Beloved Melbourne community station fights for survival


It’s the place where radio success stories like Hamish & Andy, Zan Rowe, Tommy Little, Jack Post, Belle Jackson, Bridget Hustwaite and Ryan Shelton began their careers.

Now – after 20 years of providing a platform for young people’s voices and local music – SYN FM is at risk of disappearing.

The beloved Melbourne community station has sent out an S.O.S call, launching an emergency fundraising appeal for donations as it fights for survival.

On its website, SYN says “Despite our efforts to keep up with the already catastrophic hit our station took in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, inflation and an unexpected loss of core funding from the state government, we have now turned to our cash reserves – funds which can only support us for so long.”

“For two decades, SYN FM has been a hub for young people, a community platform and a training ground for some of Australia’s most important voices in the news, culture and music sectors.”

“SYN has championed local music and been an important source of local news and entertainment.”

“Don’t let our 20th year be our last.”

SCA’s Head of Sport Content Ewan Giles tells Radio Today SYN provided him with a wonderful training ground.

“SYN gave me my start in media and taught me so much. From helping out on launch day, to doing brekky twice a week and making lifelong friendships in the industry.”

“SYN is incredibly deserving of any and all assistance from government and the education sector. Not only is SYN a a provider of opportunity, independence and exposure, it is also the starting line for many people who make a living in the media who otherwise wouldn’t get a chance.”

Former Fox FM Breakfast newsreader Carlie Bonavia (pictured above during her SYN days) tells Radio Today SYN played a huge part in her radio journey.

“Like many others, I can honestly say that I owe my career to SYN.”
“The opportunity to get behind the mic as a shy high schooler and try everything from radio presenting to news reading – even making live TV – was such a gift that ignited my passion for broadcast.”
“SYN remains an important training ground and platform for young people to express their views. It will be a huge loss for the next generation of broadcasters if SYN shuts down.
Sports presenter Dylan Leach is another whose career foundations were built at SYN.

Leach tells Radio Today that when he heard the news that SYN could go out of business, his heart sank.

“My wallet opened up straight away.”

“I can only hope this appeal rejuvenates the place and SYN gets the shot in the arm it deserves, be it from donations, government grants or sponsorship.”

“There’s no shortage of alumni that love the place and want it to prosper.”

In the two decades since SYN began full-time broadcasting, around 12,000 young people have been directly involved with SYN, many of whom have gone on to work in the creative and media industries.

Now, the station that helped them forge successful careers needs help itself, in order to stay on air.

It says “By donating, you are saving more than our broadcast. You are saving our community of nearly 300,000 monthly listeners, the passion of our 300 volunteers, and the action SYN takes to elevate youth issues across the state.”

“Young people more than ever deserve spaces where they are respected and supported.”

“By donating, you ensure access to that space.”

For more info and to donate to the cause, head here.

*Carlie Bonavia photo supplied

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Sydney Radio Announcer
6 Oct 2023 - 1:55 am

Nah… the place had its run. Its a pretentious, self involved place. They think they’re awesome. Deserve to be humbled. The volunteers will return to the dole or maybe at most fast food jobs. ..or start a podcasts about genders.

Bennie Gee
8 Oct 2023 - 10:05 am

Surely there should be some improved access to government funding for community stations that promote local music that would have not otherwise had the opportunity due to the narrow music focus of the commercial networks. In my opinion, we should be expanding, not reducing the route to market for new and upcoming local music. Everyone in the community will benefit from an improved diversity of music, and an improved pipeline of Australian talent.


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