In the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, amid the 2020 bushfires and a global pandemic, community radio station HighlandFM moved into a self-sustaining era where community engagement and revenue generation reached an all-time high.
Located in Bowral (Gundungurra and Tharawal country), the station maintained their full program commitments throughout COVID-19 restrictions and was instrumental in running local tourism campaigns like “Shop Local First” to help local businesses struggling due to lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.
Support from a CBF grant allowed Highland FM to focus their activities on improving their visibility in the community, increasing memberships and growing their audience. This included launching a new interactive website, training presenters and updating equipment for outside broadcasts, and implementing a series of online promotional campaigns. The resulting 200 percent increase in gross annual income and 615 percent increase in Facebook page followers speaks for itself.
During the year, the station also increased its national coverage, cementing the Southern Highlands as a tourist destination. Now as the region is reopening, the station’s purpose-built a studio space is showcasing local musicians and continues to promote their region to potential tourists helping to boost the local economy.
“The CBF funding has just allowed us to open the gates. It was the impetus, not only the financial injection, but the vote of confidence that we needed to keep pushing.” – Adam Stokeld, Highland FM
About our grants
We run two Content and Development & Operations grant rounds each year, usually in January and July.
Quick Response Grants are also available outside our grant rounds for community media organisations that are experiencing emergencies.
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