.

  Is Australian TV too white? SBS World News, 21 February 2012:
‘Actor Firass Dirani urges TV bosses to show our true colours’, Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2011:

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                           6
A well-funded and robust SBS will be able to adapt its services and offerings using new and targeted
technology to reflect the needs of all Australian audience. On a practical day-to-day level, SBS
provides services for individuals and businesses to simplify working in Australia. As well as business
and finance information in multiple languages, SBS has ongoing partnerships with Centrelink and the
Australian Tax Office (including information in language about the Australian tax system). SBS also
has a direct sales team (SBS In Language) working with the Audio and Language Content division
who assist businesses with multilingual services including translation and subtitling. Many countries
do not have these resources to draw on – particularly in language.

Discussion point – Asian cultural literacy
As discussed earlier, exposure to diverse media content generates acceptance of diversity, curiosity
about the world, and a more sophisticated understanding of the economic, political and cultural
forces which influence Australia’s future.

SBS’s content across all platforms features Asian content – and audiences are very interested. It is
vital that SBS is well-funded to continue to provide the best of the world’s content to Australian
audiences – on a free-to-air public broadcasting service. It is important for audiences to be able to
view content in the context of an Australian service, with Australian curatorship for news and
documentary in particular, with public service values of balance and accuracy.

With the explosion of satellite television channels, competition for content is driving prices up. For
example, it is very difficult for SBS to compete for Bollywood movies. Therefore those few with
Indian satellite-to-home services are able to see the films, but the large majority of Australians
without satellite are not exposed to this slice of Indian culture.

As the size of the internal Asian media markets increases, there will be both increased competition
for content and increased opportunity for co-productions and collaboration.

SBS’s current Asian programming
SBS features Asian programming on all of its platforms, and especially in its key areas of news and
current affairs, documentary, film, food and sport. In 2010-11, SBS broadcast the following Asian
language content (Appendix 2):
         Radio – 30% of all language programming
         SBS ONE: 15% of all programming (31% of all non-English programs)
         SBS TWO: 23% of all programming (29% of all non-English programming)

News and current affairs
SBS news and current affairs content continues to present a world view which is unprecedented on
Australian networks. The hour-long World News Australia allows a deeper engagement with the
complexity of world affairs. In 2011-12, the Mandarin News Australia pilot gave all SBS news
properties the chance to delve more deeply into Asia, with increased reporting on news and current
affairs from China.

Insight provides a discussion forum which features not only a diversity of stories – but a diversity of
opinions and speakers from Asia and beyond.

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                           7
The award-winning Dateline provides in-depth coverage of stories, but also a detailed website,
which puts stories in context, presents other viewpoints, and gives a timeline of international

SBS’s journalists reflect its outward approach – from veteran newsreader Lee Lin Chin to reporters
from Malaysia, Indonesia, and India. These are faces which are not seen on most Australian
television screens.

Each day, across SBS ONE and SBS TWO, SBS broadcasts WorldWatch – news bulletins from 27
international broadcasters (Appendix 3). Of these, eight are from Asia: China, Hong Kong, India,
Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, and the Philippines. WorldWatch is invaluable for residents of
Australia – but also diplomats, business people, tourists and students – to keep up with current in-
depth news.

SBS Radio
SBS Radio’s 68 radio language programs provide listeners with a wide range of in-language content,
helping link these communities with settlement, employment, health and education services.
Currently, 22 of these language programs are for Asian languages (Appendix 2).

SBS also provides these programs online on demand and on its Your Language iPhone and Android
apps. The Your Language apps allow our audiences to hear their favourite programs anytime and
anywhere, and are particularly valuable for language learning.

SBS is the home of international film, with a strong film focus on SBS ONE and SBS TWO, as well as
our ownership of the subscription TV channel World Movies. No other television broadcaster in
Australia programs movies with subtitles. Without SBS, audiences would not be exposed to an entire
world of cinema, beyond the market-dominant USA, and to a lesser extent, the UK.

