Posted by jeff on Feb 01, 2011


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Otago Access Radio embodies the spirit of community by providing the means for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to share their experiences. Through discussion, debate, music and storytelling we celebrate our differences, support creativity and encourage participation.

Access Radio in Dunedin To Celebrate 25 Years

Geoff BarkmanThe hunt is on for memorabilia as community access radio in Dunedin prepares to celebrate a significant milestone.

This year marks 25 years since the Otago Community Broadcasters Society was established to further the interest of access radio, enabling a small group of local enthusiasts to hire a few hours weekly from student station Radio One for the initial broadcasts.

Next month, a display tracing the evolution of access radio in Dunedin will open at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and a panel discussion on community-driven radio’s place on the broadcasting spectrum will launch a series of public events around the anniversary.

Otago Access Radio manager Lesley Paris said it was important that the station reconnect with people who had contributed to access radio’s colourful local history. With more than 180 volunteer broadcasters currently affiliated with the OAR FM, there were many others who had a previous involvement with the station in its incarnations as Hills AM and Toroa Radio.

“Several of the key players from the early days are already on board. They put a massive amount of time and energy into promoting community access radio and laid the groundwork for the huge growth in interest and involvement that followed.

“But we want to hear from anyone else who has memories to share, a piece of the jig-saw puzzle to add, or just wants to be kept informed about the events we have planned to mark the anniversary.”

The station welcomed contributions of recordings of early radio shows, promotional posters, newsletters or any other items that added to the story.

“We have hundreds of cassettes and photos to search through, and our recent history has been pretty well documented, but there are bound to be many other little gems out there,” said Ms Paris.

“We also plan to invite our alumni to a party to celebrate what we’ve all achieved, so that’s a great reason to get in touch.”

If you have community access radio memorabilia to share, or if you would like to be added to Otago Access Radio’s database of contacts for 25th Anniversary events, please email or telephone the station on ph 471 6161.

Photo: Trawling the archives: Otago Access Radio studio engineer Geoff Barkman hunts for treasure among cassette tape recordings of old programmes.


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