Australian Media’s Pro Bono Work for ACON Pride in Diversity Leaderboard Scheme – Part 2 – SBS

See Australian Media’s Pro Bono Work for ACON Pride in Diversity Leaderboard Scheme – Part 1 – ABC

ACON’s Pride in Diversity lists only a few “media” members.

  • 10 ViacomCBS (Channel 10)
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
  • Bloomberg L.P.
  • Initiative Media
  • SBS

In part 1 I looked at our ABC. In this part 2 I will look closely at how SBS uses talent to make pro bono or in kind contributions to the Pride in Diversity mission in exchange for AWEI points.

Like ABC, SBS also lends it’s talent in exchange for points

In the 2021 AWEI SBS scored 185 out of 200 points, making it a gold employer. It is also a silver sponsor by dint of providing pro bono media services to Pride in Diversity. Services such as lending out Riccardo Goncalves to MC the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Awards. Yes, that’s the Pride in Diversity AWEI award ceremony.

Riccardo Goncalves to MC the 2020 Australian LGBTQ Awards (Q40 – 2 points)

This is in addition to their other contra deals such as pre-paying to advertise ACON for the Honour Awards.

Contra deals – also Q40

SBS Televised the Pride in Diversity LGBTQ Inclusion Awards on SBS World News

The story is on their website here.

SBS World News presenter Darren Mara introducing the story (Q43 -1 point)

Corporate Heroes Get Into The Action

SBS lends out executive-level staff to speak at Pride in Diversity events. This benefits SBS by netting them up to 2 AWEI points. Although it costs them in time and lost productivity for their senior staff.

It benefits Pride in Diversity by having the very public support of the SBS. They don’t even need to pay a speaker’s fee.

Director of Sport, Ken Shipp, spoke at the Pride in Sport Awards in October 2020 (Q34 – 2 points)

When the Corporate Heroes Aren’t Good Enough

Pride in Diversity tries to get the maximum cultural capital out of executive appearances. It does this by demanding that the CEO themselves speak at events promoting LGBTQ inclusion.

SBS sent a Director of Indigenous content to speak, but was NOT granted the 2 points for this question. PID notes the reason “Not CEO/equivalent“.

SBS Director of Indigenous Content and the Head of the NITV Business Tanya Denning Orman spoke at the Pride in Practice Conference in 2020 (Q36 – 0 out of 2 points)

Pride in Diversity was happy to accept Orman’s time, to bill her as a panellist, and charge people who registered to hear her speak. However they didn’t bother advising SBS that she wasn’t of high enough rank to gain their points.

Additional Work – Special Episodes

It’s one thing to lend out a director of programming for an afternoon, it’s another to redirect the whole cast and crew of a TV show to score 1 point on the AWEI index.

From Q43, here is SBS’s list of “additional” 1-pointer activities for 2021.

SBS – AWEI Submission 2021 – Q43 – Additional Work
ActivityMy comments
MG Parade ParticipationStaff built their own float – 1 point!
Professor Jane Ussher TalkShe talked about “about her research into the lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour in Australia.” 1 point!
SBS Pride Guide“The Pride Guide is a resource, produced by SBS, to support anyone creating, producing or working with LGBTIQ+ content. It has been designed to enable fair, respectful and inclusive representation.”
1 point for making this guide public (they got 1 point for creating it the previous year)
Australian LGBTQ Inclusion Awards on National BroadcastSBS World News ensured to cover the awards” – Presenter Darren Mara introduced the segment – The story is on their website here.
“We ensured key members of our staff, Executive and Inclusion Council were present at the Award Ceremony too.” – this means that awards tickets were purchased.

1 point to purchase a fully produced news story
ACON Covid-19 LGBTQ Impact Panel

ACON Living Trans Panel
They promoted 2 ACON events to Pride group members.
SBS Pride & Allies undertaking divisional road-showsTo continue to promote our Pride & Allies mission, Pride & Allies Co-Chairs frequently presented at SBS Staff Divisional meetings.
Cook for
This didn’t receive a point.
project into
Gay and Thai
gay men.
“Our Sales and Research team engaged with ACON directly on research into key communities and how they can best be reached based on the content they consume. ACON was able to utilise SBS expertise through our Research and Marketing teams. Our Research team consulted with the Pride & Allies Committee along this process.”

“ACON has commissioned SBS to conduct some research”. It isn’t clear whether this was paid for, but the context suggests it was a freebie.