Our Asian content is diverse. SBS provides a regular Asian double bill on SBS TWO every Friday night.
It is always one of the strongest rating nights in the film schedule.

SBS also programs regular film seasons which focus on various territories including Korea, Bollywood
and just recently China for Chinese New Year (January on SBS TWO). This was the highest achieving
film season on SBS TWO to date.

SBS attends Asia-specific film festivals and markets including the Busan Film Festival and the Hong
Kong FilmMart to source films and grow partnerships for content.

SBS also sponsors Asian film festivals in many languages. In November 2011, SBS sponsored the
Asian Australian Film Forum in Melbourne. In addition to screenings, the forum featured panel
discussions on getting Asian Australia stories on screen, the Asian diaspora and international work,
and cross cultural perspectives.

For 2012, Once Upon A Time in Cabramatta is a highlight for SBS. This three-part documentary
focussed on the history of a NSW suburb, Cabramatta, from the arrival of the first Vietnamese boat


SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                        8
people to the present day. One of SBS’s highest rating documentaries ever, over 1.1 million
Australians watched the first episode, and an additional 63,000 watched it with Vietnamese

This documentary, following the success in 2011 of Immigration Nation and Go Back to Where You
Came From, highlights the appetite of Australian audiences for quality programming which examines
Australia’s multicultural past and future.

SBS’s next major commissions for 2012 are Bollywood Star – an observational documentary of
Australians wanting to make it in the Indian film industry – and a second series of Go Back to Where
You Came From.

For our documentary, drama, and entertainment programming, we actively encourage our
independent producers to seek out co-productions with other countries, and support Screen
Australia’s effort to grow the number of co-production partners. Currently Australia has two official
co-production partners in Asia – in Singapore and China.

Like sport, food is a universal language for screen media – and SBS’s food programming explores
new cuisines and countries for the benefit of all Australians. Food provides an excellent platform to
learn about culture, geography, climate and history. SBS’s recent key food programming has
included Luke Nguyen’s Mekong and Peter Kuravita’s My Sri Lanka. My Family Feast explored the
history of celebrations from cultures around the world, and The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the
World amazed viewers.

SBS Online
The online space allows audiences to deepen their engagement with content – and SBS provides it
for all 68 language programmes. Each program has a website both in language and in English.

For all SBS programming, online is vital, particularly news and current affairs. SBS also produces
stand-alone web content. Of specific Asia focus in 2011 was Enter the Dragon Children, looking at
what is behind the success of Asian students (Appendix 4).13

SBS Chinese Language Project
SBS’s Chinese Language Project includes Mandarin News Australia (a weekly news and current
affairs television program in Mandarin), Mandarin and Cantonese radio language programs, the
Chinese VCC (see Appendix 5) and PopAsia – a weekly television program, online and digital radio
service and iPhone application.

Mandarin News Australia and the Chinese VCC are one year pilot projects for SBS. The half hour
Mandarin News is broadcast weekly in Mandarin, with Mandarin and English subtitles. Its stories are
all available on the Chinese VCC, as well as additional material in English and Cantonese. The VCC
also features extensive content from all of SBS material, links to Asian content, blogs, podcasts and
vodcasts. This pilot is presenting a model which SBS would like to expand to the 10 largest languages
in Australia. It offers content for all audiences and all language proficiencies.


SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                         9
PopAsia is SBS’s only music program and it features only Asian music. Launched in September 2011,
and aimed at the youth demographic, it has an enthusiastic audience which grows each month. It
consists of a two hour weekly television program (Sunday), a digital radio channel, daily
programming on SBS Radio’s analogue networks, and is available online as a podcast, vodcast or
24/7 streaming, as well as an iPhone app.

The recently appointed Minister for Sport, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy,
commented on her appointment: “I have always been passionate about the capacity of sport to
forge communities, build acceptance and overcome social boundaries. Sport is far more than the
sum of its parts and is a critical area of social policy.” As part of the Asian Century, sport will form an
important cultural link. As a significant source of filmed entertainment, it has both a cultural and
economic role.

