2019 category winner

Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law is an author and journalist. He writes books, TV screenplays, columns, essays, stage plays and feature journalisms. He’s the author of the memoir The Family Law (2010), the travel book Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012)—both nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards—the Quarterly Essay Moral Panic 101 (2017) and edited the anthology Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019). 

The Family Law was adapted into three seasons of an SBS TV series, which Benjamin created and co-wrote. The TV series represented the first-ever Australian TV show with an Asian-Australian family at its centre, showcased a 90 per cent core cast across three seasons and has sold in over 70 territories worldwide. It won the 2017 and 2018 Equity Award for Best Comedy Ensemble, 2016 and 2017 Casting Guild Award for Best Casting in a Comedy, 2016 SPAA Award for Best Television Comedy, and has been nominated for Australian Directors Guild Awards, NSW Premier’s Literary Award and AACTAs Awards.

Benjamin has also written for over 50 publications in Australia and beyond— including the Monthly, Frankie, Good Weekend, the Guardian, the Australian, Monocle and the Australian Financial Review—and has a PhD in creative writing from Queensland University of Technology. He also co-wrote the comedy book Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014) with his sister Michelle, and the sex/relationships advice book Law School (2017) with his mum Jenny. He was also a researcher and associate producer on Blackfella Films’ Deep Water: The Real Story (SBS) and a writer on Endemol Shine’s Sisters (Netflix/Ten). He is now working on a play for the Melbourne Theatre Company, featuring a 100 per cent Asian-Australian cast.

Every week, Benjamin co-hosts ABC Radio National’s weekly national pop culture show Stop Everything. He also co-hosts online startup and tech TV show That Startup Show (Amazon Prime, Virgin Australia), and has appeared on TV shows including Q&A (ABC), The Drum (ABC), The Project (Ten) and Filthy Rich and Homeless (SBS). More recently, this year, Benjamin hosted a major two-part ABC TV feature documentary, Waltzing the Dragon, which explored and showcased the 200-plus year history of the Chinese in Australia. 

2019 CATEGORY winners

Dr Imran Omar Lum

Director, Islamic Finance, NAB

Astrid Haban-Beer

Barrister, Victorian Bar

Dr Meru Sheel

Westpac Research Fellow, ANU

Tim Fung

Co – Founder and Chief Executive officer, Airtasker

Eddie Woo

Mathematics Teacher, Author & Communicator

Khunapong Khunaraksa

Board Member at Gravity Water and Founder/CEO at Khunapong Consulting

Benjamin Law

Writer and broadcaster

Philip Le Liu

Councilor, City of Melbourne

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