Simone Amelia Jordan Joins Media Diversity Australia As Project & Events Manager

Per Mumbrella:

Not-for-profit Media Diversity Australia has expanded its team as it plans to grow and have more impact on an industry it sees as lacking in diversity.

Chris Vaughan has joined the team as its operations director, bringing experience from his work in the finance industry, as well as media and advertising.

Vaughan said the work Media Diversity Australia does is close to his heart.

“I moved to Australia at the age of seven from London, it took many years before I saw someone else who looked like me let alone on the TV. It was because of that and many other reasons, that I feel very passionate about playing a part in this narrative to ensure that the seven year old me today is able to see more diverse cultures represented equally across all media platforms,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan worked for the past eight years in the financial services sector as an investment strategist and has led and built domestic and international partnerships. He has also worked both in Australia and the UK as a Freelance Television Producer for Fremantle Media, ABC and the BBC.

Media Diversity Australia made headlines in August 2020, when it released landmark research on the state of representation in television news and current affairs.

The report, Who Gets To Tell Australians – led by the NGO and produced by four universities was funded by Google and the union representing journalist, The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance. It found that at the time, every national news director in Australia was a white man, and 96.9% of those in the most senior news management roles either had an Anglo-Celtic or European background.

More than 75% of presenters, commentators, and reporters on screen in news and current affairs broadcasts had an Anglo Celtic background, while only 6% had Indigenous or non-European background.

Now in its fourth year, the not-for-profit organisation will be doubling its paid internship program to create pathways for talent from a diverse array of backgrounds to enter the industry. The organisation also plans to repeat its research on the state-of-play in television news and current affairs to measure what has changed in three years.

“We have a clear vision and strategic plan over the next three years, which will see us scale our efforts to ensure we have a stronger representation across the entire media landscape of both culturally and linguistically diverse talent and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” a spokesperson for the NGO said.

Also joining the team is Simone Amelia Jordan as events and project manager, whose career spans news and music journalism and music management.

“When I came home in 2016 after a decade away in New York, I was immediately hit with familiar feelings of frustration and disappointment. Why did Australia’s mainstream media look as homogeneous as when I left? It was completely disheartening,” Jordan said.

“The following year, I learned about the launch of Media Diversity Australia, and was proud to support such a crucial movement. To now work with them in an official capacity is an honour,” she said.

Media Diversity Australia was founded in 2017 by journalists Isabel Lo and Antoinette Lattouf. They are supported by an  advisory board including Indigenous journalist Stan Grant, The Project Host, Waleed Aly; veteran journalist Monica Attard, SBS head of indigenous content, Tanya-Denning Orman; philanthropist Talal Yassine, former Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphomossane; multicultural advertising advisor, Sheba Nandkeolyar and head of the Walkley Foundation, Louisa Graham.

Debut #GetInTheGame Live Event: January 2020

Today marks exactly one year since I hosted (and organised) my first live #GetInTheGame event.

The sold-out seminar featured a line-up of brilliant women I’m honoured to call my dear friends, each of them with acclaimed careers in the music and entertainment industries.

And in the spirit of true sisterhood, Lani Richmond (artist manager, Aloe Blacc), Eb Jones (then Head of Social & Influencer Strategy, WNBA), Sherin Moustafa (then artist manager, Becky G) and Prinnie Stevens (performer) immediately said they would do the event with less than two week’s notice. When I have a bright idea, I like to execute it as soon as possible!

From L: Simone Amelia Jordan, Lani Richmond, Eb Jones, Sherin Moustafa and Prinnie Stevens.

This particular experience was so exhilarating and successful that it lead me to create Higher Ground Consulting Agency mid last year, and focus on the professional development of local artists and creatives from First Nations and CaLD talent.

Our audience soaking up knowledge from the all-star panel of female powerhouses.

I spoke with each woman in-depth about their unique journeys, with our Australian-born panelists providing particular inspiration to the sold-out audience. As musicians, journalists, managers and executives, we provided a powerful look at the spectrum of vocations available to those who aspire to work in showbiz. We also encouraged those in the audience from marginalised backgrounds to keep dreaming, and make those dreams BIG.

Special thanks to my husband Duane Jordan, my amazing right-hand Erika Medina, plus the indomitable Milly Petriella (head of artist relations, APRA AMCOS) for generously sharing her pearls of wisdom on the day.

Check out a video snippet from the day, and here’s to more incredible events in 2021!

IWD 2020 Panel: ‘Women Changing The World’

On International Women’s Day this year, I spoke at a ‘Women Changing The World’ event organised by tech start-up incubator Fishburners.

