Black Star, the new radio sound across the Tablelands

Radio never loses its appeal; it is a great communication tool and in this era of “digital this and digital that” radio is holding its own and building audiences. It’s a proven means of delivering entertainment and information to people, wherever they live.

This week radio listeners in the Atherton Tablelands woke up to a bigger and better Black Star Radio service, with new transmission facilities increasing power and reach. When we threw the switch at 5am on Thursday April 11, the impact was immediate. Black Star Radio 96.7 FM went from a local Atherton service to a wide area service stretching across the Tablelands..

Towns in the broadcast footprint include Atherton, Mareeba, Kuranda, Koah, Mt Malloy, Malanda, Tolga, Yungaburra, Tarzali, Milla Milla, Speewa, lake Tinaroo, Kiri, Walkamin, and towns in between. The region is also the gateway to the Gulf and Cape Yorke and for communities travelling to Cairns for family and hospital services.

Of the population of 25,540 people, 4,813 are Indigenous and for the first time they have an Indigenous service, something enjoyed by so many other communities.

“The journey to the point of switching on the enhanced service has not been easy”, says Acting Manager Jim Remedio.

Site Hut-Bones Knob

The site hut at our Tablelands transmission site at Bones Knob. It’s not pretty… but that’s the magic of radio!

“Hold ups with site location approvals and engineering the tower structure delayed the service for over three years. But the wait will be worth it for the listeners”

“Our main objective is to deliver capital city quality radio services to people living in rural and remote regions of the country. So this service has long been a strategic objective of ours.”

The history of the Atherton Tablelands began with Indigenous Australians who have occupied the country for tens of thousands of years.

The great tribes of the region are the:

  • Jirrbalpeople of Koombooloomba/Ravenshoe/Herberton areas.
  • Malanbarra and Dulebed people of the Gillies Range area.
  • Tableland Yidinjipeople of the Kairi/Tolga/Tinaroo/Lake Barrine areas.
  • Mamupeople of the Millaa Millaa area.
  • Ngadjon Jii people of the Malanda/Topaz areas.
  • Warrungupeople of the Gunnawarra/Goshen areas,


Today they share the country with people of many other nations who have made the Tablelands Home and we know all will enjoy the local sounds, good music, information, and sport on Black Star Radio.

Jim Remedio says “Just as the new settlers disrupted the traditional ways of the Indigenous peoples, Black Star is disrupting expectations about radio services with its special brand of content and great music mix.”

Our thanks to Gerry Pyne and Bill Wilson for their huge effort in bringing the station on line and the staff of IAS in Cairns and ACMA for their patience and help.


3 responses to “Black Star, the new radio sound across the Tablelands

  1. Thank you Black Star Radio.

    It was my Daughters birthday on the April, 11 thank you for a wonderful birthday present to us all, lol.

    Last night late, we had it (Black Star) all the way to Cairns, and lost it a little on Karanda range, but that is expected, not a problem, then it returned down on the flood plain. To have it all around the Tablelands is absolute glorious.

    Yes Radio will never lose it’s appeal, and the way I think and feel, I am white, and I am very proud we have Aboriginal radio.

    I do not know how it would go, but many years ago, up in Wayniee Country, I use to listen to Aboriginal people sing corroboree song, and when I was droving, two white people and 6/7 Wayniee people, the older blokes used to sing corroboree around the cattle at night on night watch, it was so haunting, so beautiful. And once we were in a lightning storm, a beauty it was, this was on Talawanta a cattle property, out from Burketown, and we all got under the truck, and Christopher Daylight had to sing a corroboree song to ward it off. No, I will never forget that, ever.

    So, I wonder is some times late at night you could put on a couple of corroboree song, I guess a lot of other people would appreciate it, but I do not know how it would work out with law. Aboriginal law.

    I wonder what the 3 year hold up on the site was, that would be interesting, for any amount of reasons.

    All good, Congratulations, and may you be there for ever.

    Kind regards

    Dennis Bauer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.