Supporting long-term station resilience

October 20, 2020

On-air illuminated red sign on a dark wall

In late 2019, the CBF started the Supporting Station Resilience Review to help guide our thinking on how we can best support and sustain a thriving community broadcasting sector.

Following a public tender process, we appointed social impact consultants, Think Impact, to provide an independent assessment of what the CBF can do to support long-term station resilience.

As part of this process Think Impact consulted widely with sector organisations and stations, and also looked closely at our grants data.

The initial findings include developing a shared understanding of what station resilience means and areas we need to focus on so that our grants will help community radio stations thrive.

What a resilient station looks like

Think Impact have identified six essential elements of a resilient station:

  • A connected station – being connected to each other and being mutually supportive.
  • A future aware station – being change-ready, able to quickly react and adapt to changing environments, while still taking care of the day-to-day.
  • A well-led station – ensuring there are strong governance practices such as leadership, decision-making, staff engagement, board structure, strategic planning, and financial management.
  • A learning station – adapt to long-term trends and create a learning culture to share knowledge and expertise, address common issues and challenges, and realise shared opportunities.
  • Appropriately resourced – having sufficient human resources that are equipped with the right skills and equipment so stations can increase their financial resources and meet their audience’s needs.
  • A representative station – strongly representative of the community they serve and have a diverse workforce.

What we need to consider

Think Impact have identified two key areas where our grants will better support resilient stations to:

  • withstand short term rapid shocks that are likely to occur in the future such as bushfires and natural disasters ,
  • adapt to predictable, structural changes that occur over an extended period, such as changes in technology, media ownership, audience consumption habits, regulatory environment.

Think Impact attended the August Sector Roundtable meeting to discuss their initial findings with our national sector organisations. Their final report will outline a series of recommendations for our consideration on how future granting strategies can produce greater station resilience. The report will be completed later this month.


Each year the CBF grants more than $19.7 million to help community media organisations around Australia communicate, connect and share knowledge through independent radio, television and digital media. Our grants are allocated twice per year, with the majority of funding allocated in the first round.