NFDS square logo - 2021

Now live! The CBAA National Features and Documentary Series 2021

Amy Leiper, 24th November 2021

The seventh instalment of CBAA’s National Features and Documentary Series 2021, an annual showcase of new work by Australian community radio producers, is now live and available for stations to access.

Producers from eight community radio stations have been chosen based on their story idea to receive training and mentoring from the Community Media Training Organisation (CMTO). Their stories are now original features and can be played by our sector.

Erin Dick, producer of  A Love Letter to Wrestling, said, "For me, the mentorship and the platform were hugely valuable as an emerging media maker. I’m grateful to have had the support of the CBAA the CMTO who created the program. It’s a pretty cool achievement that we were all able to produce documentaries despite the various stages of lockdown across the country. 

I'm excited to get my story out onto the airwaves and, hopefully, make a few new wrestling fans out of community radio listeners. When she makes a visit to Melbourne, I can’t wait to take my mentor and recently converted wrestling fan Lynda to a show some time."

This year, you can hear and share community stories of death, land rights protests, professional wrestling, living alone during lockdown, cultural legacy, being fat and healthy, what its like for a woman who is very tall, horses and their role in animal assisted therapies and so much more.

2021 documentaries include:

  • Pilot Episode – Produced by Terri Cowley (One FM Shepparton, VIC). Terri tells the deeply personal story of the impact of one of the first mid-air collisions in Australia on her family.
  • The Gympie Pyramid – Produced by Nic Huntington (4ZZZ, QLD). Rising above the gold-rush town of Gympie in Queensland, is Djaki Kundu, a thirty metre above sea level hill that is surrounded in mythology, mystery and conspiracy. Known by some as the Gympie Pyramid, it is currently home to an Aboriginal land rights protest.  
  • A Love Letter to Wrestling – Produced by Erin Dick (SYN, VIC). Erin is a co-founder of Deathmatch Downunder, an independent wrestling company out of Melbourne. Erin takes us into the world of combat, theatre, and storytelling that is pro wrestling, the place where she found her people.
  • Fat Bodies, Healthy Lives – Produced by Rebecca Bowman (RTR FM, WA). Rebecca explores the possibility that a person can be both fat and healthy. She looks at the Health at Every Size movement with experienced healthcare professionals, Dietitian Claire Grasper and Physiotherapist Simone Berzen.
  • One Friend Away – Produced by Poppy Dowsett and Shannon Haritos (Eastside Radio, NSW). Housing in Australia is extremely precarious, with affordability increasingly out of reach for many. Poppy Dowsett and Shannon Haritos of Eastside Radio take us on a very personal journey to speak to some pioneering Australians thinking outside the box when it comes to social and affordable housing initiatives.
  • Turning the Tide - Producer Dee Milenkovic (106.9 Vox FM, NSW). When I heard about the “death ship” berthing in my town, I saw fear turn to hatred as people scrambled to keep our community safe from the infested Ruby Princess cruise ship. Then one day, a lone voice of compassion cut through the sea of anger and panic and showed us that we weren’t helpless against a viral enemy. My documentary tells the story of how this man’s compassionate action turned the tide in one of Australia’s most sensational public health disasters.
  • Standing Tall – Produced by Anisa Hoybaya (4EB, QLD). After hearing a story from a tall friend about some extreme prejudice she experienced growing up, Anisa decided to explore the height stereotypes and challenges tall women face.  It’s a jaw dropping story and insight into the lives of tall women.
  • Rideability – Produced by Melanie Robinson (Vision Australia Radio, VIC). Melanie looks at horses and their ability to connect with vulnerable people. She finds that they play a huge role in the success of animal assisted therapies here in Australia.
  • Dwelling – Produced by Mitch Fuller (CBAA - professional development). In 2021 Mitch decided to live alone in Sydney. During 100 days of lockdown in 2021, he spent most of his time in his studio apartment. What started out as novel, began to drag as Winter turned into Spring, but Sydney stayed quiet. When the solitude felt more like isolation he was kept afloat by conversations with friends over the phone. He has condensed 100 days of lockdown into a 12 minute documentary.
  • Dancing With Death – Producer Chelsea Deeley (CMTO - professional development). Chelsea unwraps the personal experiences and views of two people who chose to dedicate their careers to working in a field associated with death or dying.

Mitch Fuller and Chelsea Deeley were chosen to participate as part of their professional development.

The series is produced for and available free for airplay on Australian community radio stations via the CBAA's Community Radio Network. Download the content for airplay.

Listeners can also discover this and previous years' series from the National Features and Documentary Series web page, through iTunes and your favourite podcast app or platform.

The CBAA National Features and Documentary Series continues to be produced with the assistance of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications via the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF). 

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Meet the producers, mentors and selection panel for the National Features & Documentary Series 2021.


Meet the producers, mentors and selection panel for NFDS 2020.


*Past webinar, click through to watch recording.*

Providing potential NFDS producers with all of the tools, tips and background information to ensure the best possible proposal submission.