MainFM reflects on their wins at the 2020 CBAA Community Radio Awards

Alex Crerar, 5th July 2021

The CBAA Community Radio Awards allow stations and members of the community radio sector the opportunity to highlight the incredible achievements of their stations and those who work tirelessly to put programs on air.

This year, the CBAA highlights previous winners to showcase what it means to be part of the Awards and what winning an Award can mean for your station. 

We asked Station Manager, Steph Riddel a few questions about MainFM and their involvement in the Awards.

"My name is Steph Riddel and I am the station manager at MainFM - based in Castlemaine broadcasting across the Mount Alexander (Leanganook) region in central Victoria. MainFM is a small station with a big heart that emanates positivity – you can hear it in the sound. The station has worked hard to weather the pandemic and support the community through extended lockdowns over the past 16 months. We have been forced to adapt to new ways of operating and have emerged stronger than ever boasting an on-air grid that is impressively diverse with over 100 volunteers presenting over 70 shows a week. I see Castlemaine as a cultural beacon in regional Victoria and feel MainFM represents the strength and creativity of our community with pride."

You were the winner of the Outstanding Small Station Award and Best Station Fundraising Campaign: Small Station Award in 2020, What did receiving these awards mean to you and your station?
Winning both the Outstanding Small Station Award and Best Station Fundraising Campaign: Small Station Award in 2020 has been a major boon for the station. It has been so satisfying for our volunteers to have their hard work acknowledged and celebrated. The awards have been a major source of pride for the station and given us mega bragging rights!! Our trophies are prominently displayed in the office and ‘Best little station in the nation’ has become our unofficial tagline and pops up on air, in promos, on the socials, in hashtags and in the local newspaper – basically anytime anyone is talking about MainFM! 
Since winning the awards what new opportunities have opened up for your station. 

We feel the recognition that has come through winning the CBAA awards has definitely increased our credibility in the eyes of funding bodies and contributed to us successfully securing additional grants through multiple channels. In the last few months we have been notified of funding wins through the CBF (for Operational and Content Grants) as well as Mt Alexander Council to fund a disability support worker training program, and the Federal Stronger Communities grant for the purchase of a new STL transmitter, receiver and amplifier. Winning the awards has also raised our profile in the community and amongst local businesses, helping us to grow our tribe of loyal sponsors. Our little station is thriving and the awards have helped provide that extra motivation to continue the good work.

What advice would you have for stations thinking of entering the 2021 awards?

Do it!! Taking part in the CBAA Awards is a significant part of acknowledging the hard work and dedication of the volunteers and staff that keep the station going, growing and thriving.

Will you be participating in the 2021 awards, and if so in which categories?

We will most definitely be throwing our hat in the ring! We are still finalising our entries – however a show we wish to highlight is one that has been attracting attention from all over the globe; Yowie Central.


Want to celebrate your station? Enter the 2021 CBAA Awards now! 

Entries open until August 15.

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This award celebrates the vital role that small stations play in the community broadcasting sector.


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