SYN Media Annual Report 2017-18

The SYN Media Annual Report is available for download at the bottom of this page

A message from the President and General Manager:

The past year has been an eventful one for SYN. As we sit on the cusp of a new era at SYN – a new home – we reflect on the history and legacy of SYN as a place that gives young Australians a voice in the media.   

The 2016-18 SYN strategic plan is now complete and we are proud to have secured SYN’s future and achieved our primary objective: finding a new space for SYN’s operations, including new production and teaching spaces. SYN is now just months away from shifting our entire organisation into a brand new, fully equipped media precinct for our volunteers and students.

This project is SYN’s biggest ever investment in capacity. Our key focus over the past 12 months has been preparing to relocate, which includes designing, planning and securing funding to support the move. RMIT University, Gandel Philanthropy and The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation have provided support to make the relocation possible. Special thanks must also go the donors who contributed to SYN’s Moving Up, Moving Out campaign – a hugely successful fundraiser supported by SYN’s alumni network.

SYN also committed funds from our financial reserves to make this project possible and, while a deficit has been returned this year, this investment will provide returns for many years to come and SYN’s future is bright.

While driving the relocation project we have continued to press forward with our daily work: elevating young voices in the media. We delivered training around Australia and provided a public platform for thousands of young media makers. We are especially proud of projects like Queeries and the new SYN Scholarships which were funded in 2017-2018. These projects actively break down barriers to access in the media industry for young people of all backgrounds.

In 2017-18 SYN’s social enterprise delivered media education to nearly 5,000 students, working with more than 200 schools and community groups around the country. The enterprise is an important source of revenue for SYN, and a community leading project that provides a unique opportunity for school students to experience media making.  

The past year has been one of change at many levels within SYN. We farewelled General Manager Tess Lawley who moved on after three and a half amazing years leading the organisation. We have many new, fresh faces on our Board. And with a new strategic plan and budget, SYN implemented a new staff structure in June this year.

Change and disruption is difficult, especially somewhere special like SYN. We farewelled some amazing staff members, whose contributions will be felt by SYN volunteers for years to come. While organisational changes are difficult, we firmly believe that SYN is set-up for success and sustainability going forward. Our committed volunteers will always be at the centre of everything that SYN does.

SYN’s hard working staff deserve the most thanks for making all of SYN’s achievements possible, and for handling changes with grace and resilience. We would like to give special thanks to Fiona Wright, Joshua Martin and Aimee Craig for their contributions to SYN.

SYN has a bright future, and as we commence the implementation of a new strategic plan we look forward to elevating the voices of many more young people from our new headquarters.

See you at the opening party!

Rachael Dexter, President

Campbell McNolty, General Manager