For football, SBS’s primary sport focus, our scope has expanded from Europe to Asia. Australia is
now part of the Asian Football Confederation, and thus our FIFA World Cup path for men and
women is through competition with Asian rivals.

SBS covers matches and tournaments for men and women in different age groups for qualifiers and
the World Cup, and also the Asian Champions League which features a number of Australia A-League
clubs (depending on specific rights deals). Upcoming events are the FIFA U20s Women’s World Cup
2012 in Japan and the FIFA U17s World Cup 2013 in UAE.

Football Asia, a weekly wrap up of all football matters from across Asia, runs on Sunday mornings
throughout the year. Online we have a dedicated Asia page, including dedicated reporting from

In cycling we showed daily extended highlights of the inaugural UCI Tour of Beijing in 2011 and plan
to do so again in 2012. In athletics the IAAF World Athletics Championships from Korea was covered
extensively in 2011 as well as the 2009 Championships live from Osaka.

SBS also operates an arts channel, Studio, on subscription television. Unlike SBS’s World Movies
subscription television channel, it is not as successful in broadcasting Asian content. Studio finds it
difficult to source sufficient material – especially contemporary arts programming. As a subscription
channel Studio’s budget limits it from significant Australian commissions, but with coverage of major
festivals in Australia Studio is attempting to show a diverse range of artistic activity in Australia from
foreign artists. It remains a challenge however. This is a key area where government, particularly
DFAT and the upcoming national cultural policy can play a role in facilitating artistic exchange and

Language education
A significant outcome of SBS is our impact on the preservation and teaching of language. SBS would
like to develop its language education capacities to enrich its offering for all ages of audiences and at
varied language levels.

Relevant national multicultural and multilingual services support the geographic spread of migration
settlement across Australia, including in smaller communities and towns dependent on migrant
labour and skills, by fostering a greater sense of belonging which is inclusive of all Australians. SBS

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                          10
provides a method of long-distance education for language – allowing people to hear foreign
languages on radio or television – as well as on the web. Our subtitling expertise on television allows
for a different form of language familiarisation and learning apart from formal education. Diverse
language skills across the Australian population send a powerful message internationally.

SBS – outward focus
The immediacy of the internet and level of connectedness between Asia and Australia means that
what is broadcast on Australian media channels is immediately available to audiences in Australia.
The need for a strong and prominent SBS should not be underestimated.

Although SBS is an Australian broadcaster, we also seek to promote Australian programming and
ideas internationally. Our website traffic has a significant level of international interest – 17% of
sessions. This is particularly significant, as individual television programs are often owned by either
independent producers or sports bodies and often geo-blocked. This therefore indicates an even
higher audience for our SBS-produced programming which is available for free and not geo-blocked
– including all news and current affairs and radio content. This is an excellent outcome for cultural

SBS programming is also available as a dedicated YouTube channel which is not geo-blocked. It
features popular entertainment programming, documentaries, archival and news and current affairs

Any content which is geo-blocked is available for sale, and our programs are highly sought after.
People from any country can purchase from the SBS website directly.

We also sell programming for broadcast on the Australia Network, although that schedule is
currently under review.

We are engaged with DFAT’s Cultural Diplomacy Unit to explore ways of highlighting Australian
culture around the world.

SBS has three important roles in positioning Australia for the Asian Century:
         To foster an accurate understanding of the challenges of the Asian Century.
         To encourage Asian literacy.
         To ensure that there are strong role models for young Australians to strengthen social
          capital through understanding what it means to be Australian today.

SBS aims to fulfil these roles through the following content initiatives, in line with its Charter:
         Increase the amount of Asian language content offered across SBS platforms.
         Incorporate Asian cultural and linguistic content that appeals to our target audience into
          SBS vertical segments which currently attract the largest audiences and drive the SBS
          brand: Documentary; Film; Food; Football; News and Current Affairs; and Radio.
         Use our balanced and diverse news and current affairs programming to provide fair and
          accurate background and context to Asian stories.

