Making It Local

Local communities are finding new ways to be local and vocal on Black Star Radio.

Lavinia Collins is the newest staff member at the Black Star hub in Cairns, securing a position after graduating from our most recent training program.

Every day she produces programs specifically for the communities of Yarrabah and Napranum, two of the 17 communities who own the network.

Lavinia Collins produces programs for Yarrabah and Napranum from Black Star Central

Lavinia Collins produces programs for Yarrabah and Napranum from Black Star Central

The leading edge technology used by Black Star – combining broadcast and online technologies – means local programming can now be produced from the Black Star Hub in Cairns, with far greater reliability and impact than before.

Local Councils and community groups are jumping on board with a steady supply of local content that keeps the listeners informed about news, events and opportunities in their local community.

In the past, before we deployed this technology, a local RIBS broadcaster was usually a sole staff member in a remote community service with minimal facilities.  RIBS radio stations were often isolated places, sometimes just a little box down the back of a building, or sometimes a small building on its own.  The broadcaster had to work without access to supervision, training and mentoring; without IT support and often without anyone else in the community with skills or knowledge in their field.

Now Lavinia is able to work as part of the team at Black Star Central, benefitting from the expert support, teamwork and facilities available at the hub. We believe this is key not only to job satisfaction, longevity and a pathway to a career in any part of the media industry, but also a better quality of programming for each community, full of information specific to that community.

This is a great example of clever use of appropriate technology to solve a problem unique to remote areas.  We can provide genuine work and career opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and our reliable and quality service means our audience is growing in each community.

It’s a new way of thinking about local – and better local services than we could ever provide before.

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