The panel featured women using their entrepreneurial talents for good. Here are some takeaways.

“You’re not always right, which takes a long time to learn. Everyone has their vision, but keep focused on the common goal.” – Simone Amelia Jordan

Packed house for the ‘Women Changing The World’ panel on #IWD2020. Image: Fishburners

“Take up space and flex your voice. Make room, take a spot. At events, at board meetings, wherever you need to be.” – Sasha Sarago

“You need to build resilience. You will be disappointed every second day. Equip yourself with a strong back and a strong network that backs you.” – Carola Jonas

Attendees soaking up knowledge at the #IWD2020 panel

“Stick to your vision and mission. The point of innovation is it is different and it won’t make sense to a lot of people. A lot of it is intuitive.” – Patricia Kaziro

“Value what you bring to the world. We need male energy but we also need female energy and to date, female energy has not been equal.” – Deborah Fairfull

“It does not get easier; things get harder. There are lots of ideas out there and just because something wasn’t your idea, doesn’t mean you can’t get on board.” – Jenna Leo

Step Forward: Vision Board Workshop [March 2018]



Vision Board Workshop, Sydney Australia

Grab your girls and let’s celebrate Women’s History Month!

Are you in need of INSPIRATION?

Vision Boards display images that represent whatever you want to BE, DO or HAVE in your life.

In 2018, our lives are moving at a rapid pace and we’re losing sight of the GOALS and DREAMS shaping our future.

Make your ambitions VISUAL and REAL to create your reality and maintain your motivation.

Saturday, March 24 2018


Redfern Community Centre

29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern NSW

Cost: $47 + booking fee (includes):

  • Lunch + Refreshments
  • Pre-Workshop Tips
  • Large Foam Vision Board
  • Magazines
  • Scissors, Glue, Tacks, Stickers, Varnish

Talking The Source, Racism In Australia, Hip Hop & More On The Karen Hunter Show, SiriusXM

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Yesterday [Monday, March 28] I had the absolute pleasure of stopping by The Karen Hunter Show on the UrbanView channel on SiriusXM.

An esteemed journalist and author with a very inspiring career, Karen congratulated me on my new role at The Source Magazine and my first full issue: our current #RealRecognizesReel diversity in Hollywood special. We also talked about the legacy the brand has and how we’re continuing it today with an all new “MindSquad.”

We then touched on the beauty and controversy of Hip Hop music and culture, the influence of acts like Kanye West, the differences between The Source and a media title like Complex and more.

Becoming The Editor Of The Source Magazine


A full-circle moment, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a “series of developments that lead back to the original source.”

The original source, in this case, is The Source. And my full-circle moment is happening today (Monday, November 9 2015) as I become Content Director for the media brand that inspired my entire career.

I knew from a very young age hip-hop would determine, shape and influence my personal and professional growth. I discovered The Source magazine when I was 13 years old in the early 90s, taking sneaky trips into the city to soak up the atmosphere at Soul Sense record store. Soul Sense was the unrivaled destination for lovers of “urban culture” in Sydney, Australia (shouts to local legends Eddie and Robert Kaleel and Freddie Mahinda) and a haven for multicultural youth to revel in a music form that at the time, was truly underground. Those were the days, man. Love for the music was pure, especially for us international fans physically so far away from its mecca. I wasn’t yet working so I’d beg Mum to give me money every month to buy The Source and VIBE, and because you could only get them from Soul Sense as imported magazines, she’d shell out roughly $25-30 each time for me. I would excitedly devour each page, memorizing the staff list and picturing my name. I had wanted to be a journalist since I read a book called The Reporter in the third grade (or Year 3, as we say back home) and covering hip-hop came naturally.

In 2003, I founded Urban Hitz magazine. This came after I did high school work experience at Smash Hits (shouts to Agatha Antonian) and TV Hits (shouts to Santi Pintado) and then during my college days, Juice magazine (shouts to my earliest media mentors Toby Creswell, Lisa Anthony and Stuart Hitchings). I was editorial assistant at Juice but happily took the lead on their “urban” coverage and positioned myself as an authority from a very young age (inspired also by WKD, a Melbourne-based R&B publication, at the time). When I graduated with my journalism degree in 2002, I worked with my good friend and top Australian DJ George “G-Wiz” Bechara to produce a street press (a.k.a. free) hip-hop/R&B magazine called Request, which gave me the confidence to ultimately create Urban Hitz in 2003.

