NFDS square logo - 2021

National Features and Documentary Series 2021

Alex Crerar, 12th July 2021
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Meet the producers, mentors and selection panel for the National Features & Documentary Series 2021.

Each year the National Features & Documentary Series trains and mentors emerging producers through the Community Media Training Organisation to produce a feature for national distribution.

2021's features will be heard on Australian community radio stations and be available online at the end of the year.

Producers

Anisa Hobaya

Hi there, I am Anisa Hobaya, a young passionate woman who loves new challenges and opportunities. I am a German radio broadcaster at 4EB. Being relatively new to radio, I am absolutely thrilled and excited to be producing this documentary. During one of my part-time roles, I was inspired by Marianne’s, (one of the main characters of this documentary) jaw-dropping life story that absolutely moved me and left me thinking on how low prejudice against women’s height can go. Thus, the feature. 

Melanie Robinson 
 
I fell into radio completely by accident. In March 2020, after 31 years of continuous employment with the same organization (in animal welfare) I found myself redundant. I turned the disappointment & dismay of this situation and the quiet times of the Covid-19 restrictions into reflection and tackling some of those things that were on my “to do” list, some self-learning. I spent time with a public speaking coach, embraced a creative writing course, and finally started on an idea for a children’s story that I would love to see go to an audio book.Then, curiosity led me to an audio journalism course, something that I had absolutely no idea about; I had hardly listened to any radio material at all, not even podcasts! Oh, one other little thing, I am blind, and l am supported on this journey by my support worker, Zoe, and Vision Australia Radio. My piece for the 2021 NFDS will look 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. 
 

Erin Dick

Erin Dick (she/they) is a Naarm-based digital content creative and freelance writer. She is the Content Coordinator at SYN Media, working across a range of digital platforms, empowering young people to make content that matters to them. She's also a former Supervising Producer with All The Best. Erin has a not-so-secret obsession with pro wrestling - She's part of the management team of Melbourne wrestling promotion, Deathmatch Downunder. You can find her at your local show, heckling your favourite wrestler. 

Terri Cowley
 
Terri Cowley is the breakfast presenter on One FM Shepparton. She is also a journalist for R.M.Williams OUTBACK magazine. Her podcast explores a 66-year-old tragedy in her family and its on going impact.RT

Rebecca Bowman 

Bec is the presenter of ArtBeat on RTRFM 92.1 in Perth. ArtBeat is a fast paced magazine style talks program which explores the world of art, artists and arts-lovers. Bec loves meeting so many people making the world a better place through their creative output, and hopes listeners feel the same joy she does exploring the art world every week. Outside of radio, Bec works in healthcare, which she believes has helped develop the deep listening and interviewing skill she uses on air. Bec considers radio to be her own creative practice, and is looking forward to developing new skills through the 2021 National Features and Documentary Series. The audio documentary Bec is producing with colleagues from RTRFM is on the Health At Every Size movement. In particular, she is asking the question - is it possible to be fat and healthy?

Nic Huntington

Nic Huntington is a Brisbane-based journalist, photographer and podcaster known for his stories focused on subculture, identity and the environment. He has appeared in KOS Magazine, RENEW and ReachOut alongside producing stories for All the Best and 4ZZZ Radio among others. Nic fell into producing stories when he was racking his brain over what to do at uni. With a family connection to journalism, he was drawn to documentary makers such as Werner Herzog and their personal infatuation with stories that go beyond the news cycle. 

 

 

Dee Milenkovic

Not in a million years. The shy, timid kid who spent her youth seeking solace in the songs on the radio never anticipated that decades later she would be on the other side of the air waves; playing these same songs to an audience of eager listeners. The scared kid has become the vibrants Vitamin Dee who has been broadcasting with 106.9 VOX Fm since December 2018. She presented the Vitamin Dee Radio Hour, a lunchtime talk program, for two years. Since December 2020, Dee has put her considerable get-up-and-go into the Friday Breakfast Feast, an energetic, feel-good program of ecletic music she joyously presents every Friday from 6am. Dee is a creative, an educator and active community member with a special interest in helping people reduce mental and emtional suffering and improve the way they experience life. She is committed to using her voice to do work and tell stories that uplift. Producing a documentary that will be heard nationally is something Dee expected... not in a million years. She is honoured to have been chosen to participate in the National Features and Documentary Series. 


Shannon Haritos & Poppy Dowsett

 

Mentors         

Celeste Macintosh
 
Having worked for media in Australia, Italy, Japan, and the Philippines, Celeste Macintosh is an experienced cross-platform journalist with a master's degree in Management. She currently works as a freelance writer and Queensland reporter for SBS’s radio and online platform. Celeste has been twice nominated for the CBAA Community Radio Awards for her work as presenter and producer with Brisbane’s Radio4EB where she also serves as a member of its Board of Directors. As a certified trainer, Celeste also delivers training for the Community Media Training Organisation and has 10 years of international training experience including work with the United States Peace Corps. 

