Local podcast for social change

Gold Coast locals Tanisha Wong (left) and Sharnie Fenn are sharing their experiences growing up Asian-Australian with their new podcast “A Side of Rice”.

GOLD COAST locals Sharnie Fenn and Tanisha Wong have started a podcast in order to break down barriers, by sharing their experiences growing up Asian-Australian.

The idea, which was sparked during COVID-19 lockdowns earlier this year, now has listeners from around the world including Japan, America and the United Kingdom.

Despite its international reach, the girls hope their podcast will help to inform listeners locally with the struggles often faced by Asian-Australians.

Asia’s Next Top Model alumni, Sharnie Fenn, who has almost 70k followers on Instagram, said she had to start a podcast to be more authentic on social media.

“I wanted to start advocating against racism and bullying, and I wanted to talk about our journey to self-acceptance, positivity and our identities,” she said.

“When COVID-19 hit, there was a huge surge in anti-Asian hate crimes all over the world and online.

“That was when I knew it was essential to start the podcast with Tanisha and try to bring more awareness to the topic because it’s so regularly normalised.”

Sharnie said she struggled throughout her schooling years and wanted to share her experiences with others.

“I felt very lonely and I struggled immensely with my self-esteem and confidence as a result of racially fuelled bullying,” she said.

I hope our podcast can create a safe platform where listeners could maybe relate with us, feel comfort or a sense of belonging

Broadbeach local Tanisha Wong said she had desired to talk about the struggles she faced growing up Asian in Australia.

“Our journey relates to us firstly accepting our cultures, differences and heritage and then gradually building pride and embracing these cultural backgrounds and histories,” she said.

“It has been difficult, and there has been a lot of uprooting and digging, but we have both come to a point where we are moving forward with being proud of our roots and embracing our cultural identities.”

Tanisha said the extra time also allowed the pair to gain a social media presence as well as spark interest among followers.

“I think this podcast has allowed us to create a platform that celebrates Asian culture by linking us, through social media, with other Asian creatives, podcast[ers], entrepreneurs and individuals,” she said.

“Seeing what these people do inspires us every day to continue the fight for positive representation.”

The pair hope to interview Asian-Australians across different industries in order to share diverse perspectives with listeners.

You can listen to their podcast ‘A Side of Rice’ now on most major podcasting services.

Photo Courtesy: Sharnie Fenn.


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