NFSA’s Radio 100 celebrates All the Voices on World Radio Day


On this World Radio Day, the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) has launched All the Voices, the new chapter from its Radio 100 digital exhibition, celebrating the emergence of different communities on Australian radio from the 1970s onwards.

New local and national radio stations elevated voices previously unheard on air – women, young people, prisoners, First Nations peoples, LGBTQIA+ communities and the linguistically diverse.

In 1972, only six languages were broadcast in Australia due to fears about the potential for subversive material to spread on air.

All the Voices charts the birth of SBS Radio and explores the rise of community radio such as groundbreaking Melbourne station Triple R.

It also looks at the effects of the distribution of the FM licences which transformed the media landscape of hundreds of Australian towns and cities and enabled radio stations, for the first time, to target specific audiences.

The presence of women on air has been amplified on national, local and community networks in the decades since the 1970s, but this clip from Brisbane community station 4ZZZ invites reflection on how much progress has been made.

For LGBTQIA+ listeners, community radio has been a vital point of connection, information and celebration, evidenced by Joy 94.9’s coverage of the 2018 Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. Gaywaves on Sydney station 2SER went to air in 1979 as Sydney’s first gay and lesbian radio program, at a time when mainstream media rarely reported on LGBTQIA+ issues positively.

“The people, music and ideas we celebrate in All the Voices are a testament to radio as a uniting force for so many communities around Australia,” says NFSA curator Crispian Winsor.

The launch of All the Voices builds on the NFSA’s November release of New Waves – the first instalment in the Radio 100 digital exhibition, which explored radio’s transition to a vital inclusion in every family home, on December’s chapter Golden Days ,which looked at radio’s transition to a vital inclusion in every family home, and on the January launch of Youthquake, which charted the rise of the DJ, the transistor and talkback radio.

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