20 years of Deadly Sounds: ASRA Conference

The Deadly Awards are now one of the highlights of the Aboriginal calendar. It all began with a community radio show nearly 20 years ago.

Gavin Jones told radioinfo after today’s Alice Moyle memorial lecture that Deadly Sounds, a community radio program that began on 12 stations in 1994, has now expanded into magazines, outside broadcasts, awards covered on national tv, and a range of multi media outlets.

Jones spent several years collecting and distributing Aboriginal music on tapes, which then lead to the radio program. Its aim is to unite Aboriginal people through radio by focusing on music, arts, sport and culture. It highlights positive messages, bt does not shy away from hard issues either.

The show grew from the initial 12 stations to 60 in the first year, and is now heard on over 200 stations. It is presented by Rhoda Roberts and produced by Jones. Nancia Guavarra also hosts the show at times.

The magazine formatted show plays 10 aboriginal music tracks each program, has a chart countdown and health messages and crosses to local Aboriginal communities around the country. Each program also has a special guest interview.

“People need role models, people to look up to, not just celebrities,” said Jones, explaining how he chooses interview subjects.

“It all began with preserving and promoting our oral tradition to unite our people around Australia… An indigenous voice will always be at the heart of what we do.”

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