Widyan Fares migrated to Australia in 1995 after leaving Rafha refugee camp in Saudi Arabia, where she was born after her parents escaped from Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Widyan Fares has been working as a journalist for over four years. Widyan graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies majoring in Journalism and International relations. As part of her studies, Widyan was selected for scholarship to study international media in the United Kingdom, she spent three months at the University of East Anglia and undertook studies in British media.
Widyan went on to pursue her honours degree and graduated with a first class honours on Muslim women media advocacy in a post 9/11 era. She began her career as a researcher and writer for Network Ten’s Late News. While at Network Ten, Widyan was also writing for The Point Magazine, an online youth focused magazine covering issues affecting community harmony and cohesion.
In 2013, Widyan landed the position of radio host for SBS PopAraby, an Arabic music program presented in English. In 2014 Widyan was selected as an SBS cadet reporter as part of SBS’ prestigious cadetship program. During her time at SBS Widyan worked in Radio, TV and online. Widyan soon became one of the first veiled reporters on national television, making her debut in March 2014 with a feature story on the Muslim fashion industry in Australia. She covered various stories including the 10th anniversary of Abu Gharib Prison, the Parramatta Girls Female Factory and the ISIS crisis. While at SBS Widyan also worked in Melbourne and at the Australian Press Gallery in Canberra, Parliament House.
After finishing her cadetship Widyan went on to become senior writer and acting editor for the Point Magazine at Multicultural NSW covering issues related to Multiculturalism and violent extremism. She is also currently the media consultant for the Lebanese Muslim Association and heading a media project of improving the relationship between Australian mainstream media and the Australian Muslim community.