25 March 2021

Swinburne academic and graduate recognised at State-level International Women’s Day celebration

KUCHING – Swinburne’s Head of School of Design and Arts and multimedia design graduate were among eight women awarded by the Sarawak State government at the recent state-level celebration of International Women’s Day 2021.

Associate Professor Dr Ida Fatimawati binti Adi Badiozaman and Joanne Lai Ing Jing were both presented with the Special Recognition Award for their contributions in the areas of education and film-making respectively.

Commenting on the award, Dr Ida said it is a wonderful recognition for educators as it acknowledges the significant role that education plays in society.

“To ensure equal women representation and accelerate gender parity, an equitable education system would help develop the knowledge and skills needed to be engaged and become productive members of society.

I focus on issues of equity and access through my teaching, training and research –  as equity implies distribution of economic, social and political resources in ways that are not restricted by age, gender, race, ethnicity, ability or income,” Dr Ida said.

Multimedia design graduate Joanne Lai Ing Jing.

Multimedia design graduate Joanne Lai Ing Jing.

As the winner of the 2020 UN Women Malaysia Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Award for the Community and Industry Engagement Category, Dr Ida added that one of the biggest challenges faced by women is the lack of representation in various sectors.

“This lack of representation presents a complex challenge which often perpetuates issues of discrimination, stereotypes, marginalisation and poverty. It is important to have women’s voices reflected, so that we don’t continue building a society from a male perspective,” she said, adding that women should maintain a gender equal mindset, help forge a gender equal world and celebrate women’s achievements.

Meanwhile, Lai was very honoured to be recognised by the State government as it proves that as a woman in a male-dominated industry, her works are accepted by a large section of the society.

“I think the general perception in the production industry is that women are too soft or physically challenged in terms of size and strength. But women are equally capable as men, and have more empathy and better attention to detail. We only need to be given ample opportunities to shine in this industry.

Dr Ida and Lai in a group photo with Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.

Dr Ida and Lai in a group photo with Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.

I appreciate the support and guidance I’ve received from my production team. To all the women out there, keep believing in yourself and most importantly, don’t be afraid to try,” Lai commented.

In December last year, Lai made her first international debut in the International Thai Film Festival 2020 (ITFF 2020) Film & Entertainment Industry Awards. Lai, who is currently working with Sarawak Media Group (SMG), was nominated alongside directors from Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China, Spain, Brazil, Bulgaria, the USA and other countries for the music video ‘My Life (Melissa Francis)’ which she directed in collaboration with SMG and popular Iban singer Melissa Francis.

For more information about Swinburne, visit its website www.swinburne.edu.my, Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Instagram (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).

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Marcella Gider
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