Patrick Abboud named recipient of inaugural Jesse Cox Audio Fellowship

Award-winning journalist and former The Feed reporter Patrick Abboud has been named the inaugural recipient of the Jesse Cox Audio Fellowship, named after award-winning radio producer and former head of original content at Audible Australia, the late Jesse Cox.

Abboud receives a $20,000 fellowship, thanks to founding partner Audible Australia and development partner the ABC, to provide him with the opportunity to accelerate his career and create innovative audio work.

Patrick Abboud is the inaugural fellow for the Jesse Cox Audio Fellowship

Abboud said: “Jesse was an incredible storyteller; sensitive, courageous, unique. He inspired so many to take risks, to create deeply moving work that changed lives. I never got the chance to collaborate with Jesse but I admired his genius from afar. It’s an absolute honour to be working in his name and I hope what I achieve with this wonderful fellowship does his legacy proud. I’m immensely grateful for this opportunity.”

Abboud left The Feed in July and is currently reporting and guest hosting for The Project and directing innovative interactive documentary projects with SBS Digital Labs and Google Labs.

In its inaugural year the fellowship attracted more than 100 applications from around the country, with 39% identifying as LGBTQI+, 12% as living with a disability, 41% as culturally and linguistically diverse, and 7% as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Jesse Cox passed away in 2017. The Fellowship in his name seeks to help up and coming audio producers further their careers and challenge the boundaries in audio

The panel sought to find a proposal demonstrating a strong creative practice and an applicant that would benefit from the support of the fellowship and its partners.

The winning recipient was to show bravery and risk, push the audio form and give visibility to new or underrepresented stories in the audio space.

Five applicants were shortlisted:

● Patrick Abboud – Inaugural JCAF Fellow: Pat is an award-winning storyteller, working across broadcast media and the arts for eight years, presenting and producing compelling documentary and audio-visual installations.
● Elmo Keep – Shortlisted: Elmo Keep is an award-winning multi-disciplinary journalist, writer and producer working with international and national publication credits across print, web and television.
● Shakthidharan Sivanathan – Shortlisted: Shakthi is a western Sydney storyteller with Sri Lankan heritage and Tamil ancestry. He’s a writer, director, producer of theatre and film and composer of original music as one half of the group Kurinji.
● Jennifer Wong – Shortlisted: Jennifer Wong is a writer and comedian who’s performed at comedy festivals in Australia, Edinburgh, and Shanghai since 2011.
● Bjorn Stewart and Charlie Garber – Shortlisted: Bjorn Stewart is a Sydney based actor, writer and director. Charlie Garber is an actor and writer across theatre, film, and TV.

Founding member of the Jesse Cox Audio Fellowship, Que Minh Luu, said the talent pool was exceptional.

“Having to narrow down such a talented pool of applicants into one was a challenging, but great problem for us to have in this first year of the Jesse Cox Audio Fellowship. We’re thrilled to have selected Patrick as our inaugural fellow and to have a hand in bringing such a dynamic storyteller like him into the audio space. We’re excited about assisting him with his project and professional development over the coming year. I know Jesse would be proud.”

Ben Naparstek, Audible Australia’s head of original content, said: “Patrick Abboud has an excellent understanding of how to entertain and inspire audiences, together with a passion for stretching formats and ideas in new and interesting directions. The forensic rigor he applies to investigating underexplored aspects of Australian society and foregrounding marginalised voices made him an exceptional candidate for the fellowship.”

Founding sponsor Audible Australia is joined by development partner ABC and supporting partners, Unison, Audiocraft, Hearsay and Third Coast International Audio Festival, who will work with fellows on production, mentoring and bringing their project to life. Audio content developed through the fellowship will be eligible for distribution by Audible and on ABC platforms.


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