We need YOU for our Community Radio Participation Census

Amy Leiper, 18th February 2022

Complete for the chance to win one of three $100 GiftPay vouchers

The CBAA is kicking off its biggest-ever Participation Census and we need feedback from all volunteers and workers in community radio stations. This revamped survey, conducted every few years, aims to understand the people that make up our vibrant sector.

Jon Bisset, CBAA's CEO, said, "It is important for us to know as much about the diversity of our sector and those who work in it as possible. When speaking to Government, this information can make a huge difference in the support we receive." 

If you are a station manager, please forward the survey on to your staff and volunteers – we want to hear from everyone! Please encourage your team to take part. The more that are involved means that we can get a better understanding of our people.

The Census data is important to us. By hearing from the people in our stations we can better:

  • Understand the diversity of community radio workers and volunteers.
  • Advocate for your station with Government.
  • Share insights to deepen your knowledge of what drives your people.

The results will also give insight into why people work in community radio. We’ll be able to share these insights to help you attract and retain volunteers and workers in our sector – more important now than ever before.

Complete the survey now. This should only take ten minutes of your time, and you can go in the draw to win one of three $100 GiftPay vouchers.

Update 14 April 2022 - the competition is now closed and the winners have been notified. Thank you to everyone who participated.

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This July the Learning for Purpose initiative, through the Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia will launch the largest research study ever on and for not-for-profit employees and volunteers working at all levels.


Research offers access to critical information in both station operations and governance. Knowing the listening interests of your audience leads to well informed programming, for example.


Griffith University researchers in 2002 presented the final results of a national survey of community radio stations. The final report ‘Culture Commitment Community – The Australian Community Radio Sector’ contained a wealth of information on the sector and covered many ‘station–based’ perspectives on issues such as localism, funding and sponsorship, Indigenous and ethnic programming and training. A key criticism of this report was the lack of data on community radio audiences. Two years later, an expanded research team received funding from the Australian Research Council along with financial and in-kind support from Department of Communication, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA), the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) and the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) to investigate community radio and television audiences. This project is the first comprehensive qualitative audience study of the community media sector in Australia and responds to a need within the sector, from policy bodies and the broader Australian community, to better understand community broadcasters and their diverse audiences. Internationally, this project, in both scale and approach, is unprecedented. Thus, it heralds an exciting and pioneering stage in community broadcasting research. This paper outlines the aims and objectives of the project and our methodology for accessing Australian community media audiences. A qualitative engagement with the diversity of audiences characteristic of the community media sector has demanded new ways of doing audience research. This paper discusses some of the methodological hurdles we have crossed in our attempts to negotiate the research terrain and we raise some of the questions associated with the qualitative method and assert its validity and portability as a tool for better understanding and knowing the nature and composition of community media audiences in Australia.