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                        11
         Encourage exploration of Asian culture in Australia and our regions through content
          commissions and acquisitions.
         Demonstrate SBS’s unique understanding of what Asian Australians want to know and
          need to know content, through our capacity to engage multicultural audiences across
          multiple platforms.
         Increase and enhance SBS’s links to Asian culture and language education programs
          through outreach projects with secondary and tertiary institutions.
         Develop more signature content that builds awareness and encourages exploration, such
          as Once Upon a Time in Cabramatta and Go Back to Where You Came From.
         Demonstrate SBS’s unique ability to connect audiences to Australia’s multicultural life,
          through partnerships and events and across all our platforms.
         Explore opportunities to participate in co-productions with Asian public broadcasters and
          content makers.

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                       12
Appendix 1

SBS Research Reports

Living Diversity: Australia’s Multicultural Future (2002)
In 2001, SBS sought to ‘take the temperature’ of multicultural Australia through research. Not long
after the S11 events in the US changed much reporting about diversity, a quantitative study was
conducted based on a 90 part telephone survey with 1,437 Australians (including representative
samples of Lebanese, Somali, Filipino, Greek and Vietnamese Australians) analysed along with focus
groups of Indigenous Australians. The results, published as Living Diversity, revealed a set of positive
attitudes towards Australian diversity, with regular, normalised intercultural exchange (termed
‘everyday cosmopolitanism’ by the report). Issues of identity and belonging, however, meant that
Australian multiculturalism was ‘unfinished business’.

Connecting Diversity: Paradoxes of Multicultural Australia (2006)
Cultural diversity has become mainstream for younger Australians, particularly second- and third-
generation Australians, in a way that differs radically from the experiences of their parents’ or
grandparents’. The multiculturalism embraced by younger people is based on intercultural
connection, not separate communities, although there is endorsement for the freedom to maintain
one's cultural heritage and language. One of the opportunities raised by this study is to deepen our
national understanding of diversity, and that means embracing the complexities, the paradoxes and
the apparent contradictions revealed in this research.

Immigration Nation research
This research conducted by The Ipsos Mackay Report, Australia’s longest running and only
continuous program of qualitative social research, aims to better inform the debate about
immigration in this country – long a political hotbed of views. Apart from providing a historical
perspective on attitudes towards immigration, the research also provides a deeper understanding of
the range and complexity of attitudes towards immigration in the Australian community and the
perspectives and experiences of Australians from diverse migrant backgrounds.

SBS Documentary Audience and Industry Engagement Research
Australian audiences reacted strongly to SBS’s two flagship documentary series for 2011 –
Immigration Nation and Go Back To Where You Came From. Research conducted by Entertainment
Insights shows the series filled a knowledge gap for Australian audiences and provoked reflection on
Australian attitudes towards new arrivals to our shores

SBS Drama Audience and Industry Engagement Research
The cultural diversity messages of the case study programs, East West 101 and The Circuit, were
seen as potent and necessary. The stories and the multicultural content were key elements in
capturing many of the participants’ engagement with the program. Both programs were recognised
as presenting a different and more balanced perspective on Muslim and Indigenous issues,
perspectives perceived to be largely absent from our commercial screens. People reported that the
programs made them think about issues more deeply than they did previously.

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                       13
Appendix 1 (cont.)

Immigration Nation Research
SBS commissioned Ipsos McKay (directors of the McKay report) to undertake research aligned with
the Immigration Nation series. The findings have been communicated in the following ways:
         Targeted public communications through significant coverage in The Australian newspaper
          in December 2010.
         A presentation and discussion with staff presented by Ipsos McKay researchers Rebecca
          Huntley and Caroline Tomiczek. This session was recorded and is available to all staff on
          the SBS intranet.
         The full report has been made available to key SBS editorial decision makers and content
         The summary report has been shared with key SBS stakeholders, including FECCA, and the
          SBS Community Advisory Committee.

