Successful grants

In the first grant round for 2021/22, our aim was to fund compelling content, support stations to engage their communities in the COVID-normal world, and foster long-term organisational sustainability.

We received a combined total of 293 applications requesting $42,181,424, including:

  • 148 Development & Operations applications requested $8,472,536 – 100 applications have been offered funding totalling $4,467,949
  • 85 Content applications requested $3,090,517 and 56 Specialist Radio Programming applications requested $1,578,271 – 85 applications (combining all Content and Specialist grants into one application per station) have been offered funding totalling $2,775,626 (this includes ongoing ethnic programming totalling $804,564, Indigenous programming totalling $697,146 and RPH programming totalling $17,037)
  • 4 Sector Investment grant applications requested $29,040,100 (of that $24,664,200 was for discreet sector-wide projects) – all have been offered funding including multi-year grants totalling $19,184,795.

Overall we granted a total of $26,428,370 across 192 applications. This includes funding for major projects, sector investment grants and multi-year funding for some Content and Development & Operations grants.

Grant allocations are detailed in our Grant allocations spreadsheet.

Content grants June 2021

The Tiki Lounge Remix (2BBB)

This weekly two-hour program showcases the latest in creative world music, contemporary jazz, digital beats and indigenous music from around the globe. Presented by veteran music broadcaster-journalist Seth Jordan, the show features regular in-depth interviews with musicians, producers, festival organisers and journalists/broadcasters.  The Tiki Lounge Remix is produced in the 2BBB studios in Bellingen New South Wales and is distributed nationally via the Community Radio Network (CRN).

National TalkBlack (Bumma Bippera)

On-air for 20 years, National TalkBlack is the nation’s only Aboriginal talk-back program. This hourly weekday show mixes ‘murri humour’ from the Bama people of far north Queensland, with current affairs and live discussions about issues of importance to Indigenous people across Australia. National TalkBlack has a large Indigenous audience in Cairns, Yarrabah and surrounding districts and around the country via the National Indigenous Radio Service.

WA Women’s Hall of Fame Herstories podcast (6RTR)

The WA Women’s Hall of Fame was established to recognise and celebrate the many unique achievements of Western Australian Women whose efforts – both now and in the past – have been critical to the state’s social and economic development. Over 12 episodes this series will highlight the stories of the amazing women who have been admitted into the Hall of Fame. It will also provide women working in community broadcasting with the opportunity to develop their interview, media production and broadcast skills.

Good Tucker (Auspiced by Cinespace)

Sri Lankan-Australian comedian and spice enthusiast, Suren Jayemanne will explore regional Australia’s multicultural cuisine boom alongside hilarious weekly guests to discover the people behind the food, and the challenges they’ve faced finding acceptance in their new homes. Six 30-minute episodes will be screened on C31 Melbourne and Geelong, C31s video-on-demand platform and on the Stupid Old Studios YouTube channel.

Studio 1 (Vision Australia Radio)

Studio 1 is Vision Australia Radio’s national interactive current affairs program for people who are blind, have low vision or a print disability.  This weekly 30-minute program features interviews, discussions and talk-back segments on topics of interest to people living with a visual impairment. It highlights as many stories, voices and opinions as possible. Studio 1 radio program and podcast is distributed nationally.

FameLab (Foundation for The Western Australian Museum)

FameLab is the largest science-communication competition in the world for early career STEM researchers, and has been running in Australia since 2014. The competition challenges up-and-coming scientists to inspire people to see the world from a new perspective. They have just three minutes to win over a judging panel and live audience with a scientific talk judged on content, clarity and charisma. Semi-finalists will receive tailored media training and ongoing mentoring in radio content production with their local community radio station. This will help build the skills of early career scientists in promoting the impact of their work.

Yolŋu Matha News (Yolngu Radio)

Yolgnu Radio is one of the key sources of media and culturally appropriate information for remote Indigenous communities and homelands in North East Arnhem Land. The station broadcasts community service announcements, regional and national news and emergency messages in Yolŋu Matha language using publicly available information from other news outlets and the government. The CBF grant will support the production of three news bulletins a week.

The Community Garden Series (OKR FM)

This radio series will follow the progress of two community gardens in the regional Victorian town of Kilmore. One garden is completely new while the other has reopened following an upgrade to a nearby playground. The series will look at how each garden is evolving, both in terms of the plants and importantly the social, health and wellbeing benefits of this community and being a volunteer.

