Zac Schroedl is a CAAR delegate on the 2015 AMEJE study tour to the UAE and Qatar.
Zac is a final-year journalism student at the University of Canberra. He is a talented creative writer, having written screenplays, a number of short fiction stories, and a children’s book. However, Zac’s real interest lies in non-fiction after discovering a flair for retelling real life experiences during his gap year in Amsterdam.
Since then, Zac has worked hard to develop his multimedia and feature writing skills. In 2014, he produced a video about freeganism titled “Frank Eats Out of Bins” that received wide acclaim. He also wrote and directed a short film, “Cybo”, which explored the theme of identity on the Internet. In 2015, Zac wrote a feature article about the medical hair growth industry after embedding himself as a client for eight months.
Zac is inspired by the gonzo work of Louis Theroux, Sabour Bradley and Diego Buñuel. Like these journalists, he is concerned with “soft” news stories about interesting people, unusual situations, and the exotic reaches of the planet. His ideal project would be to produce a TV program which documents the unique stories of people living in iconic cities.
Zac is an avid football fan and has a lifelong dream to attend a World Cup.
The Australia-Middle East Journalism Exchange 2015 study tour is a huge opportunity. I think the program is a groundbreaking idea because the Middle East is currently poorly covered in the Australian media. With events like the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as well as Australia’s increasing involvement in the area, this coverage must improve.
The tour will enable young graduate journalists like myself to make the contacts and gather the cultural knowledge required to adequately report on a region in the global spotlight. I look forward to throwing away the stereotypes I’ve come to expect of Qatar and UAE, and experiencing the culture through my own eyes. Furthermore, I’m intrigued to learn about the local history and understand the ingenuity that allows millions of people to thrive in such a harsh environment.
I’m excited to apply the skills I gained at University to the outside world, and develop further abilities that will assist me in realising my career goals.
The tour is supported by the Australian Commonwealth through the Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) flagship programs. AMEJE is extremely grateful for this support.