Aela Callan

Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

I'm an award-winning journalist and filmmaker currently appearing on 101 East, Al Jazeera English's flagship Asian current affairs programme. Drawing on user-centered design, I'm leading the creation of a digital strategy to help journalists at interact with a rapidly growing audience of mobile-first news consumers across Asia. My mission as a media innovator and leader is rooted in the belief that great storytelling can change lives in forgotten corners of the globe.

Growing up in a beach side town in Western Australia, I always dreamed of crossing the ocean to tell stories that people had never heard of. When I lived in Myanmar (Burma) during the first year of the country’s remarkable political transition, I saw first hand the positive and negative impacts of social media in a developing democracy. Disturbed by a rising tide of hate speech in the newly free media, I was selected as a Knight fellow at Stanford University, where I explored how to respond to the unintended consequences of greater connectivity.

I'm at my best leading collaborative teams on adventurous shoots around the world. My film "It's a Man's World" on Al Jazeera was selected for a UNDPI Gold Award at the New York Festivals Film and Television Awards in 2014. I also won a Walkley Award for Excellence in Australian journalism for chasing a political scandal as a young journalist at Channel 7 News in Sydney.

These days, I rarely unpack my suitcase, traveling between Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Yangon, Palo Alto and Berlin to visit my partner Lukas Streiff, a German diplomat.

  • Work
    • Al Jazeera
  • Education
    • Stanford University
    • Curtin University of Technology