Findings: Understanding our history
Survey participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with a
series of 41 statements about immigration, several of which were directly related to the history of
immigration in Australia. Some key results for the general public (weighted to be nationally
representative by age/gender/location) have been provided below:
         Approximately eight out of every 10 survey participants (79%) either agreed or strongly
          agreed with the following statement: ‘Generally speaking, Australia has always been
          generous to immigrants’.
         More than half of survey participants (59%) agreed or strongly agreed that, relative to
          other nations, Australia has taken its fair share of immigrants and refugees.
         Thirty-nine per cent of survey participants agreed or strongly agreed that Australia has a
          responsibility to accept refugees.
         Thirty-seven per cent of survey participants agreed or strongly agreed that Australia has
          always been a world leader in racial equality. It should be noted that disagreement with
          this statement was relatively low (19%), as 44% of survey participants indicated ‘Neither
          agree nor disagree’.

Implications for SBS
Many Australians have significant knowledge/ perception gaps related to the context and history of
immigration and race-relations in Australia. This may have significant impact on contemporary
SBS documentaries such as Immigration Nation, content including personal accounts and dramatic
representations can fill a gap in many Australians’ understanding of history and immigration policy
over time.

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                        14
Appendix 1 (cont.)
Attitudes to diversity

Implications for SBS
A key message from these findings is that the ‘work’ of multiculturalism is by no means finished.
There is strong support for diversity but up to half of the population are not ‘sold’ on the benefits of
multiculturalism, nor how it should be realised. SBS can do more to fulfil its Charter objective of
increasing the “awareness of the contribution of a diversity of cultures to the development of
Australian society.”

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                        15
Appendix 1 (cont.)
Implications for SBS
The study revealed four distinct attitudinal segments in relation to immigration and diversity – with
two polarised groups and two which reflected greater ambivalence.
The qualitative research shows that drivers of opposition to diversity tend to reflect concerns around
cultural identity, social cohesion, economic prosperity and (more recently) environmental
sustainability. SBS must find ways of addressing these groups by exploring the challenges of diversity
as well as its benefits.
When addressing issues of multiculturalism and immigration, SBS must distinguish differing positions
and should not simply group ‘pro‘ and ‘anti’ immigration/ multiculturalism positions –attitudes
around these issues are complex and may be based in differing tendencies (eg. fear of difference, a
support for due process, etc.)

Implications for SBS
This finding reveals that second generation Australians have a normalised and comfortable
relationship to their belonging in Australia. This means that they are likely to be less attracted to
types of programming that address them as ‘minority groups’ or ‘migrant communities’.

Assimilation and integration
The study found that, while all participants agreed it was important for migrants to Australia to
‘assimilate’ into the broader society, there were differing understandings about how difficult this
process was (with non-CALD groups assuming it was far easier)
CALD respondents noted that the presence of already established family or community in Australia
greatly assisted immigrants in finding was to integrate into Australian society. Conversely,
immigrants who did not have any kind of foundation or support network in Australia were those
who felt increasingly isolated and disconnected from the broader society around them.

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                         16
Appendix 1 (cont.)
Implications for SBS
SBS has a role in educating Australians about the challenges of integration and the positive
integrative impacts of healthy established communities and family linkages.

Most migrants felt that there was a lack of prominent or accurate representation in the media of
their own experience and their own culture. This included the lack of foreign faces in the news,
stereotypical portrayals on television shows and a limited view of their culture. Depictions of
migrant cultures in mainstream popular culture were felt to reflect and consequently legitimise that
culture – by becoming less foreign and more familiar, and gradually entering the mainstream

These views on media were aligned with migrants’ more general views towards the limited amount
they felt that Australians knew about other cultures and global politics. In addition, media reports on
race-related incidents were seen as subjective, polarising and exaggerated. Ultimately, participants
believed the media could improve its reporting of race and ethnic issues and provide a more
representative range of on-screen stories and talent.

