National Community Radio Awards Winner

Staff Writer

Hundreds of community broadcasters from across Australia gathered in Melbourne for the 2016 CBAA Community Radio Awards. Winners were announced across 20 categories celebrating community broadcasting excellence and recognising the accomplishments of community radio services and the people behind them.

This year, the prestigious Tony Staley Award for Excellence in Community Broadcasting went to Golden Days Radio. An entirely volunteer-run station serving the senior citizens around Waverley (VIC), Golden Days Radio is dedicated to supporting its community and is a shining example of the community radio sector’s commitment to nurturing an open society. From their luncheons for listeners, to their regular studio tours and open-door meetings, the station is constantly in dialogue with its audience. The station’s 90+ volunteers recognise that isolation and loneliness can be challenges for their community and often speak at-length with their listeners over the phone, sometimes visiting some ill listeners in their homes, as well as keeping the station on air 24/7.

The Michael Law Award for a sustained and outstanding contribution by an individual to community broadcasting was awarded to Max Benyon, celebrating his achievements over the last 43 years in the sector. Currently the technical linchpin of Fine Music 102.5, Benyon has been integral to relocating, installing and upgrading transmitters for the station, as well as training new volunteers and building new studios. Benyon was also responsible for charting the course of radio history in Australia when, in 1971, he and a close team petitioned the government of the day to introduce more sophisticated technology to better the introduction of FM. A committee was established, and together with their tireless research, testing and petitioning, FM as we know it was successfully launched in Australia.

Community broadcasting organisations are multifaceted and other award categories recognise achievements in everything from programming, training, fundraising and technical services. A full list of winners is available below.

CBAA Chief Executive Officer Jon Bisset had this to say of the Awards:

“There was an incredibly high quality of entries in this year’s CBAA Community Radio Awards. Congratulations to all the winning stations, programs, initiatives and individuals for 2016. The work recognised tonight is a testament to the value that those in the sector and our growing number of listeners place on vibrant community media and it’s critical role in upholding local content, access, diversity, inclusiveness, and independence in our communities across Australia. Thank you again to everyone who entered the awards this year.”

2016 CBAA Community Radio Award Winners

Michael Law Award: Max Benyon (NSW) 

Tony Staley Award: Golden Days Radio (VIC)

Outstanding Small Station Award: MAIN FM 94.9 (VIC)


Excellence in Community Participation:  Waringarri Radio (WA)

Outstanding Volunteer Contribution: Rob Stewart, 8EAR Gove FM (NT)

Outstanding Youth Contribution: Zeina Tebbo, Muslim Community Radio (NSW)


Excellence in Digital Media:, FBi Radio (NSW)


Excellence in Training: Radio Adelaide RTO, Radio Adelaide (SA)

Best New Radio Program – Talks: Dhäwu Dhäwu Show, Yolngu Radio (NT)

Best New Radio Program – Music: Female Australian Composers Project for International Women’s Day, 3MBS (VIC)

Best Station Production: Up For It, FBi Radio (NSW)

Contribution to Australian Music: Contemporary Music Program, Fresh 92.7 (SA)

Excellence in Indigenous Engagement: CAAMA Radio (NT) 

Excellence in Ethnic and Multicultural Engagement: Radio 4EB (QLD)

Excellence in Music Programming: Global Village, PBS 106.7 FM (VIC) 

Excellence in Spoken Word, News and Current Affairs Programming: Anangu Lands Paper Tracker Radio Show, Radio Adelaide (SA)

Best Station Promotion or Fundraising Campaign: LightPartner Day – Your News, 89.9 Light FM (VIC)

Most Innovative Outside Broadcast or Special Event Broadcast: 3CR Exhibition Broadcasts, 3CR (VIC)                                                                   


Troy Garner Excellence in Sports Programming: Big Gee Up, 2XX (ACT)

Excellence in Technical Services: Jim Parish OAM, Hobart FM 96.1 (TAS)

National Documentary and Features Competition: Michael Schubert, Bay FM 99.9 (NSW) 

The 2016 CBAA Awards were presented with the support of Deutsche Welle, APRA AMCOS, PPCA, AFTRS, the Community Broadcasting Foundation and Pro Bono Australia.

Community broadcasting is a vital part of the Australian media landscape. More than 450 community radio stations across the country provide a diverse range of viewpoints that enrich the social and cultural fabric of Australian society and contribute to public interest outcomes, foster social inclusion, generate a high level of local content and contribute to media diversity.

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) champions community broadcasting by building stations’ capability and creating a healthy environment for the sector to thrive.

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