AA Live Radio Offers Hope

Two Dunedin members of Alcoholics Anonymous are sharing their perspectives of recovery from alcoholism through OAR FM Dunedin show AA Live.

The local radio programme airs on a Tuesday evening, alternating on OAR FM on a fortnightly basis with Christchurch-based show Alcoholics Anonymous Radio from Plains FM.

“The radio show is an open meeting,” said Martin, who remains otherwise anonymous, in keeping with AA’s focus on placing principles before personalities.

“As an individual member of Alcoholics Anonymous I have one primary purpose and that is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety. So I see it as an extension of our regular meetings, reaching out to an audience that may not be aware of their alcoholism or may be wondering if they could benefit from AA.”

Martin’s co-host, Victor, saw the show as a means of serving in a different way from the fellowship and sponsorship offered through local chapter meetings. Sharing his experience of alcoholism was the place to start.

“I didn’t know there was a way out until I heard other people sharing my story. With that, I started to have some hope and some sense of belonging.

“That’s what I would wish for anyone out there wondering if they should give Alcoholics Anonymous a go.”

For Victor, a history of violence, jails and institutions had led to more than one attempt to deal with his alcoholism through AA, but progress was not possible until he acknowledged the full extent of his dependence and its impacts on others. Membership of AA had been transformative, but only after acknowledging he was were “powerless” over alcohol.

Martin had also reached “rock bottom” before turning his life around. It was now time to offer hope to others in a similar position.

“My hope is that the listener will see alcoholism not as a moral issues but as a mental, physical and spiritual illness, and that people can get sober, just like me.”

Download and Listen to Previous Episodes

Photo: Sobering stuff: Martin and Victor present AA Live on OAR FM Dunedin.

A Voice for South Asian Women

The voice of South Asian women should be stronger in contemporary discussions of feminism, says a local broadcaster.

Swaroopa Unni hosts fortnightly programme HerStory on OAR FM Dunedin. The show features profiles of Indian and South Asian women who have made a contribution to the women’s movement.

“The feminist discourse is mostly from the Western perspective,” said Ms Unni.

“The voices of women from South Asia have to come forward. We’re always on the fringes and we need more visibility.”

HerStory was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of “everyday women, artists, performers, and women from mythology or legend”.

“It could be my mother, grandmother, auntie or friend. These women are sometimes not recognised for the effort they have put in.”

Ms Unni is founder and choreographer of Dunedin’s Natyaloka School of Indian Dance. Her ‘liberal” upbringing instilled a confidence to voice her opinions and make decisions about career and family that not all South Asian women enjoyed.

“Some women are entrapped in patriarchal ideas of how and what a woman should be. Most of the time these definitions do not take into account what a woman wants.

“I’ve seen the struggles that my friends and family members have gone through, so compared to that I’m definitely more privileged. There are women who can’t do as they wish, but that doesn’t mean they are not talented and are not part of the women’s movement.”

The radio show had so far included profiles of Indian freedom fighter Savitribai Phule, Indian-born American astronaut Kalpana Chawla and Carnatic singer, cultural activist and scholar Bangalore Nagarathnamma.

Podcasts could be downloaded and shared from oar.org.nz.

HerStory airs fortnightly on Mondays at 7.30pm.

LISTEN TO PODCASTS

Photo: Recognising women: Swaroopa Unni hosts HerStory on OAR FM Dunedin.

Never Ending Journey Into Rock

A journey into the history of rock and roll that began on radio six and a-half years ago shows no sign of nearing an end.

Dunedin man Warren Voight hosts 360 Degrees ’Round Wazrock on OAR FM Dunedin, an hour-long exploration of a music genre he has dedicated a lifetime to, along with a fair amount of spare change.

With a personal collection of albums and singles, 78s, CDs, books and other ephemera that numbers around 5000 items, and a “wants list” that never seems to shorten, Mr Voight is not short of material for his radio show and podcast. It is made to be shared, he says, because “music is part of who we all are”.

From bouncing on his father’s knee to the sounds of Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets to purchasing his first long player 26 Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll Hits as a teen, Mr Voight’s earliest musical experiences remain sharp in his memory. Teenage years spent listening to glam rock and heavy rock peaked a curiosity in the roots of these more flashy forms of the genre.

“It all started with Appalachian mountain music, the seedbed of what we know as modern music, along with the Jewish music hall tradition and other early forms.”

First going to air in September 2011, Wazrock had explored those country music influences before traversing blues, bluegrass, swing, the big-band era and the jive scene. It was then on to early rhythm and blues, rockabilly and the English beat groups.