Implications for SBS
SBS should continue to emphasise and commit resources to the stories of diverse Australia and
explorations of the social and political contexts that migrants to Australia have come from. Part of
this is fair reporting of conflict and issues where they have some relationship to cultural diversity.

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                          17
Appendix 2
SBS ONE – Languages broadcast 2010/2011
 Language                                   Hrs:Min      % Total   % LOTE

 Cantonese                                   135:35       1.72%     3.55%
 Hindi                                       165:28       2.10%     4.33%
 Indonesian                                       8:06    0.10%     0.21%
 Japanese                                    209:37       2.66%     5.49%
 Khmer                                            1:16    0.02%     0.03%
 Korean                                      207:54       2.64%     5.44%
 Mandarin                                    212:27       2.69%     5.56%
 Marathi                                          1:53    0.02%     0.05%
 Mongolian                                        5:24    0.07%     0.14%
 Tagalog (Filipino)                          178:49       2.27%     4.68%
 Thai                                             6:05    0.08%     0.16%
 Tibetan                                          4:00    0.05%     0.10%
 Urdu                                         26:59       0.34%     0.71%
 Vietnamese                                       2:11    0.03%     0.06%
 Total Asian Languages                   1165:44:00         15%      31%
 Total LOTE                                 3820:28      48.44%     100%
 English                                    3818:12      48.41%
 No Dialogue                                 248:36       3.15%
 Total                                      7887:16       100%

SBS TWO – Languages broadcast – 2010-11
 Language                                   Hrs:Min      % Total   % LOTE

 Bengali                                          4:20    0.06%     0.08%
 Cantonese                                   193:05       2.59%     3.35%
 Hindi                                       202:22       2.71%     3.51%
 Indonesian                                  148:49       1.99%     2.58%
 Japanese                                    323:52       4.34%     5.62%
 Khmer                                            1:07    0.01%     0.02%
 Korean                                      265:11       3.55%     4.60%
 Mandarin                                    285:05       3.82%     4.95%
 Mongolian                                        1:40    0.02%     0.03%
 Punjabi                                          3:39    0.05%     0.06%
 Tagalog (Filipino)                          199:15       2.67%     3.46%
 Taiwanese                                        1:26    0.02%     0.02%
 Thai                                         23:18       0.31%     0.40%
 Tibetan                                          3:48    0.05%     0.07%
 Urdu                                         23:08       0.31%     0.40%
 Vietnamese                                       4:48    0.06%     0.08%
 Total Asian Languages                   1684:53:00         23%      29%
 Total LOTE                                 5761:35      77.20%     100%
 English                                    1228:37      16.46%
 No Dialogue                                 472:37       6.33%
 Total                                      7462:49       100%

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                             18
Appendix 2 (cont.)
SBS Radio – Languages broadcast – hours / week1 – 2010/11
                                    Analogue                                      Analogue/Digital

