We have been recognised by social media giant, TikTok, thanks to the work of Australia for UNHCR Beddie Scholarship winner Joelle Sanounou.

As part of the scholarship program with Australia for UNHCR, Joelle, an aspiring filmmaker, has been studying film at the Australian Film Television and Radio School and utilising her content creation skills on our TikTok channel.

Joelle and her family left Syria to find safety in Lebanon, arriving in Australia in 2016. In 2020, Joelle was awarded the Australia for UNHCR Beddie Scholarship, a grant to help a talented refugee storyteller attend the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School.

This scholarship is named for Rurer Beddie, who escaped the Japanese invasion of China and the German occupation of the island of Jersey in WWII before settling in Australia.

Joelle and her sister, Susan have been producing content on Australia for UNHCR’s TikTok channel, with some of their content seeing great success in terms of likes. A video they created on the Refugee Olympic Team has been viewed 256,000 times and has received over 22,000 likes. 

Thanks to the work of Joelle and Susan, Australia for UNHCR was selected as a charity partner in a recent TIkTok campaign and was awarded $30,000 along with access in perpetuity to a donation button built into the platform.

TikTok described Joelle and Susan’s videos as an example of best practice not-for-profit engagement with the platform. This is a huge recognition and an incredible achievement for the young refugee storytellers.

Joelle is going into her third year of her studies next year and hopes to work in writing and directing once she graduates.

“I have lots of stories that I want to share with the world through film,” she says. 

Check out Australia for UNHCR's TikTok channel here.

Beddie Scholarship winner, Joelle has been producing content on Australia for UNHCR's TikTok channel. One of her videos on the Refugee Olympic Team has been viewed over 200,000 times. 

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