“I’ve predominantly focused on that side of the Atlantic, so far. Now the show is heading into glam rock, which had a big part to play in reviving the fun side of music. It was getting a bit dirgy there in the seventies, with prog rock and the rest of it.”

The show would then “double back”, with future episodes exploring the American beat groups and bands of the 1970s. New Zealand and Australian acts would also feature, as there was “a couple of years’ worth in that”.

“I’ll look into all the main artists, because they’re always important, but I also want to touch back on the lesser artists that often get overlooked. It’s never ending, really.”

360 Degrees ’Round Wazrock airs on Saturdays at 3pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM.

Podcasts are Available Here

Photo: Shared collection: Warren Voight hosts 360 Degrees ’Round Wazrock on OAR FM Dunedin.

Podcasts Explore Wild Dunedin

A series of podcasts exploring our relationship with local wildlife is complementing the Wild Dunedin Festival that launches in Dunedin tomorrow.

Wild Dunedin Podcasts are the brainchild of Otago Museum science communicator Claire Concannon and University of Otago conservation biologist Jamie McAulay. The episodes air on OAR FM Dunedin and can be downloaded from the station’s website and several other podcast platforms.

Mr McAulay said the pair were “blown away” by last year’s Wild Dunedin festival and decided to seek the festival’s support to create an audio resource for this year’s events.

“We’re both big fans of well-produced podcasts where you can tell a story quite carefully, in a narrative kind of way. So we have a pretty open approach to how we do that, using sound effects, voice and music.”

University researchers and local wildlife experts had contributed to conversations over the six-episode series and had assisted with sourcing soundbites, such as bird and animal calls. Dunedin-based musician and educator Molly Devine had composed instrumental pieces for use as an ethereal backdrop to stories of the natural world.

Ms Concannon said there was a wealth of relevant knowledge that could be tapped into to promote interest in the flora and fauna of Dunedin. The podcast series and the Wild Dunedin festival were designed to encourage locals to better appreciate the “huge diversity at our doorstep”.

“The idea is to get the local community to fully embrace this incredible wildlife that’s around us, and also to understand what the wildlife needs from us so that we can share this space.”

Topics for Wild Dunedin Podcasts included migratory journeys, the work of Predator Free Dunedin, the prospect of southern right whales returning to Otago Harbour, sea lions of the Otago Peninsula, and the endemic plants and other “little things” often ignored.

Gecko smuggling would also get a mention, said Mr McAulay.

“We tell a story of why people are wanting to put these geckos in their undies and fly around the world with them.”

Wild Dunedin Podcasts air on Tuesdays at 3pm and Sundays at 6pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM.

Podcasts are available HERE

Photo: Wild stories: Claire Concannon and Jamie McAulay host Wild Dunedin Podcasts on OAR FM Dunedin.

Town Belt Plays Part in Thriller Podcast

Thriller: Local writer Emily Duncan has placed the Town Belt at the heart of three-part podcast Dark Dunedin: Heaven Looks On.

Dunedin’s Town Belt plays a special role in a three-part thriller podcast penned by local writer Emily Duncan.

Dark Dunedin: Heaven Looks On was presented as part of this year’s Dunedin Fringe Festival programme by Prospect Park Productions, formed in 2016 by Ms Duncan and Wellington-based producer H-J Kilkelly. The series was recorded and edited at OAR FM Dunedin and received its premier broadcast on 11 March.

It is now available as a podcast to be downloaded and shared.

Ms Duncan said the Town Belt provided the setting for the drama, which has a violent crime and “nostalgic and gothic Dunedin” at its heart.

“The podcast is set around quite a small geographical area where this crime takes place and where the protagonist, Louise Hepburn, resides. She lives alone and regularly walks the area at night.

“We begin not really knowing what her connection is, apart from being in the proximity. As the story unravels we see she is somewhat closer to it.”

Listeners could discover – or re-discover – historic, natural, and supernatural features of Dunedin including “the whoosh of Lamson pipes at Penroses Department Store, twinkling stars in the St James theatre, and Kēhua, sprites, and demons dancing under the moonlight in the Town Belt.”

Creating a podcast was a departure from writing for theatre, where once a production had been staged it was gone. A podcast could “live forever” on the Internet and be listened to at any time, in any location.

“We also have some fantastic talent and resources in Dunedin, so I saw a podcast as a way we could beam Dunedin talent to the world.”