Urban Hitz was my local tribute to The Source, an on-sale national publication with a balance of emerging coverage from Australia and New Zealand plus American content. Thanks to my publishers at the time (Derwent Howard) I was allowed to have my brand exactly mirror the one I learned from, with powerful stories tinged with social commentary, exclusive in-depth interviews, lifestyle features and more. Urban Hitz is my greatest achievement because I was told no-one in their right mind would pay for an Aussie-based hip-hop/R&B magazine when they could still buy The Source or VIBE, especially with a female editor. Not only did we become the highest-selling urban publication in Australia to this day, we did it with limited resources and industry support. We had the people, the kids who were just like me, and that’s all we needed.

When I moved to New York City after wrapping up Urban Hitz at the end of 2006, hired by to create content for their popular retail site, I told the owners I was familiar with the Dr. Jays store brand from years before—by reading about rappers talking about it in The Source, of course. I had an incredible full-time run with and consider the company family to this day (working with them still from time to time), because not only did they support my life goal of living and working in New York City, they allowed me to start doing on-camera interviews, execute major fashion campaigns with breakout stars like Nicki Minaj and much more. I branched out from print to digital with them and then embraced a career in radio with Hip Hop Nation (SiriusXM) and DASH Radio, thanks to incredible people in my corner. Through it all my original love for magazines never died, and a dream deep inside to work for the title that kicked everything off never waned. So after a few light social interactions with L. Londell McMillan (current Publisher of The Source), we sat down recently to a five-hour brunch where we discussed the past, present and future of the brand. Londell’s career is decorated and celebrated, but what I admire most about him is after such a long time in the industry, he’s honest to a fault and extremely passionate. His NorthStar Group is today one of few Black-owned media companies, which is extremely important to me coming from a minority background.

I’ve accepted this position at The Source to focus on the positive. To reconnect with the old and usher in the new. To pay homage to the legacy of the brand and at the same time, move it forward. From editorial to marketing to branding to international expansion, I’ll be lending my lengthy expertise while learning and growing with my team.

I cannot emphasize enough how The Source made me the woman, hip-hop lover, journalist and socially conscious spirit I am today. Like a rapper equipped with the albums that inspired him to get in the booth or a community leader studying the activists who came before them, this magazine laid the groundwork for me as a journalist. Its writers and editors spoke loudly to me through each page, sending a clear message to be part of this culture was an honor. That hip-hop was unlike anything else on this planet, an uncomfortably beautiful bridge to endless possibilities. It taught me a young ethnic girl who grew up with a single mother thousands of miles away could actually be part of the world she truly felt she belonged in, as long as she remained authentic to herself and put in the work.

Mum still has my old copies of The Source in big plastic containers back home, and when I told her about my new position her reaction was, “Oh, that bloody magazine! You finally made it huh?” Sure did, Ma.

Simone “Boss Lady” Amelia Talks Racism In Australia & Being An Expat


Last month (September 2015) I was invited to be part of a keynote panel at the first (and very exciting) NOMADness ALTERnative Travel Conference in New York City.

Moderated by Nomadness Tribe founder Evita Robinson and featuring myself, rapper Pharaohe Monch and artist Leonard Combier, this was a great conversation for anyone chasing dreams through their passion for creativity; living outside the boundaries placed on them and unafraid to face adversity. As you can see, I’m aiming to become a spokesperson for a balanced Australia—one where we cherish the amazing things our country has to offer, but we also honestly acknowledge the negative aspects we undoubtedly possess.


Let’s Talk About: Humanizing Immigration

New Business Profile Shot

It’s time for me to bite the bullet and share with the world my heartfelt opinions on issues important to me.

Switching your thoughts from private to public is daunting, especially when speaking on hot button topics. It’s the obvious next phase of my journalism career and I’m finally ready to embrace it.

Here’s my first filmed social commentary on a subject that hits home: the current refugee crisis and being an immigrant in America in 2015.

Thank You Bree Newsome, My New She-Ro


Take a moment to let this image sink in.

Just yesterday President Barack Obama gave one of the most impassioned speeches of his two-term reign. It was a rousing eulogy at the funeral of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of nine innocents slain by a domestic terrorist using the Confederate flag as a symbol of his hatred for Black people inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. During his soul-stirring words, the President tackled head on the renewed debate about the flag, declaring it an undoubted symbol of racial oppression.

“Removing the flag from this state’s capital would not be an act of political correctness,” he said, “it would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong.”

As cries of protest against the flag grew this past week, I wondered who the courageous person would be to take it upon themselves and rip that s*it down. This morning, just a day after the President’s speech (and perhaps inspired by it) self-described “freedom fighter” Bree Newsome took matters into her own hands, climbed that flagpole like the G she is, unhooked the flag and brought it down triumphantly as police waited to arrest her.

