TV journalist Ingrid Leary wins Oxfam’s Pacific media award

Ingrid Leary reporting on Oxfam's reconstruction efforts in Aceh, Indonesia, following the Boxing Day Tsunami, 2004

Ingrid Leary reporting on Oxfam's reconstruction efforts in Aceh, Indonesia, following the Boxing Day Tsunami, 2004


Independent journalist Ingrid Leary has won the Peace and Development Award at this year's Media Peace Awards for her documentaries featuring two Pacific Island women living with HIV/AIDS.

Leary's two documentaries, Peati and Irene, examine the discrimination the two women receive in their homelands because of their disease.

Peati Malaki is a Samoan community worker and Irene Malachai is a ni-Vanuatu nurse.

Leary said HIV/AIDS is a very real threat facing our Pacific neighbours and one that needs to be addressed immediately. She praised the courage of Peati and Irene to speak out and overcome the stigma surrounding their disease as they campaign for greater awareness and support.

The Peace Foundation held its annual Media Peace Awards in Auckland November 8. The Peace and Development in the Pacific award is a new category this year, sponsored by Oxfam New Zealand. The award acknowledges journalism that explores the development challenges of Pacific Island nations in a complex environment.

Oxfam Executive Director Barry Coates said the award highlights the importance of in-depth and insightful reporting on the environmental sustainability, poverty, human rights, justice and many other pressing issues facing the Pacific region.

"Oxfam hopes the initiative will not only encourage more in-depth coverage, but also broaden the New Zealand public's understanding of our Pacific neighbourhood," Coates says.

Oxfam New Zealand's work in the Pacific focuses on conflict resolution, water and sanitation, livelihoods, health and HIV/AIDS, ending violence against women, education and trade.

Peace and Development in the Pacific award winners:

Premier Award:
Ingrid Leary

Highly Commended:
Don Wiseman (Radio New Zealand International) for Insight preview into PNG's June elections.

Commended awards went to:
Lito Vilisoni, Christine Gounder & Mema Maeli (Radio) – Pacific Radio – for their reporting on the Tongan riots; Lloyd Ashton (Print) from an Anglican Church publication, for a piece on the Fiji coup; Angela Gregory (Print) – Pacific Island Reporter, NZ Herald, for a piece on Samoan leadership.

Leary's documentary Irene will be screening in Auckland's Academy Theatre November 28, in support of World AIDS Day 2007 (December 1). Proceeds from this event go towards New Zealanders living with AIDS.