The cast was headed by Julie Edwards, who played the part of Louise Hepburn, and included Dougal Stevenson, Terry MacTavish, Cheryl Amos, Robert Shand and Phil Vaughan.

Original music had been composed and performed by Marama Grant.

Dark Dunedin: Heaven Looks On is available as a podcast from OAR FM Dunedin website www.oar.org.nz and from iTunes.

Music Geeks Share Misadventures

Geeking out: Viki Kingsley-Holmes (left) and Amanda Mills host Misadventures in Sound on OAR FM Dunedin.

Two self-professed music geeks are bringing their diverse musical tastes together for a Friday night radio show that entertains and informs.

Amanda Mills and Viki Kingsley-Holmes present OAR FM Dunedin show Misadventures in Sound, an hour-long exploration of the connections between artists and their influences.

Having bonded a couple of years ago over a mutual love of local music and the Beatles, the pair have been waiting for the opportunity to share their music collections and in-depth knowledge of favourite acts with a wider audience.

While they shared much common ground in terms of musical preferences, there were opportunities to explore the outer fringes of each other’s respective collections.

“It’s all about taking listeners on a journey with us,” said Ms Kingsley-Holmes.

“I might learn a little bit about Kate Bush from Amanda and she might learn a little about Muse from me.

“We’re not here to influence anybody, but it’s not a bad thing if we do.”

Ms Mills, curator of Music and AV at the Hocken Library and a music writer for theAudioculture and New Zealand Musician websites, said the show provided each host with plenty of “light-bulb” moments, where a great song or an interesting fact about the artist led to an appreciation of something new.

“It’s always good to expose yourself and others to new music because that’s the way you find things you thought you might not like or have never heard of before.

“We also discover connections, where one artist influences another. We find those stories and tease them out to see if we can find those influences in their music.”

Ms Kingsley-Holmes summed up the Misadventures in Sound ethos in a few pithy words.

“It’s for music geeks who like banter.”

Misadventures in Sound next airs fortnightly on Fridays at 8pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Free Dunedin Community Noticeboard Launched

Comprehensive coverage: OAR FM Community Liaison Jeff Harford holds flyers publicising the station’s free Dunedin Community Noticeboard.

Finding out what’s on in Dunedin and publicising community events just became a whole lot simpler with the launch of an online and on-air tool.

OAR FM’s Dunedin Community Noticeboard is a free service, providing community organisations, schools and not-for-profits with three effective ways to reach the eyes and ears of Dunedin people.

Notices can be listed on the station’s online noticeboard, broadcast three-times daily on 105.4FM and 1575AM, and podcast via the Dunedin Community Noticeboard webpage.

OAR FM Dunedin Community Liaison Jeff Harford said a lot of work had gone into making the service easy to use.

“From one link on OAR FM’s homepage people can explore listings of Dunedin events and notices, and list their own items. There’s even a way to attach posters and other images that will make a listing more interesting and colourful.

“A few clicks and it’s done. From there, we compile the notices for the online noticeboard and record items for broadcast and podcast to our Dunedin listeners.”

While it was expected that the majority of notices would be listed via the online service, OAR FM Dunedin was happy to take written notices and posters from those who were unable to access Internet services.

“We’re proud to provide Dunedin groups and individuals with a voice in the media, and that means being as flexible and comprehensive as we can be with our services.

“By making Dunedin Community Noticeboard listings free of charge, we’re ensuring that the many local groups and agencies that sometimes struggle for publicity for their fundraisers and events get the widest possible exposure.”

The Dunedin Community Noticeboard is optimised for easy use on all computers, smartphones and mobile devices.

Listings and podcasts can be found and submitted from www.oar.org.nz, and notices go to air daily at 9.56am, 12.56pm and 6.56pm.

Arts Show Debunks Myths

If you don’t know much about art but you know what you like,The Arty Farty Hour on Otago Access Radio might be just the show for you.

Programme hosts and local artists Ron Esplin and Andy Cook are keen to debunk commonly held myths around engaging with the art world, including that it is for experts only.

“We need to keep this art business user friendly,” said Mr Cook, owner-operator of Dunedin art supplies shop Art Zone.

“I know a lot of people are intimidated. They think that only professional artists are allowed to paint, and that’s not true. What we talk about on the show helps to ease people into it, especially if they are just starting out.”

The Arty Farty Hour blends profiles of leading artists with discussion on technique and materials, accompanied by music that is either art-themed or performed by recording artists who also dabble in other art forms.