Tim Freiszmuth (Custom Research Manager – Audience Data & Insights) “conducted several face-to-face interviews)” and is now designing a quantitative survey to reach gay Thai audiences.
Insight – ‘Coming out with faith’ episode“SBS current affairs program “Insight” ran an episode in February 2020 focused entirely on the intersection between sexuality and faith. What
makes this episode all the more special to our Pride Committee is that the episode was directly inspired by an internal staff-only panel we held in
2019 for Wear It Purple Day”

“This panel was such a success
internally, that it inspired not only our audience but also the Executive Producer of Insight Ross Scheeper’s to spend the next 6 months researching
this moving episode of Insight before airing it nationally on SBS Television in 2020.”

An entire show – 1 point.
Mardi Gras Federation Square Partnership & Screening“SBS Pride & Allies driven initiative was the pitching to and liaison with Federation Square to have the live SBS Parade broadcast aired live
on the big screen outside Federation Square.”

Priceless free promotion for Mardi Gras. 1 point.
Pride & Allies VideoSBS created a “pride and allies reel” which is played “in all our internal divisional roadshows and also during our employee inductions.”

1 point.
Mardi Gras Broadcast – Sales Presentation“Our Executive Sponsor of Pride and Allies Mandi Wicks maintained attendance at PID Executive Ally Forums in 2020; as per evidence from her diary below.”
Inclusion Council staff update videosCo-chair of Pride & Allies Committee provides a video meeting summary of their meeting – which is the broadcast to all staff.

This is a good example of how getting involved with Pride can raise a person’s profile in the organisation.
Mardi Gras
Broadcast –
“Our national Sales team was in market selling advertising to clients around Australia around our Mardi Gras broadcast. Please see attached file
“S10 – 2020 Mardi Gras Sales Deck” for the presentation that our Sales team took to market, which was created by Pride & Allies Co-Chair”

1 point – the sales team created sales collateral and spruiked Mardi Gras
Q43 – the 1 point activities

SBS profits from the gender gospel

Question 8 of the AWEI is about engaging with suppliers, vendors and business contacts:

We can show evidence of promoting our commitment to LGBTQ inclusion in up to two of the following areas:
• pitching for business or contracts
• engaging with potential clients/customers
• applying for funding
• engaging with strategic partners or key external stakeholders

Q8, AWEI 2021

In response, SBS have produced their own (Pride in Diversity-approved) LGBTIQ+ training course (with the paid assistance of Pride in Diversity consultants). This course is available on the market.

Pride in Diversity has successfully co-opted the resources of our government-funded media to spread it’s message. SBS received their 4-point reward.

Diversity, but only a little bit

This is a good point to note that the training course advertises the “benefits of diversity” but it only deals with limited diversity among sexual behaviours and gender identities. These are arguably best left out of the workplace in any case – having sex at work is still frowned upon. Diversity of ability, cultural background, languages spoken, neurotypical status – these are not covered by “Pride in Diversity” or the LGBTIQ+.


There’s a certain sinking feeling to be had with the realisation that both ABC and SBS have such deep links to ACON/Pride in Diversity. ACON has a clear agenda to promote transgender inclusion at the expense of women’s rights.

Our lefty media outlets can’t be trusted to report the truth on how transgenderism harms women. Not when they are directly being advised by ACON.

Sources of information:

ABC and SBS submissions to the 2021 AWEI scheme were obtained under FOI and are freely available for you to download.

Please get in touch confidentially via twitter or email if you’d like to discuss these or similar documents.

3 thoughts on “Australian Media’s Pro Bono Work for ACON Pride in Diversity Leaderboard Scheme – Part 2 – SBS

  1. I’ve decided that as a person in the marginalised minority group called Vegans, I want the V added to the marginalised alphabet group, so it becomes LGBTIQV. Because, man they get some good shit. I reckon I could do the requisite amount of ‘fragile and vulnerable’ if needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kit, that is great work!

    I am wondering if we could get a group together to target each of the departments/services you research? Wait until we get the ABC response so we can learn from that, and then systematically put in a complaint. Do you know if the NSW Dept Education is a “partner” in this?

    On Tue, 12 Apr 2022 at 21:24, The Lady Kit Kowalski wrote:

    > Kit Kowalski posted: ” See Australian Media’s Pro Bono Work for ACON Pride > in Diversity Leaderboard Scheme – Part 1 – ABC ACON’s Pride in Diversity > lists only a few “media” members. 10 ViacomCBS (Channel 10)Australian > Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)Bloomberg L.P.Init” >

    Liked by 1 person

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