A five week course for disadvantaged young people from the Oasis Youth Support Network has culminated in a one hour broadcast on Sydney’s top rating FM station, Nova 96.9.
Management and staff threw open the doors, as the five lucky participants were allowed to ‘take over Nova’ for Oasis – The Salvation Army’s response to youth homelessness.
Five announcers from Oasis’ groundbreaking radio facility, Streetradio.net, presented a one hour program at 7pm, put together with expert guidance from numerous Nova staff, including morning presenter, Bianca Dye, and General Manager, Mandi Wicks.
Wicks describes it as a fantastic experience: “I was amazed how many of the Nova gang wanted to be involved and all have said it was one of the best things they’ve worked on.
“The Oasis team was so passionate and brimming with original ideas – we felt really lucky to be working with them.
“Wow – what a creative bunch! They were all so talented in different ways and we learnt so much from them.”
“Now that it’s over, I guess we’ll just have to get back to work! Thankfully, the five Oasis announcers gave us back our radio station at 8pm!”
At the end of Sunday night’s historic broadcast, the five Oasis participants – having been ‘fed and watered’ – were presented with framed certificates to mark the occasion, after being allowed to take the ‘quantum work experience leap’ into the real world of commercial radio.
Wicks says the five young presenters – all from disadvantaged, disconnected backgrounds – responded amazingly to the opportunity: “It’s made them even hungrier to pursue a career in commercial radio.
“With Oasis doing so much to help homeless and disadvantaged young people to start rebuilding their lives, Nova wanted to put something back into the community and give these kids a break.”
Streetradio.net hit the airwaves on Monday 1 March with its first official broadcast, but none of this would have been possible without generous funding and other support from the Sony Foundation.
Oasis Director, Captain Paul Moulds, says the studio offers an innovative response to youth homelessness and disadvantage, giving young people purpose and direction.
“With the Sony Foundation’s support, a dedicated team of volunteer radio industry people built state of the art studios at Oasis’ Surry Hills crisis centre, outfitting it with the latest equipment and technology. There was also strong support from the Australian recording industry.”
Streetradio.net Manager, James McKay, says the station – streamed ‘live’ to air via the internet – provides training and opportunities to disconnected and homeless young people, who never dreamed they could broadcast their own programs and be the ‘voice of youth’.
“Streetradio.net gives these young people the chance to become skilled in all aspects of radio, from research and preparation to interviewing and on air presentation.
“More importantly, it allows them to restore self esteem and confidence, reconnect with the community, and turn their lives around as part of a new journey.
“We have created a website, www.streetradio.net, giving people the means to tune in and find out more information about Streetradio.net and its presenters.
“The feedback has been tremendous. We have listeners around Australia and the world, including the US, UK, Spain, Japan, the Philippines and New Zealand!” McKay said.