Mr Esplin launched the show in 2013, keen to provide a voice for the Dunedin art community in local media. The on-air partnership with Mr Cook began some time later, when a one-off guest appearance fired an engaging on-air rapport built on shared discovery, laughter and plenty of good-natured ribbing.

“I admire Andy’s work and that’s a great catalyst for our discussion,” he said.

“I tend to focus on watercolour painting and Andy on oils. It’s a lifelong occupation and I originally thought that once I had the hang of it, I’d move on. I now know that you never do.”

Much of the programme was well researched but unscripted, said Mr Cook.

“We have this mutual interest in arts and one thing leads to another. For me, it’s just a really interesting conversation.

“I’d be here, even if the mics weren’t on.”

Fortnightly programme The Arty Farty Hour  airs Saturdays at 1pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: Perfectly framed: Andy Cook (left) and Ron Esplin are hosts of The Arty Farty Hour on Otago Access Radio.

A Positive Spin To New Show

If the doom and gloom of daily news is getting you down, a new show on Otago Access Radio (OAR FM) might be the pick-me-up you need.

The Positivity Show is the brainchild of Julia Young, a Dunedin broadcaster with a determination to share the many good-news stories in her community.

Julia’s own story is a bright one. Having first got involved at OAR FM through participation in the Connections Collectionshow, made by the Connections Centre for people with high support needs due to intellectual and/or physical disabilities, she went on to take a producer’s role with IDEA Services’Switch Radio Show involving young people with intellectual disabilities who are exploring pathways to adult life.

“I thought it was time for me to evolve and broaden my skills, and I thought the best way for me to do that would be to focus on other areas such as producing and editing,” Julia said.

Not satisfied to leave her development as a broadcaster there, Julia decided to host and produce her own show, one that provided an alternative to the prevailing coverage of strife and conflict.

“I had to stop watching the news because there was so much negativity and never any good, positive stories about what was happening in the world.

“When I got the chance to create my own show, suddenly a lightbulb lit up and I thought, this is my chance to spread some positive thinking around.”

A crowdfunding campaign quickly raised the modest fee for airtime, and Julia was on her way.

The Positivity Show has to date featured interviews with Tommy Thomas, a support worker with the Switch team who has painted a mural in Stafford St, and with Jono Glassey from the Connections Centre.

Julia is joined on her programme by a “great bunch of bro’s” – imaginary lemur companions Ronnie, Ricky, Roger and Potato.

“They’ve been really good friends, to help me with the show and bring a bit of humour and fun.”

Fortnightly programme The Positivity Show next airs fortnightly Thursdays at 3pm on OAR FM Dunedin 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available fromwww.oar.org.nz.

Photo: Nothing but good news: Otago Access Radio’s The Positivity Show is hosted by Julia Young and lemur friends (from left) Ronnie, Roger, Potato and Ricky.

Youth Activist Backing a Quiet Riot

Ashley King is calling on local youth to riot – or rather, be a riot.

The 18-year-old host of Project Rioteer on Otago Access Radio’s Youth Zone prefers the definition of riot as an impressively large or varied display, as in “a riot of colour”, over a violent public disturbance. The different backgrounds and interests of young people are to be celebrated, she says.

“What’s your colour? Your personality? And how can you contribute to making this world look so cool?

“Youth have so much potential to influence our future. After all, we are going to inherit this world.”

Ms King formed activism collective Ashley and the Riot in 2015, to bring young Dunedin people together to make a positive change in their community. The group’s stated mission is to work towards a better future, encourage diversity and to take a stand against bullying.

Following an appearance as an interview guest on another Youth Zone programme earlier this year, Ms King decided that her own radio show and podcast could provide a platform for discussing the issues Ashley and the Riot was formed to address. Programmes to date had focused on poverty and hardship, with activities including a collection of food and hygiene products for donation to the Salvation Army foodbank.

Project Rioteer co-host Esther Tamati (15) said she joined the show after meeting Ms King at a meeting of the Dunedin Multi-Ethnic Council. Her aims were to encourage confidence in young people and to help get their voices heard.

“It’s important to me that everyone is treated equally. I’m a bit younger than Ashley and have a different view on things. So I offer a different perspective.”

Ms King had recently been appointed to the executive committee of the Otago Community Broadcasters Society and was looking forward the experience.

“It means a lot to me and I’m really excited to contribute to Otago Access Radio on behalf of young people in Dunedin.”

Project Rioteer airs every second Friday at 4pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.

Photo: Young potential: Esther Tamati and Ashley King are hosts of Otago Access Radio show Project Rioteer.