Support Organisations for Community Radio in Australia

The recent Community Broadcasting Association of Australia conference and award ceremony has prompted this blog post. I’ve been in contact with them since the early 90s when Christina Alvarez was the friendly voice on the other end of the phone. Back then the organisation produced an A-Z guide on community radio that you could refer to for all different aspects of community broadcasting.

Fast forward to today and I feel as if the organisation is stuck in the dark ages of how community radio first started. They don’t seem to have evolved and in particular have not recognised that 75% of the over 400 community radio stations are in regional areas. When you look at the awards recipients list, the bulk of awards have been granted to metropolitan stations. In my opinion there is nothing more special than a sub-metro or regional generalist broadcaster that has helped discuss community issues and fostered the well-being and growth of the communities they serve.

None of the awards recipients were allowed to provide an acceptance speak and nor was there a background story to help justify why they won the award. I know that would make for a long night but there needs to be a story at least in print form to learn from their achievement and why the judges awarded as they did.

I believe that the CBAA outsources the organisation of the conference, the costs are extremely prohibitive from attending especially for regional attendees.

Resource wise the CBAA needs an electronic searchable knowledgebase to cut down on the amount of repeat information enquiries much like the old A-Z guide. I’m concerned that it seems that the appointment of CBAA employees appears to be university graduates that have come through university affiliated radio stations. I think Commercial Radio Australia is ahead of the game recruiting from people who knocked on the back door of their local regional broadcaster.

I’m a growing fan of the Southern Community Media Association, while I’ve not attended their conference, the feedback I get from attendees is full of positivity. At these types of events it’s the pure personal networking amongst stations that outweighs the conference topic sessions. There is so much to be gained from sharing experiences between other stations. My only disappointment is that as a body that nationally represents sub-metros and regional broadcasters is that the conference is difficult to get to geographically being held in Wagga Wagga.

I believe the community sector can do much better but need to have stronger ties with one another.

Consumer Habits – Clothing/Footwear

Before I get on to this weeks post, grab yourself a free shower timer to cut down on your water usage –

In the last 6 months I entered an Op Shop for the first time, I walked into a wonderland of possibilities. For a good cause and puts a stop on the consumerism cycle of always buying new. I now don’t mind buying clothes from these places and in someways it can be a saviour because whenever I buy a new pair of pants I have to have the hem taken up which just makes it even more costly.

I still buy my underwear and socks new, a local shoe warehouse has great white bamboo socks which are very difficult to come across. My latest underwear source has been H&M which to me feels like the IKEA of clothing. If I do buy new clothes I try TK-MAXX formerly known as Factory Seconds.

Footwear however is a bit of a stumbling block for me because I use orthotic inserts in my shoes. I’m not sure if the Athlete’s Foot or Foot Locker are worth the bricks and mortar. It is much cheaper to buy shoes online but without being able to test them out is a real pain. How do you approach footwear, post a comment below and let me know….

Bargains to watch this week:

Coles: 20% off Catch of the Day gift Cards

Woolworths: Tuffy Paper Towels ½ Price

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