Outlet Spotlight: Radio MAMA
There have been many big changes at Radio MAMA over the last year, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the mission to connect Indigenous people to one another and to the stories that matter to them.
After 16 years, Barry Anderson has taken a step back from managerial duties but continues to host Mama’s Brekkie show on a volunteer basis. Fiona Hayden has now taken over the Station Manager position and will be balancing the competing priorities of modernising Radio Mama while maintaining and growing the steadfast community listenership the station has grown since its early days.
Radio MAMA was established out of concern that mainstream media was not addressing or connecting with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the Murchison and Gascoyne regions of Western Australia. “Over a number of years regional and remote communities have worked with Radio MAMA to develop communication services throughout the Midwest Murchison and Gascoyne regions,” says Fiona. Since its inception, Radio MAMA has been able to share local programs and communicate with their target audience while also bringing in a large non-indigenous audience.
First and foremost, Radio MAMA is a communication service for members of Indigenous communities. Community messaging has enhanced access to information for First Nations people on topics such as culture, health, education, youth interest, seniors, community, suicide prevention, and drug and alcohol awareness. The station has provided a strong platform for organisations to better deliver programs for the communities that Radio MAMA broadcasts to. “Possibly the best example of this was during the Covid outbreaks when messages from ex-Rugby players in NSW had no connection for local people, so we produced content by local community members and role models using the local voices to increase community impact,” says Fiona. As a communication service, Radio MAMA continues to grow, giving a voice to its community.
With community at the core of Radio MAMA’s mission, the team is regularly invited to events throughout the year, giving them a place to engage with listeners. They conduct interviews with service providers at these events, promoting the services they offer within the community. “We attend the annual MEEDAC Careers Expo every year and talk to the different businesses in attendance about employment opportunities in the regions,” says Fiona. The station was also last year invited to Iwarra Wilunga, a festival of Aboriginal Culture, Art and Music. “We were able to live stream the live performances to our audience at home. We enjoy events such as this because it promotes the very talented Indigenous artists we have in our region.”
As Radio MAMA continues to grow and develop connections with the community, it remains true to its origins while embracing social media to help grow its audience and reach others who may not usually listen to the radio. The station remains focused on country music and community-based information and interviews that their target audience will relate to. They will also continue to stream programs from across the country with a particular focus on country music and First Nations programs that help keep their local First Nations audience informed.
Radio MAMA can be found on the 100.5FM station frequency across WA as well as at indigitube.com.au.