Lisa McLean has been obsessed with community radio since she was in high school. After five years as station manager at 2MCE at Charles Stuart University Lisa has taken up the Operations and Business Development Manager role at C31 in Melbourne. She is a strong advocate for community media.
Tell us about your background
I grew up in Melbourne and discovered 3RRR while still at high school in the late-70s, literally changing my life and opening up an alternative world of music, culture and lifestyle. So it was always community radio from there! Before working in community broadcasting I was a public servant up and down the eastern seaboard of Australia, and from 2006-2018 was a research administrator at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst.
How did you get into community broadcasting?
Although a long time listener of community radio, it was my teenage son who first brought me into the studios at 2MCE, quite a few years ago now when he presented a heavy metal program. Then after completing my MBA I was looking for a challenge and the opportunity to manage 2MCE/NRN came up, and viola, the rest is history. It’s such a privilege to support communities and content creators to tell their stories and express their creativity. It’s the coolest sector to work in!
I was station manager of 2MCE/National Radio News from 2018-2022, which are enterprises of Charles Sturt University. This was a huge job – managing a station and overseeing the news service for community radio stations, supporting students on both sides of the enterprise to present programs, support their development as broadcasters and audio content creators, and develop as professional journalists. And of course, supporting community member volunteers to present programs, steer strategy and work with the station’s training, programming and fundraising sub-committees to get things done!
In early 2022 I relocated to Melbourne and am now the Operations and Business Development Manager at Channel 31 Community Television. A typical day might see some filming at our studios, strategising and planning, governance work, partner liaison, script writing, grant applications, recording voice overs, program coordination and supporting our volunteer and community producers. C31 is going from strength to strength to ensure communities who don’t usually have access to create broadcast television content have a place to tell their stories and have their voices heard. We are looking towards ensuring our content being more accessible on any device at any time through our webstreaming platform ctvplus.org.au, which provides more opportunities for community created content. However, digital disadvantage still exists, so our free-to-air broadcast is as important as ever!
Why did you sign up to be a CBF assessor?
As a research administrator applying for grants, managing grants and research projects at a University, the skills are pretty similar. Being a CBF assessor is an opportunity to give back to the sector, provide support to the CBF and get a broad view of what’s happening across the community media sector.
Finish this sentence: Community broadcasting is important because…
it ensures all our stories are told in our own voices. Plus, it’s fun, yes – it’s different, mmm…unusual.