Marge Graham

Community radio supporting communities through floods

Jon Bisset, 9th March 2022

The last few days and weeks have been extremely tough for many of our stations – and the staff and volunteers that power community radio.

Some stations have gone off air due to loss of power and access. Devastatingly, 88.9 FM Richmond Valley Radio in Coraki, NSW has been badly damaged by the floods. And our thoughts are especially with River FM 92.9 in Lismore at this time, as the flood took the life of one of their presenters, Marge Graham (pictured).

Marge was a passionate country music fan, utilising her expertise to present her Country Breakfast program. She was well known and loved in the community for organising events, volunteering, and performing. We extend our deepest condolences to the River FM and Lismore communities.

Amidst the hardship, community radio has continued to connect, inform, and comfort. River FM hosted 13 locals from their street who had spent hours in the dark on their roofs waiting for rescue. They fed them with their BBQ, and leftovers from the fridge, before the SES arrived.

Sydney’s 2BACR has been broadcasting emergency information to their Bankstown-Auburn community about the floods of the Georges River. Paradise FM in Ballina shared hourly updates from the SES. Byron’s Bay FM community newsroom has hosted a huge number of guests, including the Byron Shire Mayor, Deputy Mayor Sarah Ndiaye, Member for Ballina Tamara Smith, MP, Tweed-Byron Police District Chief Inspector Matt Kehoe and Federal Member, Justine Elliot MP.

As we turn towards recovery, our stations are also busy sharing clean up and support information.

This is a hard time for our stations – those in the regions, and those that are listening to this news, who may remember their own experiences with natural disasters. If you need resources to support you, your interviewing of survivors, or for your community, please check out the Dart Centre Asia Pacific trove of trauma-informed support materials. The Community Broadcasting Foundation offers quick response grants to support stations through emergencies. If you’d like to donate or offer support, you can do so through the Red Cross or community-led organisations, like Recovery Project in the Northern Rivers. You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Of course, if we can help, please don’t hesitate to call our team on 02 9310 2999.

Best and safe wishes,

Jon Bisset

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A Q&A with host Peter Lehner, who has been behind the program for almost 6 years now. A national version of the program is available through the Community Radio Network.


The CBAA has made submissions to the NSW Government on the vital role played by local community broadcasters during the 2022 flooding and other emergencies. 


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