30 Under 30: Introducing another four finalists


As we move closer to the big reveal, today we meet four more finalists in Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 Awards.


Alicia Foster

Alicia – an Executive Producer for the Hit Network in Queensland – came to radio from a hospitality background, which helped to cement her people skills:

“I was a manager for over 6 years. I know how to talk to people and how to adjust your style depending on the person. I like to think of myself as the loveable chameleon who can fit in and be welcomed into any environment.”

For Alicia, success in radio is getting great feedback, good online interaction and big download numbers.

“To know you are successful in yourself is to have a good relationship with people all over the country and know people trust you.”

“Professional success to me is being the one in the office everyone knows they can rely on and trust to not only do their job to the best possible level but to also be a shoulder to lean on for others when needed.”

Alicia believes the biggest challenge facing the industry right now is building trust with the audience.

“With the rise in TikTok and Instagram influencers, people find it difficult to trust without having a visual connection with you on a daily basis.”

“A lot of announcers in the audio world are struggling to find that relatability with their audience because the audience isn’t all in – they don’t have the trust they once had.”

“We need to compete with these visual worlds by branching out into them more – showing our faces and getting out there where everyone else is and interacting.”

Alicia believes her best personal attribute is her honesty: “If I don’t like something I will say it and work towards a resolution and if I do like something I will be your biggest cheerleader.”


Olivia O’Flynn

Having previously worked as a podcast producer, executive producer and audio editor, Olivia moved into the Associate Partner manager role at Acast in 2020 and was recently promoted to be the only Partner Manager at Acast across its Australian and New Zealand markets.

As someone with experience in front of and behind the microphone, her work has spanned scale, content and commercial budgets.

“Due to this broad understanding and first hand experience of the many different facets of podcasting, I have a unique perspective and set of skills that lend themself to teaching, educating and inspiring my colleagues on audio storytelling.”

For Olivia, professional success means having strong, honest and engaging relationships with colleagues and key partners alike.

“As the saying goes, ‘People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses,’ and I think that this extends to bad work environments too. When I clock in, I want to strive and innovate and be proactive with my time.”

Olivia believes that the biggest challenge the industry faces in Australia is the belief that bigger equals better.

“We know that scale is a frontrunner when it comes to monetisation, however I think there’s a huge knowledge gap between those spending the dollars and the podcasts that people actually invest hours of their life listening to.”


Edward Gooden

Edward’s podcasting career can be traced back to train station in suburban Melbourne.

Edward – now a Podcast Producer at LiSTNR – says “I was scrolling TikTok and came across a creator called Dr Chris Maguire. Chris was a paediatric surgeon, and had posted a video about how to treat burns. It was practical, and he spoke well. I reached out to Chris, and pitched a podcast idea to him.”

It was that moment that sparked Edward’s podcasting passion.

Edward sees his diverse set of skills as an important part of his toolbox moving forward:

“After developing the technical skills, the love for the work I do as part of the LiSTNR team comes from the people, and facilitating creative conversations and helping get the best out the people in the team.”

“Creative environments can be complex, and a big focus of mine and one that’s been highlighted as a strength is my ability to communicate with clarity, and provide constructive and meaningful feedback.”

In terms of the industry challenges, Edward questions whether our content slate is diverse enough.

“There is a lack of a concerted effort to recognise the audiences that are in Australia, and a lack of diversity in mindset to be able to recognise these audiences in the first place.”


Gemma Maddox

For Gemma – a presenter at Hit 1047 Canberra – learning is one of life’s joys.

“I love pushing myself to do new things, from on air to operations and developing new skills. I’m always doing whatever I can support up-and-coming artists and big artists in the industry.”

“I love helping other members of the team and the next generation of radio, I hope to inspire them like those who helped me throughout my career.”

As someone who thrives on assisting others, Gemma says success is not only about achieving your own goals but helping those around you achieve theirs, too.

“It’s so rewarding when you achieve things in a group environment.”

She considers being motivated – both in her personal and professional life – as being some of her strongest attributes.

With many channels and on demand streaming services, Gemma sees this as an opportunity where people are actively pursuing many avenues/devices to engage with music, podcasts, streaming of live events and sport.

“This increased interest and demand is not only backed by digital/online activity, but actually complements and is supported by such things as social media, etc.”

“From the perspective of the artists, their challenge remains to make great music and then to ensure access and distribution and ensuring appropriate financial reward. For media owners and operators and broader content producers, commercial viability is critical though has a direct link to audience reach and the ability to monetise against specific demographic groups.”


Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 Awards are enthusiastically supported by the following:


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