Today’s proceedings started well, with a healthy dose of dad jokes, as well as a warning of the recurrence of aforementioned dad jokes. We acknowledged the traditional owners of this land, and everyone was encouraged to engage in the upcoming exchange and dialogue, an invitation extended to peoples from all corners of Australia.
Rather than anticipating a keynote speaker, we were promised a plethora of experts from different areas of the broadcast industry, offering multiple forms of insight and advice.
Included in the initial speeches came Associate Professor Farida Fozdar, who provided the initial analysis of multiculturalism and the cohesion of the nation-state in the face of othering, bigotry, and media representation of ethnic communities and persons.
The alternative presented through political satire in the form of comic strips, and other alternative voices providing dialogue, social activism, trans nationalism, and creativity. Associate Professor Fozdar proposes the Proposed Linkage project to increase social cohesion and promote community media in a newly formed ‘imagined community’.
Next we had a speech from Mr Waqas Durrani, who spoke to us about media diversity and the importance of community radio as an alternative to mainstream media and cultural diversity and representation of different ethnic communities. Mr Durrani encourages us to build relationships and start conversations, and to face our fears and question our labels that restrict and confine us.
He spoke of the future of youth programming, and the importance of multiculturalism and diversity in the future of broadcasting. Ethnic broadcasting was celebrated as the means to prosperity for our youth and our nation, and the need for youth to maintain their ethnic identities.
With two excellent speeches down and a series of audience questions answered, ethnic community broadcaster Maximo Perez-Torres took the stage, explaining the driving forces of community radio; passion, community, and ourselves. Representing over 150 different communities, Maximo stresses the importance of commitment to others and oneself.
He reminds us of our shared passion for volunteers, and his own passion for sports, as well as the professionalism we uphold and aim towards on a continual basis. Using his own understanding and passion for sports, Maximo presents to us a link between community radio and team sports; a sense of being a part of a team, of being competitive, and working together. He then showed us a wide variety of photographs and details of community broadcast accomplishments in sports coverage, as well as the benefits of it. He charges us to keep dreaming without limits as community radio broadcasters.