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.
“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.