I literally jumped for joy when I woke up to the news—and the fact Bree is a woman got me even more hype. She obviously understood the risks and the fact she’d be taken into custody. Her and accomplice James Ian Dyson now face three years in jail and a $5,000 fine, charged with defacing a state monument. But if this isn’t a worthy cause, I don’t know what is. That flag is more than a source of controversy for decades. It is a racist symbol that represents a war to uphold slavery and, further down the line, a battle to oppose civil rights advances. South Carolina specifically referenced slavery as its reason to secede from the Union during the Civil War and fight for the Confederacy, which makes the fact that the flag still flies over their state capitol even more grossly shameful. And in a sick twist, a Black maintenance worker was directed to re-install the flag after Bree yanked it down today, right before a WHITE SUPREMACIST RALLY was set to take place in the same place. Oh, ‘Merica.

We’re living in such confusing, enthralling, frightening times, aren’t we? So we must celebrate these victories, regardless of how fleeting they might be. In a statement to The Guardian, Bree wrote: “We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”

Police ordered Bree to come down from the pole once she reached the midpoint. She turned, looked down at them respectfully (calling them “sir” and letting them know she understood she was about to be arrested) and kept moving upwards towards her mission. As she came back down she was praying, summoning the strength of God through her incredibly brave actions. It is these moments that must encourage us all to keep fighting.

Remembering Racism As A Child


Ah, Gosford. You were a distant memory tucked away in the back of my mind until Elite Daily brought you back to life this week. What appears to be just a brief blog post shouting out a Christian church for being, you know, Christian and extending well wishes to Islamic passersby commencing Ramadan means so much more to me.

My family moved to Gosford in 1989. My sister Julie had a mysterious cough (which she still has to this day, SMH) and thinking it was due to us living on Parramatta Road, Sydney’s most clogged thoroughfare, Mum pulled us from the chaos of the inner city to the beautiful beaches of the Central Coast, joining my aunty and cousins who’d relocated months earlier. A different world, indeed.

In Summer Hill, my friendship group was a rainbow coalition: Indian-Fijian, Filipino, Lebanese, Maori. Thanks to gentrification in 2015 it’s a predominantly white area now but back then you name it, we had it. I don’t know how I knew at eight years old Gosford would be an extremely different environment for me, but I did. And it was. I experienced racism for the first time there and it was so stinging and immediate I’ll never forget how blindsided I was by it.

As soon as we moved Mum enrolled Julie and I at St. Patrick’s, East Gosford. We’d gone to St. Patrick’s in our old neighborhood so we thought we’d ease right in. How wrong we were. From the moment I started third grade (or Year 3, as we say in Australia) I knew I was different. There was only one other “ethnic” girl named Aphrodite (she was Greek Cypriot) and instead of embracing me, she stayed away like the plague. She ignored my smiles and acted as if she couldn’t understand me when I’d strike up conversation. I remember she had gorgeous thick, black curly hair and wore it in a bun every day for fear of standing out from the limp, mousey brown strands surrounding her. The other girls called her “Dede” and I thought she was a sellout.


It wasn’t too long before I was called “wog” by the other girls. I’d heard the word vaguely before, but never directed at me. I was heated. Who the hell were they to speak to me like that? Just as I reported back to Mum I was going to have to lay hands on these racist little bitches, Julie came home from her kindergarten class one day to let us know, at the tender age of five, another student laughed in her face and told her that her beautiful dark brown eyes looked like “poo.” She cried as she shared they constantly teased her friend Michelle, the only Aboriginal girl in class. Being the protective sister I always was, I remember feeling angry and helpless. My campus was separate from my very shy little sister’s and the thought of not being able to protect her killed me. My social conscience was highly developed from a very young age and therefore I expressed myself in the only ways a child knows how: with my temper and fists. We eventually decided to move back to the city because, frankly, we missed “us” (our neighbor coming over and observing my grandmother frying kibbe on the stove with an “Ewwwww, what is that? Looks disgusting!” was probably the final straw). We missed feeling accepted and part of a community. I slipped right back into my old school, with old friends who looked and talked just like me. Those two years away felt like a bad dream and still do to this day.

Gosford, it appears, is a very different place nowadays. For an Anglican church to post a sign acknowledging their Muslim neighbors in a community that used to frown on diversity makes my heart burst. In these times when racism is viewed as a dirty word (but its results are not) you cannot help to be encouraged by small steps towards righting the wrongs of the past. That’s why we should never refuse to take notice of the pain felt by those who came before us simply because things [might have] changed in the present. And that’s why what appears as a plain sign to you means the world to me.