About New Voices: Audio Stories from Australia
New Voices: Audio Stories from Australia encourages storytelling from new and emerging producers around Australia.
Over 18 weeks, 10 emerging producers from community radio stations across Australia will take their audio storytelling skills—planning, recording, scripting and creative production—to a new level with nationally accredited training and mentorship from industry leaders. At the end of the program, each participant will produce a 12 minute audio feature or documentary.
The program is open to anyone who volunteers at or is employed by an Australian community radio station, and successful applicants will get:
- Industry-standard and national accredited radio training through the Community Media Training Organisation to help bring your documentary or feature to life.
- An experienced mentor, who will work with you to make the piece as good as it can be.
- A one year Hindenburg 'Journalist Pro' license.
- Your work shared nationally via the Community Radio Network and as a podcast series
- The chance to win a CBAA Award
- Payment for your work
The Community Media Training Organisation has delivered this program annually since 2013.
Formerly known as National Features and Documentary Series (NFDS), over the last decade this program has boosted the careers of numerous producers and journalists who have won accolades and received coveted opportunities to work for national broadcasters such as ABC and SBS.
Many of our alumni continue to work in community broadcasting, sustaining a culture of strong storytelling and community engagement in this sector.
New Voices will continue the tradition of promoting excellence in community broadcasting by amplifying bold new voices from across Australia.
New Voices will support audio storytellers from community radio and other media organisations, such as those in regional and remote areas, those that work with First Nations, CALD and ethnic communities and those who provide training and work opportunities for youth and people with disability.
The high quality industry led training that audio producers from these organisations get through New Voices will:
- boost the quality of audio storytelling and journalism produced by their radio station
- equip community radio to capture authentic and engaging stories from their local communities
- raise the profile of community broadcasting, especially community radio, as part of their post-COVID recovery and revitalisation efforts
- support community radio to engage and attract new listeners
- improve the ability of community radio to raise funds
- ensure the sustainability of community radio by attracting new talent to produce and present content
Melaine Robinson fell into radio completely by accident. In March 2020, after 31 years of continuous employment in animal welfare she found herself redundant. She turned the disappointment and dismay of this situation and the quiet times of the Covid-19 restrictions into reflection and tackling some of those things that were on her “to do” list, some self-learning. Curiosity led her to an audio journalism course, something that she had absolutely no idea about; she had hardly listened to any radio material at all, not even podcasts! Oh, one other little thing, she is blind, and is supported on this journey by her support worker, Zoe, and Vision Australia Radio. Her piece for the 2021 NFDS, “Rideability”, looked closely at how horses can form remarkable bonds with people in abnormal circumstances and how they can contribute to triumph over adversity. Anything is possible, sometimes we just need to find another way.
Mia Armitage is executive producer of Community Newsroom at Byron’s only community radio station, Bay FM. She presents a weekly hour-long radio show of news and current affairs reports and interviews, supported by the Community Broadcasting Foundation and a team of volunteer reporters from Byron and beyond. Mia has also been co-ordinating the local production of daily news bulletins at Bay FM for just over a year as part of a determined effort to foster regional journalism and meet the needs of local communities. Anyone interested in volunteering as part of this project is invited to contact Mia or Bay FM directly, regardless of your level of experience as training is included. Since joining Bay FM in mid-2017, Mia has received the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia award for Excellence in Journalism two years in a row. Alongside her radio work, Mia writes regularly for The Byron Shire Echo and Echonetdaily and has previously written for The Northern Star and former Fairfax.
Nikola Van de Wetering first began volunteering in community radio in 2014 with CJSW 90.9FM Canada. After returning to Australia in 2016 she began volunteering in production at 4ZZZ Brisbane, where she took part in the NFDS program in 2017, and later 8CCC Community Radio Alice Springs until 2021. She produced a number of radio documentaries for ABC Radio National program Earshot from 2018 to 2021. She is currently based in Adelaide, SA working across Australia as a sound recordist and boom operator in film and TV.
Farz Edraki is a writer, editor, and broadcaster. She joined the ABC as a radio producer in Canberra in 2014, and has since gone on to tell stories for television (The House; Tonightly; The School That Tried To End Racism) and online (ABC Everyday).Farz is the host of ABC podcast Days Like These and a Deputy Editor of ABC Everyday. Photo credit: Theresa Tan
Previous Program Mentors
Tony Collins is a journalist and author with over 30 years experience working in community and public sector broadcasting. He has produced programs for community radio and TV in Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Adelaide, Bathurst, Port Augusta, Yuendumu, Thursday Island and Irrunytju.
Tony spent 20 years working for the ABC in Radio and Television in Sydney and Darwin and now spends most of his time managing community arts projects, teaching and making music. He has a passion for telling stories through sound and believes that everyone has a riveting story to tell.
Sharon Davis is a multi-award winning Australian investigative journalist and producer. As well as work for ABC TV, Radio and Online, her programs have been broadcast around the world - on the BBC, major U.S. networks and throughout Africa.
Sharon is a four-time winner of Australia’s most prestigious journalism award, the Walkley Award. She has also won awards at the New York International Radio Festival, Chicago's Third Coast Festival, and won the United Nations Media Peace Prize on four occasions.
Belinda Lopez is an award winning Australian audio documentary producer, writer, journalist, and researcher. She has produced acclaimed projects for ABC, The Guardian, Community Radio Network, NITV, and University of Sydney’s Impact Studios.
Belinda’s accolades include being shortlisted for the Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award, the Australian Human Rights Awards and Amnesty Media Awards, and being awarded prizes from the United Nations and the New York Festivals.
Listen to all the features and documentaries produced for the series:
About Community Broadcasting
Community Broadcasting is Australia’s largest independent media sector. Almost 6 million Australians listen to community radio each week and those who are involved in the sector either as professionals or volunteers are known to be extremely passionate about the work.
The sector is important to the Australian public as it is diverse, community-focused and a trusted source of localised information. Various communities in Australia are catered to through community broadcasting including; First Nations people, people that are culturally and linguistically diverse and people with disability.