NSW Governor Marie Bashir officially launched Sydney’s digital community radio stations yesterday at a function in Darling Harbour, telling the audience, “the greatest resource in community radio is the will of the people… your stations are making a great contribution to the cultural life of our nation.”
Bashir said she has been a listener to community radio, particularly 2MBS, since the station switched on in the 1970s. “Like 54% of the Australian population I listen to community radio, sometimes in the morning to start my day and sometimes at night before bed.”
The launch switched on eight city wide community radio stations: FBi, Inspire Digital, Koori RadiOO, 2MBS Fine Music, 2MFM Muslim DR, 2000Languages, 2RPH Digital and 2SER Digital.
Charles Barton reminisced about the beginnings of Sydney’s first community radio station 2MBS FM, which began broadcasting in 1975 with borrowed and donated equipment, and an antenna sticking out of the side of the building. Since then the sector has grown steadily to over 270 stations across Australia.
The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Leigh Hatcher, a presenter on Sky News, and also the host of a regular program on Hope 103.2.
CBAA General Manager Kath Letch said the eight new Sydney stations will be offering a broad range of exciting digital radio services including; ethnic and multicultural programs broadcast in over 50 languages; a totally new format station with the best Christian music and teaching from Australia and around the world; a dedicated Muslim station covering all facets of Islamic life; world music, classical and fine music; magazine style readings for the vision impaired; information, news, current affairs, engaging ideas, and unique programming; indigenous music and information; and new independent local and international music station for both connoisseurs and explorers.
“It’s a critical step in maintaining the role of community media on free?to?air broadcast platforms, and community broadcasters will make a strong addition to the diversity and local content of digital radio services available to the Sydney community.”
Community broadcasting has helped shape the media landscape in Australia, distinguishing itself from other media by providing the local community with access to, and participation in, media production and management with localism and independence the defining features. Now with the new digital channels, community broadcasting is taking the opportunity to expand programming and reach a wider audience.
Photo above: Sydney Radio Station Managers with Marie Bashir.
The stations on air in Sydney are:
Inspire Digital is Australia’s newest Christian radio station with a format of the best Christian music and teaching programs from around Australia and the world. Our mission is to help our community ‘live the life’ by providing a place you can easily go for inspired teaching and music to grow and refresh you in your faith.
FBi 94.5FM is an independent, community radio station, delivering the best in new music and emerging culture. FBi plays 50% Australian music, with half of that from Sydney. FBi’s digital radio station will be a simulcast of 94.5FM, and will further our goals of promoting Sydney music, art & culture to a youth audience.
Gadigal Information Service is a leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts/media hub based in Redfern, Sydney. Established in 1993, GIS is the home of Indigenous community radio station Koori Radio 93.7FM, broadcasting 24/7 to the Greater Sydney region with live streaming via the internet to the world. It has a ‘Live and Deadly’ cultural mix of Australian/International Indigenous and black music combined with talkback, news, current affairs, chat and community information.
2MBS Fine Music
2MBS Fine Music is Sydney’s only independent broadcaster of classical and other fine music, on the air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and operated out of St Leonards by a dedicated team of music lovers who bring their time and expertise to create listening pleasure.
2MFM Muslim DR
Sydney’s Muslim Community Radio station 2MFM is developing a new stream of content focused upon recitations from the Holy Qur’an, Islamic teaching, modern Islamic music, and live coverage from various Islamic Events.
2000 FM first went to air in 1992. Broadcasting in more than 50 languages, produced by a team of more than 300 broadcasters, 98.5 FM will continue to inform, educate and entertain the culturally diverse communities of Sydney, forging a more cohesive society based on understanding, tolerance and respect for the complexities of society.
2RPH provides a radio reading service for people who cannot see, handle or understand printed material. We do so in one way or another for 17 hours a day. Equity through access to information for Australians with a print disability!
2SER made its broadcasting debut on October 1, 1979, with the support of many hundreds of groups and individuals. Now in its third decade, 2SER-FM provides Sydney with a real listening alternative informed by a commitment to social justice. The station broadcasts a diverse range of specialist music and talk-based programs.