Meet our Grant Assessor: Melvin Mata

May 1, 2024

Man wearing red headphones in front of microphone in a studio pointing with his left handOn the importance of community broadcasting, Melvin Mata explains ‘it is a big channel for counteracting stereotypes and discrimination…and language and cultural preservation, which is making Australia a better place to live now and for the coming generations’.

Melvin was born in the Philippines and is a naturalised Australian.  In high school, he was heavily involved in journalism as an editor of the school newspaper, winning various national journalists news and sports writing competitions.   His early appetite and passion for journalism, news and sports was evident even then.

Melvin was first introduced to community broadcasting in 2019 when a Filipino-Australian Elder leader, Walter Villagonzalo, encouraged him to join him in broadcasting at Stereo 97.4FM.   Melvin did and shortly after, he moved to 979FM Melton Community Radio to present the Filipino-Aussie program, Good Vibes Pilipinas (GVP).

Today, Melvin Mata is the Vice President of 979FM’s Committee of Management and Representative for the Ethnic and Multicultural Group at the station.   He presents GVP with co-hosts May Red Zafra and Aldrin Santos, which has continued to play an integral role in providing information, entertainment and community services for the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD).   GVP was the winner of the 2023 Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) Award for Excellence in Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting.  The program was also a CBAA finalist for the 2023 Outstanding Volunteer Contribution Award.

As well as having its own radio program, GVP is a not-for-profit body involved in hands-on volunteering and charity contributions to multicultural communities.  GVP has collaborated with a wide range of associations and community groups to provide aid and support – including in the areas of family violence, mental health, bushfire incidents, food and shelter, as well as initiating multicultural events for charity.

Melvin is also a Board Director at Gawad Kalinga Australia, a charity organisation working towards ending poverty via community empowerment and development.  As a long-standing community leader, Melvin has also contributed to the multicultural sports sector as an International Basketball Referee and Australian Open Tennis Umpire.  In 2022, he was inducted into the Victorian Multicultural Commission Honour Roll.

‘Being a CBF assessor allows me not just to learn new things in community broadcasting but also to …to ensure responsible compliance and accountability to grantees’, Melvin shares.  ‘At least in a little way, I can play a vital role in supporting the growth, diversity, and sustainability of Australia’s community broadcasting, ensuring that it continues to serve the necessities and interests of communities in the whole country’.

Tune into Good Vibes Pilipinas with Melvin Mata every Tuesday 8-10pm and Saturday 6-8am on 979FM!