NEMBC’s National Conference 27 – 29 May 2022

Venue: Pullman on the Park, 192 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002

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Conference Recaps & Highlights

Steve Ahern
Steve Ahern is the Head of the Media Academy for the Asian Pacific Broadcasting Union. In this clip, Steve discusses the positives that the COVID-19 lockdowns brought to community radio, especially in accessibility. He discusses the unity that community radio brought many while they were isolated in lockdown. He also talks about the importance of Pajhwok, a media publication in Afghanistan. 

Roseanne Maloney
Rosanne Maloney is an experienced broadcast journalist, with a demonstrated history of volunteering and working in the media production industry, including ABC Melbourne 2022 news cadet, ABC Radio Melbourne news desk, ABC Ballarat reporter, NEMBC News Writer, and SYN Panorama Co-Executive Producer.

Roseanne speaks about the challenges that the pandemic brought and how important correct news delivery in-language was and will continue to be. She touches on the importance of delivering news specifically to communities and how accurate information for people within those communities is vital. 


Jo Pratt
Jo Pratt is the Executive Officer and Station Manager of 4EB in Brisbane. Her background was originally in performing arts and has been the Station Manager for 4 years. 

Jo discusses the way the pandemic brought to light the need to alter old models and to innovate and create change. She also discussed how the pandemic gave her staff perspective and space to survey and reflect on their reach. Quality control and training in broadcasting was also discussed. 


Griffith at The NEMBC Conference

This presentation was a wrap up of the morning workshop on the Conference Table Topics mentioned below and explained the Griffith University and NEMBC partnership, a national research project involving an online & telephone survey of Station Managers, interviews, and focus group discussions at 8 sites across Australia.

Some of the aims were to advance our understanding of the place of ethnic community broadcasting in an increasingly digital and disrupted world and to inform how the sector’s traditional types of radio broadcasting and newer digital programming (podcasting, livestream on social media etc.) might enhance the sector’s role in social cohesion and the migrant experience.

Conference Program and Topics CLICK HERE

Conference theme: ‘Coming Together’

This conference was about meeting face-to-face, networking & hearing our stories of survival and resilience. We chose a simple theme for our conference after two years of the pandemic. It’s a time to enjoy and cherish our shared experiences.

The main themes were:

  1. COVID-19 Recovery: the pandemic highlighted weaknesses and strengths. So how resilient was the ethnic broadcasting sector, and how did we individually and collectively respond to the pandemic? Have we overcome the challenges of the pandemic and where to from here?
  2. ‘Growth of News in the Sector’ NEMBC and CBAA presentations. One of the strengths of the NEMBC was the creation and development of the Multilingual News Service.

Topics discussed at tables

  1. COVID Spotlights: the pandemic has shone a light on the good and the bad on everything, including our very own ethnic community broadcasting sector. What were the challenges and what were the opportunities?  
  2. New Normal: We are almost out of the pandemic and life is returning to a new normal but what type of normal will broadcasters, stations and producers face in the coming year?  
  3. Digital platforms have been with us for some time. What sort of disruption and opportunities have these platforms created? Has communication improved with wider audiences, and has the diaspora and back to ‘home country’ also helped?  
  4. Community Radio Stations. What do radio stations need to do to survive if they are challenged the same way as newspapers and TV? Keeping audiences, subscriptions, or members and having to innovate or be creative. Radio stations are doing ok so should we maintain the status quo?  
  5. Language is one of the keystones to ethnic community broadcasting but how is that changing and is this taken seriously, or just seen as a bit of an add-on to community broadcasting? Multicultural messaging has been more important than ever during the pandemic, how can we ensure that language maintains its importance?
  6. Youth: The next generation is the key to our future, how is it going for you, your station, and as a young person?  As a sector, are we really embracing this future?
  7. An aging sector: Seniors and established communities are fundamental to our ethnic sector and we wouldn’t be what we are today without them. However, we are reaching a timeline when many of our seniors will not be with us. This is a major issue facing our sector what can we do to plan for the next 5 to 10 years?
  8. Demographic and new communities: Are radio stations allowing access to ethnic programs and new and emerging communities, are they reaching out to groups that don’t have a voice? Are new emerging communities using other ways to communicate and possibly don’t see community radio as being that relevant or important?
  9. Regional Stations and broadcasters: regional stations are a permanent fixture at the NEMBC conference and certainly require a lot of attention in a post-COVID scenario.
  10. Membership and membership organisations; Radio stations are membership-based organisations and grassroots connections are important.
  11. Media marketing and Content – Is content produced by ethnic community broadcasters effective? Of course we all know it is, but the spotlight was on during COVID-19 and multicultural messages were in the spotlight. What happened during COVID and is the multicultural messaging going to improve the new normal?  
  12. Funding: Of course funding is always important, maybe this should have been the first point!