                                    National                        AM/FM                         Sydney3 AM/FM
 Language                           Network                       SBS Radio 22                       SBS Radio 14
 Amharic                                1             1.0%              1            0.47%                1          0.5%
 Arabic                                 4             3.8%             10            4.67%               14          6.5%
 Bangla                                 0             0.0%              1            0.47%                1          0.5%
 Burmese                                1             1.0%              1            0.47%                1          0.5%
 Cantonese                              5             4.8%              9            4.21%                9          4.2%
 Filipino                               4             3.8%              6            2.80%                6          2.8%
 Gujarati                               0             0.0%              0            0.00%                1          0.5%
 Hebrew                                 1             1.0%              2            0.93%                2          0.9%
 Hindi                                  1             1.0%              3            1.40%                3          1.4%
 Indonesian                             2             1.9%              3            1.40%                3          1.4%
 Japanese                               1             1.0%              1            0.47%                1          0.5%
 Kannada                                0             0.0%              0            0.00%                1          0.5%
 Khmer                                  1             1.0%              4            1.87%                4          1.9%
 Korean                                 1             1.0%              2            0.93%                4          1.9%
 Laotian                                1             1.0%              2            0.93%                2          0.9%
 Malay                                  0             0.0%              0            0.00%                0          0.0%
 Mandarin                               3             2.9%              7            3.27%                7          3.3%
 Nepalese                               0             0.0%              0            0.00%                1          0.5%
 Punjabi                                1             1.0%              1            0.47%                1          0.5%
 Sinhalese                              1             1.0%              1            0.47%                1          0.5%
 Tamil                                  1             1.0%              1            0.47%                1          0.5%
 Thai                                   1             1.0%              2            0.93%                2          0.9%
 Urdu                                   1             1.0%              1            0.47%                1          0.5%
 Vietnamese                             7             6.7%             14            6.54%               14          6.5%
 Total Asian Languages              38 (30%)         36.5%          72 (29%)        33.64%            81 (32%)      37.9%
 LOTE                               104 (83%)                      214 (86%)                          214 (86%)
 English                            13 (10%)                         19 (8%)                           19 (8%)
 No Dialogue7                         9 (6%)                         17 (6%)                           17 (6%)
 TOTAL                             126 (100%)                      250 (100%)                        250 (100%)

1 6am-midnight and excluding non-SBS produced programs (overnight schedule).
2 SBS Digital Radio in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth: SBS Radio 2 simulcasts the Melbourne AM/FM services.
3Sydney, Canberra and Wollongong analogue services.
4 SBS Digital Radio in Sydney and Brisbane: SBS Radio 1 simulcasts the Sydney AM/FM services.
5 The Malay and Maori language programs are currently in recess (broadcasting music only).
7 PopAsia and the Malay and Maori language programs (currently in recess and broadcasting music only).

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                                             19
Appendix 3
WorldWatch – languages and hours scheduled – 2010/11


 Language                            Country             Hours   % LOTE   % Total
 Arabic                              UAE                156:00       6%       5%
 Cantonese                           Hong Kong          104:00       4%       4%
 Dutch                               Netherlands         26:00       1%       1%
 Filipino                            Philippines        156:00       6%       5%
 French                              France             208:00       8%       7%
 German                              Germany            156:00       6%       5%
 Greek                               Greece             260:00      10%       9%
 Hindi                               India              156:00       6%       5%
 Hungarian                           Hungary             26:00       1%       1%
 Italian                             Italy              156:00       6%       5%
 Japanese                            Japan              182:00       7%       6%
 Korean                              Korea              182:00       7%       6%
 Maltese                             Malta               26:00       1%       1%
 Mandarin                            China              156:00       6%       5%
 Polish                              Poland              26:00       1%       1%
 Portuguese                          Portugal            26:00       1%       1%
 Russian                             Russia             156:00       6%       5%
 Spanish (Chile)                     Chile               26:00       1%       1%
 Spanish (Spain)                     Spain              208:00       8%       7%
 Turkish                             Turkey             156:00       6%       5%
 Urdu                                Pakistan            26:00       1%       1%
 Total LOTE                                            2574:00    100%       87%
 English (Germany)                   Germany            130:00                4%
 English (USA))                      USA                260:00                9%
 Total English                                          390:00               13%
 Total                                                 2964:00             100%

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                20
Appendix 3 (cont.)
WorldWatch – languages and hours scheduled – 2010/11 (cont.)


