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Groundbreaking Afghan photographer, a Loyalist grad, wins Premier’s Award

Farzana Wahidy

Loyalist grad Farzana Wahidy won the Premier’s Award for Creative Arts and Design. Photo courtesy of Loyalist College

By Stephanie Clue [1]

BELLEVILLE – Farzana Wahidy, a Loyalist College [2] photojournalism grad, is one of six recipients of the Premier’s Award [3] for 2016.

The award honours college graduates for their work on economic and social well-being for people in their communities and around the world.

Wahidy graduated from Loyalist in 2009 and is an internationally published photojournalist who takes pictures of women in different life and work situations in her native Afghanistan.

She was the first female Afghan photographer to work for two newswire agencies, Agence France-Presse [4] and the Associated Press [5]. In 2012, Wahidy was chosen as one of the 100 most successful women in Afghanistan by the MOBY Group [6], a media organization in Afghanistan.

Every year, the province of Ontario recognizes outstanding graduates in six categories who have made lasting contributions to society.

At the awards ceremony held in Toronto Monday night, former Loyalist president Maureen Piercy, who retired in August after 11 years in the position and 30 years at the college, received the Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding leadership and promoting excellence in Ontario’s college system.

A member of the Belleville Police Service was also at the ceremony. Inspector Mike Callaghan was nominated for the Premier’s Award.