Tina Helm is the former Station Manager of 94.9 MainFM in Castlemaine/Jaara Country and current presenter of MAINfm’s ‘High Frequency’– an hour-long music program covering ‘hot tracks’, old and new, across a selection of dance genres, styles and eras. ‘I have a pretty eclectic music collection and I love to dance, so that’s essentially how the show was formed’, she explains. Occasionally, Tina’s nine year old daughter, Odetta, also joins her on the show!
Tina Helm grew up in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Listening to radio was hugely influential on her whilst growing up in Papakura, a suburb of South Auckland. ‘As a kid and teen I mostly listened to bFM (which is an independent student radio station based in Auckland), and it really shaped and influenced my music tastes’, she explains. ‘In fact, when I was 15 years old I did a week-long work experience stint in the studios at Bfm. I was deathly shy and could barely talk to anyone at the time, but it was such an amazing experience – just being part of the vibe and seeing how things were run was such a cool thing at the time for me’.
In about 2013, Tina moved to Castlemaine/Jaara Country in regional Victoria. Stepping into the role of MAINfm’s Station Manager in 2018, Tina became heavily involved in fundraising initiatives and raising the profile of the station over the course of two years. She was a key instigator of the station’s annual radiothon fundraiser as well as the Main Game – an annual footy fundraiser event for the station. During this time, MAINfm landed an award for Best Station Fundraising Campaign for a small station at the 2018 Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) Awards. The station has won many awards since that time.
After leaving her role as Station manager, Tina was keen to keep a toe dipped in community broadcasting and eventually signed up to be a CBF assessor. ‘At the time, I was also eager to grow and build upon my skills in fundraising and grant writing. Assessing other people’s grant applications is a great way to do this! I’ve been a volunteer grants assessor for a few years now and I really enjoy being part of the assessor team’.
On the importance of Community broadcasting, Tina shares ‘Local radio means independent radio and independent music, not tainted by commercialism. Plus, we get to hear local perspectives from local people – news and information we wouldn’t normally hear on mainstream platforms’.
Tune in to ‘High Frequency’ on 94.9MAINfm or stream live on mainfm.net every Sunday, 7-8pm when Tina hosts the show live from Dja Dja Wurrung Country.