Broken Heel Festival live broadcast (2DRYFM)

The Broken Heel Festival is a major regional LGBTIQ+ festival. Held over three days in Broken Hill New South Wales, the festival celebrates the theatrical anniversary of Priscilla Queen of the Desert with comedy, cabaret, live music that all pay homage to this cult movie and stage musical. The Broken Heel Festival will be broadcast on 2DryFM and syndicated nationally through Melbourne’s JoyFM.

Great Cooks of The Desert (8CCC)

Great Cooks of the Desert is a five-part radio series and podcast which combines storytelling and local cooking. The series celebrates five creative home cooks who achieve culinary heights in challenging environments. Each episode is a recipe, gently folded with stories, anecdotes and opinions about life and food in central Australia.

Development & Operations grants June 2021

New equipment and operational costs (Lofty 88.9 FM)

Lofty is a relatively new station broadcasting from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. In setting their station up, they borrowed everything they needed – from a CD player through to antenna – from the South Australian Community Broadcasters Association (SACBA)’s equipment bank. They were awarded their permanent licence late last year, so decided it was time to purchase their own equipment. The CBF grant will also subsidise studio rental costs and the cost of electricity at the transmitter site.

Strategic planning support (OCR FM)

OCR FM broadcasts to the local communities around Colac, a rural town in Victoria’s western district. The station, which is run entirely by volunteers, is embarking on a new strategic planning process. As part of this, they need support to engage their volunteers and community, develop a long-term plan that best meets the needs of the community, and build governance and business expertise. CBF funding will also support the station’s transmission operational costs while they build their sponsorship and fundraising income after the pandemic.

Radio equipment upgrade and oral history training (Goolarri Radio)

Broadcasting 24 hours a day from Broome in Western Australia, Goolarri Radio is a place where local Indigenous people have been telling their stories in their own way since 1998. The CBF grant will support the station to upgrade their audio distribution equipment which was damaged by recent electrical storms and upgrade their telephone hybrid systems to enhance broadcast capabilities. The grant also supports the delivery of accredited oral history training workshops. This will give community radio broadcasters and workers the skills needed to document and record local community history, and create podcasts and provocative interviews on historical topics.

Strategic planning and Raspberry Pi training delivery (Technorama)

Technorama brings together community broadcasting technologists or anyone in the sector whose role touches on technology to share information, learn from experts and each other and provide opportunities for interaction and discussion. The organisation is in the process of updating their strategic plan and is also creating and rolling out new training for technologists using Raspberry Pi as the core technology.

Future-proofing station technology and governance (8CCC)

Based in Alice Springs, 8CCC is an outback radio station that has been broadcasting to their local communities since 1981. This multi-year CBF grant will allow the station to future proof their technology, governance structures and financial sustainability for the next decade. This includes supporting technical staff, implementing transmission network redundancies, embedding governance training and their strategic planning cycle, and developing accessible policy documents.

Community engagement coordinator (Dusty Radio)

Like so many community radio stations, Dusty Radio in the central Australian town of Coober Pedy, volunteers are the heart and soul of the station. In recent years they have been slowly growing their volunteer, membership and supporter base, but they still need to attract more to become sustainable. A CBF grant will fund a part-time community engagement coordinator to help the station increase the number of volunteers from across the diverse communities in the town today. The grant will also support training, consultation, production and presentation activities.

Transmission site upgrade (TYGA FM 98.9)

TYGA FM serves the people of the Derwent Valley and southern central highlands in Tasmania. The station has recently completed the installation of a new communication building and transmission tower. With CBF support they will be able to upgrade their existing transmitter and antenna for the new transmission site to allow broadcasts at the ACMA specified ERP (Effective Radiated Power) of 1,000 watts.

Remote monitoring and transmission support (PAW Media and Communications)

PAW Media has been creating TV, radio and music for remote Indigenous communities in the Tanami region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory since 1983. A CBF grant will support the installation of remote monitoring equipment for PAW Media’s RIBS (Remote indigenous Broadcast Service) including IP Codecs, Skymuster and outside broadcasting equipment. This will ensure RIBS sites can stay on air broadcasting when equipment fails or is damaged. PAW will also receive support for ongoing RIBS transmission expenses, including site rental and electricity costs.

Expand community participation and station operations (2RRR)

This grant will assist 2RRR to employ a station manager who will manage the day-to-day operations of the station, as well as lead the implementation of 2RRR’s strategic activities. The station manager will also continue to increase community participation at this Sydney station through a range of training activities and events. The grant also includes support for extra outside broadcast equipment and the replacement of malfunctioning CD players.

Relocate to new FM transmitter site (5ZZZ)

5ZZZ, based in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia, has negotiated the use of a site for FM transmission that was previously unavailable. This site relocation will improve their FM transmission capability increasing broadcast coverage and listenership in the Onkaparinga community. A CBF grant will support installation costs for licensed contractors at the new FM Transmission site, as well as site rental and electrical running costs for 12 months.