Anthony Frangi

Anthony Frangi has over 30 years' in media management, broadcasting, journalism education, training and consultancy. He began his broadcast career at Radio 4EB in Brisbane. Anthony is author of 'Radio Toolbox - working in radio in the digital age ‘, 'So you want Media Coverage' and 'Presentation Skills for Beginners’. He is the Founder of Pop Up Radio Australia and former General Manager for the Fairfax Radio Network in Queensland. Other roles include Content Director, broadcaster, producer and mentor at the ABC. Anthony was a PD at the School of Journalism and Communication at The University of Queensland where he created the first 24/7 online radio station. He continues teaching in journalism & communication today.  Anthony is also a regular conference speaker and international trainer on radio and the coverage of natural disasters. Today, he continues an active role at the ABC in the area of community engagement.

Lynda McCaffre

Sharon Davis

Sharon is an award winning documentary producer and journalist whose body of work spans more than 20 years. She has worked in print, radio and television. As the winner of four Walkley Awards and numerous other national and international awards, she is well-known for her ability to combine the rigour of investigative journalism with the elequuence of fine radio feature making, including observational story telling. She has produced more than 40 documentaries- many of the feature length- as well as extended interviews with noteable writers, poets, authors and musicians such as Nadine Gordimer, Alistair Sparks, Hugh Masekla and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 

Agnes Cusack

My radio career began in community media, working as a producer in the early days of 3RRR while I attended RMIT. Like many others, I moved on to jobs in commercial television, ABC and SBS. I have always maintained a strong interest in community broadcasting and throughout my career have mentored individuals and run journalism training courses at 3ZZZ, 3CR, SYN, etc. I have and lectured media students at RMIT and Monash - which also had student radio stations linked to their academic programs. I founded the Multicultural Media Exchange (MME, 2007-14), which produced stories by young people from refugee and migrant communities that were published in mainstream and community media. In 2019 I worked for six months with CAAMA Radio, helping to develop a strategic plan and training staff in program production. We produced a series of four, 45-minute radio forums in preparation for the closing of the climb at Uluru, in which I assisted staff in developing program themes, identifying talent, interviewing, scripting, recording and editing.

Katherina Loesche

I am living in Brisbane with my family since more than 10 years. I am working for the news agency Reuters, being responsible for the news coverage from politics to economics as a news desk editor. Additionally, I love chasing stories as Queensland correspondent for my weekly segment at Radio SBS German and for my program at Radio 4EB. My NDFS-documentary "The Runners' Guide" about visually impaired runners was awarded "Best National Radio Documentary 2018”. By the way, I am still not a runner... But with the award and the experience from the NDFS-training in my pocket, I was able to start working with one of the biggest podcast producers in the US, editing a broad range of audio-content. Before moving to Australia, I worked as a TV editor and film director in Hamburg/Germany. Oh, and my three kids think I am their personal Uber driver. 

Ian Hill

After 45 years in the radio business it's still my first love after making and performing music. The business has been kind to me and I've worked in every role there is...from Vienna as a national broadcaster in English for the UN on every shift... to managing ABC Qld and everything in between. My greatest reward is training and teaching others the joy and power of this medium. Today I still consult to a number of media organisations, teach at TAFE and play in my incredible band as well as compose and record original music and do the odd voice-over. I think that in the world of too many screen-based choices, the power of audio and people's voices speaking in a 1 to 1 relationship is king.

Ian Couch 

Previous NFDS Mentor in 2018. Extensive experience in audio storytelling spanning 20+ years as a radio journalist and audio producer. He’s also the News Director at 2NUR FM in Newcastle. 

 
Jacquline Wright
I have extensive audio storytelling production experience producing short and long form (feature) audio packages. As a producer for breakfast and morning shows at ABC Kimberley, I:
  • worked alongside staff and local stake holders to identify topical issues of relevance to our listeners and then brainstorm ways of presenting these stories in new and innovative ways.
  • developed a flexible story arcs.
  • sourced a variety of voices (talent) that would contribute to the story arc.
  • pre-interviewed talent, organised interviews and prepared questions for the interview.
  • checked, maintained and effectively used recording equipment to collect quality audio.
  • followed best practice when interviewing people.
  • transcribed interviews using free online transcription programs and identified segments to be used in the package.
  • reviewed the story arc in light of sourced audio material.
  • scripted and recorded links in studio.
  • sourced music and sound effects which were royalty free or, if licensed, complied with publishing stipulations.
  • edited audio using multi-track editing software such as Netia and Audacity and produced a master copy for airing.
  • sourced images and wrote introductions to accompany pre-recorded packages on platforms such as facebook and Soundcloud.
My pre-recorded packages were aired to local, state and national audiences.
I have a solid understanding of the community radio working environment through my work as an Open ABC producer. Working with members of the Kimberley community I understood the value of teamwork and that:
  • more often than not, people had volunteered their time and therefore timeframes and commitments needed to be flexible.
  • some skills required to produce feature documentaries would be learned on-the-job.
  • people bought invaluable skills and ideas to the table which should be recognised and built upon.
  • ideas needed to be community-lead.

 

 

Selection Panel

 
Abe Killian
CMTO logo Giordana Caputo
First Nations Media Australia logo Mikayla Friday-Shaw
Nathan Brown
NEMBC Juan Paolo Legaspi



 

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