 Language                            Country                   Hours     % LOTE
 Arabic                              UAE                        169:52       4.1%
 Cantonese                           Hong Kong                  121:20       2.9%
 Croatian                            Croatia                    182:00       4.4%
 Dutch                               Netherlands                182:00       4.4%
 Filipino                            Philippines                182:00       4.4%
 French                              France                     182:00       4.4%
 German                              Germany                    182:00       4.4%
 Greek                               Greece                     303:20       7.3%
 Hindi                               India                      169:52       4.1%
 Hungarian                           Hungary                     26:00       0.6%
 Indonesian                          Indonesia                  182:00       4.4%
 Italian                             Italy                      182:00       4.4%
 Japanese                            Japan                      182:00       4.4%
 Korean                              Korea                      182:00       4.4%
 Macedonian                          Macedonia                  182:00       4.4%
 Maltese                             Malta                       26:00       0.6%
 Mandarin                            China                      182:00       4.4%
 Polish                              Poland                     312:00       7.5%
 Portuguese                          Portugal                   182:00       4.4%
 Russian                             Russia                     182:00       4.4%
 Serbian                             Serbia                     182:00       4.4%
 Spanish (Chile)                     Chile                       26:00       0.6%
 Spanish (Spain)                     Spain                      242:40       5.8%
 Turkish                             Turkey                     182:00       4.4%
 Urdu                                Pakistan                    26:00       0.6%
 Total LOTE                                                    4153:04    100.0%

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                     21
Appendix 3 (cont.)
WorldWatch suppliers

Country       Language     Origin          Broadcaster                                                      Signal
Chile         Spanish      Santiago        TVN           Televisión Nacional de Chile                       FTP/Fibre
China         Mandarin     Beijing         CCTV          China Central Television                           Satellite/Fibre
Croatia       Croatian     Zagreb          HRT           Hrvatska radiotelevizija                           Satellite/Fibre
France        French       Paris           FT2           France Télévisions SA                              Satellite/Fibre
Germany       German       Berlin          DW            Deutsche Welle                                     Satellite
Germany       English      Berlin          DW            Deutsche Welle                                     Satellite
Greece        Greek        Athens          ERT           Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation                  Satellite/Fibre
Hong Kong     Cantonese    Kowloon         TVB           Television Broadcasts Limited                      Satellite
Hungary       Hungarian    Budapest        DTV           Duna Televízió                                     Satellite
India         Hindi        New Delhi       NDTV          New Delhi Television Limited                       Satellite/Fibre
Indonesia     Indonesian   Jakarta         TVRI          Televisi Republik Indonesia                        Satellite
Italy         Italian      Rome            RAI           RAI International / Raitalia                       Satellite
Japan         Japanese     Tokyo           NHK           Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai                                 Satellite
Korea         Korean       Seoul           YTN           Yonhap Television News                             Satellite
Macedonia     Macedonian   Skopje          MRT           Makedonska radio-televizija                        Satellite/Fibre
Malta         Maltese      G'mangia        PBS           Public Broadcasting Service of Malta               FTP/Courier
Netherlands   Dutch        Hilversum       NOS           Nederlandse Omroep Stichting                       Satellite
Pakistan      Urdu         Islamabad       PTV           Pakistan Television Corporation                    Satellite
                                                         Alto Broadcasting System -Chronicle Broadcasting
Philippines   Filipino     Manila          ABS-CBN                                                          Satellite
Poland        Polish       Warsaw          Polsat        Telewizja Polsat S.A.                              Satellite/Fibre
Portugal      Portuguese   Lisbon          RTP           Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, S.A.                Satellite
Russia        Russian      Moscow          NTV           Телекомпания НТВ                                   Satellite/Fibre
Serbia        Serbian      Belgrade        RTS           Radio-televizija Srbije                            Satellite
Spain         Spanish      Madrid          RTVE          Radiotelevisión Española                           Satellite
Turkey        Turkish      Ankara          TRT           Türkiye Radyo Televizyon Kurumu                    Satellite
UAE           Arabic       Dubai           DTV           Dubai Television                                   Satellite/Fibre
USA           English      Washington DC   PBS           Public Broadcasting Service                        Satellite/Fibre

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century                                                                               22
Appendix 4

The Dragon Children – SBS Online documentary

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century   23
Appendix 5

Chinese Language Project
Chinese VCC (

SBS Submission – Australia in the Asian Century   24

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