Vancouver Desi editor awarded Queen’s medal for inspiring change in South Asian community

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Fabian Dawson

Fabian Dawson’s journalistic work has led to four documentary films and a made-for-TV movie. Last year, he led a Province team to launch the Vancouver Desi website. Les Bazso/PNG

Deputy Editor of The Province and Editor of Vancouver Desi Fabian Dawson was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal on Tuesday for outstanding journalism that inspired change in Canada’s South Asian community.

“This is a great honour for me, my family and my colleagues,” said Dawson, who’s also been cited for excellence in journalism in the U.S., England and Asia.

The special award celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne 60 years ago and is presented to outstanding Canadians “who have made a significant contribution to Canada or to their province and community.”

In addition to being cited for his work on the phenomenon of honour killings and for a series titled Abandoned Brides — which investigated the plight of women left behind in India by their foreign husbands — Dawson was also recognized for helping organize the We Salute our Heroes musical-video tribute and website to honour Canada’s fallen soldiers.

His journalistic work has led to four documentary films and a made-for-TV movie. Dawson is also the lead author of the newly released book, Justice for Jassi, which delves into the honour killing of a B.C. woman in India.

Last year Dawson led a Province team to launch Vancouver Desi, which already has more current local and international South Asian content and commentary than any other Canadian site. Desi is a popular slang term for the people, culture and goods whose roots are from South Asia or the Indian subcontinent.

Born and raised in Malaysia, Dawson and his wife, Anne, are of Indian origin. The couple migrated to Vancouver in 1988. They have two children.

The ceremony was presided by Minister of State Tim Uppal and Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood-Port Kells, who handed the medals to Dawson and other recipients including members of Canada’s Armed Forces, social activists, philanthropists and community leaders.

Paul Bucci, Director of Digital Products for the Pacific Newspaper Group (the Province’s parent company), was also awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and was set to receive it at a ceremony Wednesday night.

His journalism highlights include awards for coverage of the Somali conflict and feature writing, and past honours include two bravery medals for a rescue on the Fraser River. Bucci previously served as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.

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