VIVID Ideas 2016

Community & Public Radio at Vivid Ideas

Helen Henry, 17th March 2016

Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, will this year put a spotlight on the role of community and public radio during the Vivid Ideas program.

It will discuss the role of community and public radio in unlocking creative potential of Australian communities by sharing diverse voices in interesting ways, connecting community members and building a distinctly Australian media culture.

Engagement has been the buzzword on the lips of media makers, journalists and marketers for the last few years. Now, there is a new frontier in collaborative and participatory media - co-creative media. Community radio and public broadcasters, with their commitment to inclusion and community focus, have risen as thought leaders in this space.

You're invited to attend this interactive session to hear about and experience how co-creative media is impacting on engagement, creating and supporting creative communities, and what this means for the media makers and community-minded for the future.

7 June, from 6pm  
UTS Sydney - Chau Auditorium
Tickets: $10 + booking fee

Are you a community broadcaster? We have a limited number of free registrations available to community broadcasters for this event! Email to advise your name and station to receive a promo code.



This panel session will feature QUT's Christina Spurgeon, community radio producer Maddy Macfarlane and ABC Regional's Scott Gamble.

Christina Spurgeon is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Media and Communication at the Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology. She has led three Australian Research Council Linkage with Industry projects. Most recent was a national study of the Australian ‘co-creative’ media system, and its contribution to building population-wide capacities for problem-solving through storytelling and creative expression. Chris has a media and communications policy and community radio background and is the current Chair of the Community Media Training Organisation. She also has an enduring interest in ‘media-on-media’ and presently serves on the editorial board of Media International Australia, and edits 3CMedia: Journal of Community, Citizen’s, and Third Sector Media. Her book, Advertising and New Media, was published by Routledge in 2008.

Maddy Macfarlane has been broadcasting at Melbourne’s music-focused community radio station PBS FM since 2006. She currently hosts a weekly Australian music program Homebrew and delivers radio announcer training. Since 2013, Maddy has combined her radio practice with PhD research to explore Australian community radio as an important locus for local music research. This practice-driven research has focused on collaborative radio-making and community media training.  Maddy’s work has been recognised by CBAA, having received awards for Best Radio Documentary in 2014 for What We Talk About When We Talk About Music, a half-hour piece made with musicians from Melbourne’s Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and in 2015 for Excellence in Training for her part in The Collaborative Radio Project, a radio-skills and audio story-making training program for new communities.

Scott Gamble is Manager of Audience Content and Partnerships for ABC Regional. This role includes heading up ABC Open, a project that invites everyday Australians to collaborate with professional producers to develop content. Scott has worked extensively as a television producer and director, creating factual, entertainment and arts programming for Australian and International broadcasters. Scott will cover a range of ABC Open projects, including Babe In The Reeds. 

The session will be facilitated by CBAA Vice President and 2ser General Manager Melanie Withnall.


More about Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney is a festival of light, music and ideas – the largest of its kind in the world. From May 27 to June 18, 2016, the event will transform the Harbour City into a colourful creative canvas. Now in its eighth year, Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, and features large-scale light installations and projections (Vivid Light); music performances and collaborations (Vivid Music including Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House); and creative ideas, discussion and debate (Vivid Ideas); all celebrating Sydney as the creative hub of the Asia-Pacific region. For more information visit

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On the evening of Saturday 8 November, community broadcasters from across Australia gathered in Adelaide for the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s (CBAA) annual Awards. The Awards are a celebration of community broadcasting excellence and recognise the accomplishments of community radio stations and personnel across 23 categories.


As part of the Sydney Vivid Festival, Eastside Radio presents three nights of live performances.


What We Talk About When We Talk About Music is a documentary piece about a unique music group in Melbourne. The group is made up of members from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre - diverse individuals positioned in such diverse circumstances, but all seeking a safe future in Australia. This documentary focuses on these musicians, and what they achieve together every Wednesday evening at the group's rehearsals. What occurs in rehearsals is more than making music, and what we talk about turns out to be much more, as well.