Jurgen Schaub joined the CBF in 2016 as a founding member of our newly formed Development & Operations Grants Advisory Committee (DOGAC), ultimately becoming its Chair. Last month he took on a new role of Board Director and Chair of our Sector Investment Advisory Committee.
We spoke to him recently about his love of community media and why he’s proud to contribute to the work of the CBF.
When did you first get involved in community broadcasting?
I’ve been around community radio for about 15 years or so. I started as a volunteer at PBS 106.7FM tending the bar and answering phones. I then volunteered on the team that made a pretty sophisticated website for the station, and we also created a streaming and on-demand system that was used by several community broadcasters across the country. I am still connected to PBS today both as Chair of their Board and providing occasional technical strategy advice.
What makes community broadcasting special?
Community broadcasting has always been an important part of the Australian cultural landscape. It provides such a vital service to communities right across the country. This has been especially true during these strange times that we are currently living through.
I’m here in locked-down Melbourne where I’ve been working from home since March. Having the radio on most of the day has helped keep me sane (although my friends may disagree about the sanity part!). I know there are many others who feel the same way.
Why do you think the CBF is important for community broadcasting?
We’ve had a long history of working with community media organisations across the country providing advice and financial assistance where it’s needed most. The vast majority of these organisations – there are around 450 – rely on the CBF for support.
One of our strategic goals at the CBF is to help advance community media. I believe this is more important than ever, particularly as the world continues to rapidly change. Community media organisations not only need to keep pace with these changes, but also take advantage of the opportunity for the sector to become leaders in the overall media landscape. And we’re in a great position to help them to do that.
What are you hoping to achieve while on the CBF Board?
I’m interested in ensuring the sector is resilient, and that we’re able to support organisations more fully. I can also see areas where we can focus our attention that will help individual stations not only survive, but become thriving members of their communities.
The CBF is a wonderfully progressive organisation, with a high-calibre Board being led by two Aboriginal people and a female CEO. I’m excited about where we’re going to go next and very proud to be part of the organisation. It was a real honour to be appointed to the Board.
I’m also looking forward to being able to meet in person, because the CBF snacks are legendary. Truth be told, I’m only here for the snacks!