Grant round applicant feedback June 2021

Every grant round, we ask applicants to tell us how they found the process and what improvements we could make in the future.

Following the first grant round for 2021/22, 81 applicants (out of 179 organisations) completed our feedback survey.

The most common findings from the survey were:

  • Time to complete the application varied significantly – most people spent between 7 and 12 hours completing their application, but some took up to 20 hours.
  • Most respondents (85%) found the application form very easy to relatively easy to complete.
  • Most respondents (70%) felt that we ask for the right amount of information (this has increased since previous surveys, meaning our forms are getting simpler!)
  • Respondents indicated that the Grants Support Team were incredibly helpful in navigating the application process.

What we learned

As part of our commitment to making the grant application process as easy as possible for people, we have identified some key findings that will help guide future improvements.

Streamline our application forms

While simplifying our application forms is an ongoing goal for the Grants Support Team, most respondents felt that the whole application process was ‘about the same’ as previous years with only 20% believing the process has become easier over time. Here’s what some of the applicants said:

“There is too much info required that did not relate specifically to the grant I was applying for.”

“The form feels cluttered and difficult to navigate.”

This round we removed extraneous questions from the application form, where possible. But while some respondents noticed the difference, others still felt the forms are too complicated and the process too onerous.

Clarify why we ask certain questions

You’re still unsure about why we are asking you certain questions. For example, some people asked about the relevance of the gender equality questions have to the application.

We’ll be putting some thought into how we can better explain why we ask these and other questions, and how they factor in the assessment of your applications so that the whole process is more meaningful to you.

Increase word count limits

There was consistent feedback about the challenges of word count limits.

The word limits are meant to indicate how much time we expect you to spend responding to these answers, and how much information you provide. It also helps our assessors as long applications take a lot longer to assess. But we do want to  find the right balance between the information we ask you to provide, and giving you enough space to articulate your ideas.

In the future, we will review all word counts in the form to ensure they are less restrictive for our applicants.

Continue our support for applicants

The majority of survey respondents (81%) told us that the support we provided during the application process met their needs. This included email and phone support from the Grants Support Team.

“Phone support was most valuable as a quick, two-way discussion allowed us to refine our application easily.”

We’d still like to make contact with those of you who didn’t seek assistance this round and will continue to think about how we can reach out to you during the year –  not just at application and reporting ‘crunch time’!

It also included the resources (instructions, tips, videos and FAQs) which you loved. Interestingly, this year more of you accessed the video tutorials compared to last year.

“This gets better and better every year. I love how the CBF team keeps coming up with good ways to complete the applications. Please keep doing that. It is a huge help to us volunteers out in the field.”

We’ll keep adding to our resources, so that you have everything you need to successfully complete your future applications.

Assessor feedback for applicants June 2021

Each grant round, our volunteer assessors look closely at your applications providing comments and scores.

We’ve listed some of the most common feedback about applications in our most recent grant round to help you when preparing future applications.

This round we asked our assessors about their most common complaint regarding the applications they assessed. Here are their responses (with 1. being the most common answer):

  1. Lack of evidence provided
  2. Unclear budgets
  3. Missing information
  4. Applicants not addressing the questions
  5. Poor gender equity responses
  6. Inflated budgets
  7. Lack of community consultation
  8. Lack of planning

Content grants

Content applications that did well in this round included the following characteristics:

  • demonstrated well-documented, thorough planning with wide reach to communities (in terms of participation and listenership) contained outcomes with broad social impact, presented content otherwise unheard and underrepresented in the community, and offered skills development to participants
  • explained how funding would help the program to grow and develop in the year ahead
  • provided strong evidence of community engagement in creation and delivery of content
  • gave clear examples of how the program will respond to an unmet need in the community
  • demonstrated good value for money where a modest financial request results in long-term positive impacts for communities and the sector.

Development & Operations grants

Development & Operations applications that did well in this round included the following characteristics:

  • provided a description of how they would engage with their communities
  • identified clear, relevant and realistic outcomes to be achieved in the short and long term
  • demonstrated a strong understanding of why gender equity is important, and commitment to increase the number of women and gender diverse volunteers and Board members at their organisation
  • provided a clear step-by-step timeline of the activities that will take place, when and by whom, to achieve the identified outcomes
  • provided a clear connection between what the organisation hoped to achieve and the funding applied for in the budget.

Get in touch

Don’t forget, you can always ask for feedback on your application from your Grants Support Team member.

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