IN CONVERSATION: Combating discrimination in STEM and creative arts

'TBH: Beyond Borders' is a weekly podcast hosted by Mehershad that features honest conversations with students from different countries and backgrounds about their nations' history, culture, politics, people, as well as their personal experiences as an International Student.

“Moving to Brisbane is the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s been joyful. It’s very cosy in Brisbane and people here are very warm and kind.”

Mehershad sits down with Mazzi, a 2018 Brisbane International Student Ambassador from El Salvador, the smallest country in Central America. In this episode, Mazzi talked about the reasons why she chose to move to Brisbane – the great beaches, the tropical climate similar to her home country, the lower cost of living, and kindness of people. Mehershad discussed the connection between India and El Salvador built by “Manjula” – an elephant originally from India but adored as a national icon by a generation in El Salvador. When Manjula passed away in 2011, it evoked strong emotions among El Salvadorians. She became the first animal to receive the honour of her own velacion, a benediction ceremony in El Salvador in which friends and relatives gather around the deceased and sing.

“I’m always discovering new things. I want to try everything, from knitting class to database class.”

Throughout the podcast, Mazzi shared some of her insights gained from 14 years of working in radio, which inspired Mehershad to create this podcast in the first place. She sees radio media as her greatest school as she learned a lot from this great industry while being able to maintain the “cosy” comfort of anonymity. Because of her curiosity and passion for trying unconventional things, she managed to juggle three industries she loved the most: radio, DJ, and engineering. For years, she has been combating ageism and gender discrimination in both DJ industry and engineering field. She's also excited to have worked with many global organisations to “educate” people about her home country – “putting El Salvador on the map”.

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About the host: Mehershad Wadia

Mehershad is a Masters of Molecular Biology student at the University of Queensland with a passion for Genetics, Theatre, Writing, Filmmaking and Stand-up Comedy. He graduated from Jai Hind College, Mumbai, where he was awarded accolades for Best Dramatist, Best Director and 'Outstanding contribution to cultural activities'. He has written scripts and screenplays for a few web-series', a feature-length Bollywood film, and a national award winning short film. He was recently also awarded the Dean's Commendation for Academic Excellence, and now that his parents are happy, is trying to bring his passion for story-telling and documentation to a more audio-based medium in the form of 'TBH: Beyond Borders'.

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