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20 June 2017

Victorian-made podcast, The Messenger has been named one of 2017's three Grand Award winners at the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.

The Messenger podcast

Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Muhamat shares his experiences in the Manus Island detention centre via The Messenger

Co-produced by the Wheeler Centre and Behind the Wire, The Messenger reports on the experiences of Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Muhamat from within the Manus Island immigration detention centre. The podcast reveals, in intimate detail, his experience of what it's really like to flee tragedy and seek asylum by boat.

The Awards' Grand Jury judged The Messenger worthy of its highest honour, the Grand Award, bestowed this year upon only three entrants amid strong competition from around the world. Past winners of the Grand Award include Radiolab, the BBC and the New York Philharmonic.

The Messenger also collected two Gold medals – for national or international affairs documentary broadcasts and the top honour for news podcasts.

The podcast project began in 2016 when Behind the Wire's pitch was chosen as the winner of the Wheeler Centre's So You Think You Can Pod? competition.

The Messenger's core team comprises six producers: Jon Tjhia and Sophie Black for the Wheeler Centre, and Michael Green, André Dao, Bec Fary and Hannah Reich for Behind the Wire. Abdul Aziz Muhamat is acknowledged as a reporter. 

Last month the 2017-18 Victorian Budget announced $300,000 in establishment funding will be provided for a Podcasting Centre at The Wheeler Centre. The first facility of its kind in Australia, it will enable the Wheeler Centre to create, publish and distribute more and more original audio content, stories and quality broadcasts.

Find out more or listen to The Messenger