An interview with our Audio-Visual Production Manager
Tell us a little about yourself…
Hi! I’m Australian, single and had a big-0 birthday this year. I’m happy to have just become a great aunt for the second time. England is the fifth nation where I have lived and worked outside my home country.
I graduated from university with a four-year degree in visual communications (aka graphic design) with a specific interest in media. I’d always wanted to work in television, and God graciously gave me a career in production. I worked as a TV graphic designer for nearly twenty years in Australia and in Hong Kong. Then back in Sydney I made a big switch to radio work. I trained in scriptwriting, presenting and producing, and held a few positions in commercial, community and Christian radio stations.
As a teenager, I had made a commitment to go wherever God would send me, whenever he called. Eventually, there was an opportunity to be involved in overseas missions using my media skills and experience, and I have been doing this kind of work since 2001.
What would you say are three qualities that you embody?
A sense of humour, generosity and love of language
How did you end up working for Arab World Media?
I first went overseas as a mission worker with the Australian Assemblies of God, assisting distribution and correspondence projects among North Africans. During that year in southern Spain, I also volunteered at the local HCJB radio base on a pilot English-language project, and was invited to join their team. After a delay of three years, due to some major surgery, I returned to Spain where I managed an evangelistic media project reaching out to Arabic speakers in North Africa and the Middle East via satellite and internet for four years.
I had made contact with AWM* years earlier, and received their regular updates. But it was my missions pastor in Australia who read on their website that they were looking for a graphic designer to join them. It turned out that my broad media experience fitted well with being production manager for the team in Marseille! So I was invited to France – in the same year that AWM merged with Pioneers. I served more than three years there before I and two other team members moved to the UK mid-2013.
Describe your job in no more than three words…
Creating, coordinating and supporting (audio-visual production).
What does a typical work day look like for you?
There isn’t a typical day because I do quite a variety of things. But there are a couple of standard tasks I have to accomplish weekly.
One of my roles is art director/picture editor, so I do a lot of photo research. Each week, I have a Skype call with our Middle East team to choose images related to the Arab world and the topics we address in our online ministry. These photos feature on the home page of our website, inviting viewers to look at related audio-visual material or to contact us with their questions.
Recently, I’ve been helping plan a video shoot that took place in the US. We’ve created an original clip to use in a social media campaign at the beginning of 2018. While this is happening, there’s a weekly Skype meeting between our producer/director in America, media colleagues in the Arab world and myself. We discuss and edit the script, work out all the details of the shoot, and more. Sometimes I do background research on costumes for the actors and any specific props to be made or bought.
What is something that is unique to Arab World Media?
I’d say it is the attention we pay to being strategic. We try to not just be creative and relevant, but also to ask, ‘Why are we doing this?’ Having worked in other media organisations, both Christian and secular, I know that interesting projects are often based on someone’s bright idea. This is not necessarily wrong, but to be fruitful in God’s harvest, we do need to ask, ‘Is this idea the most effective way to reach the audience with whom we hope to engage?’ Our harvest field is immense and this team is relatively small, but I truly believe that the Lord is doing great things through our online ministry. This year there has been a significant increase in decisions for Christ, baptisms and new fellowship groups starting among our contacts. Praise God!
Would you share a high you’ve experienced during your time here?
Last year, our team managed to hit a million likes on our Facebook page. That’s not unusual, but I find it amazing, because we jumped from 500,000 likes to one million in just twelve months! To me, that says a lot about how well our team works together towards a goal. One million may just be a number but it felt like a celebration for the people with whom we have connected and the ramifications for the kingdom.
What about a low?
An Australian couple from the same home church back in Australia had to leave the UK due to visa complications. It was a blow for me as they were also my housemates; we were like family. And at work, it became more difficult to organize some media projects without in-house technical expertise. But I praise God for providing people who have offered the assistance we need from time to time.
How can we pray for you?
For the salvation of my immediate family, most of whom do not yet know the Lord. My health, which can be a challenge some days – but I do trust that the joy of the Lord is my strength. Lastly, to be creative and on-the-ball with whatever projects are assigned to me.
*AWM refers to Arab World Ministries, under which we were a ministry known as AWM Media. After the 2010 merger with Pioneers, we began to operate as Arab World Media, a ministry of Pioneers.