6RPH

Low Vision and Blind Radio Service Turns 2

Holly Friedlander Liddicoat, 18th October 2017
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The celebrations are already underway at local community radio station, Vision Australia Radio (VAR) 990AM, as their team of 80 plus volunteers mark the station’s second birthday this week.

VAR 990AM began broadcasting to the Perth metro area on 12 October 2015 with the aim of providing a valuable reading and information service for those with a print disability, people who are blind or have low vision through to those where age or issues with literacy leave them unable to effectively access published materials. 

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Volunteer and VAR Advisory Committee chairperson Giles Talbot recalls being part of the very first Perth broadcast: "There was no staff in Perth for the first few weeks, only we volunteers. The excitement – and the trepidation! – were palpable, after so much time and effort had gone into the launch. The start up was hard work and the station owes a big 'thank you' to those original crew members. Two years on, it's wonderful to see the scope of our achievements, and the professionalism, due to the work of the steadfast team of volunteers and staff."

Each week volunteer readers, panel operators, editors and presenters donate their time to produce over 40 hours of local content. 

VAR Volunteer Coordinator Brigid Barry said there’s a team of over 20 early risers who begin their shifts at 6am, six days a week. “Such dedication certainly deserves a very large slice of the birthday cake! The commitment of our volunteers is phenomenal, we count ourselves lucky to have such an enthusiastic crew of diverse people on board,” Ms Barry said.

“From retirees to professionals to students and more, VAR has proven to be a fantastic training ground with many of our volunteers surprising themselves by learning new skills along the way – and loving every minute.”

An estimated 62,000 people aged 15+ of all Perth people aged 15+ listen to Vision Australia Radio (AM/DAB+) at some time in a month, according to The National Listener Survey conducted by McNair Ingenuity Research*.

VAR broadcasts in Perth on 990AM and digitally as VA Radio. As part of the national RPH Network it is one of ten community radio stations across Victoria, southern New South Wales, Adelaide and Perth that make up the Vision Australia Radio Network.

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