In east-central Queensland lies one of the newest towns in the state, Moranbah (Barna Country), which was specifically created for miners and their families in 1970. Locals joke you can turn in a circle anywhere in Moranbah and spot a mine.
4RFM is the only radio station in the town broadcasting to surrounding communities and people working at mine sites in the area. Listeners include miners and FIFO workers with an average age of 35, as well older residents in the neighbouring agricultural town Clermont.
Like shift workers everywhere, many of the Moranbah miners working through the night were finding it hard to stay awake in the early hours of the morning. In response to this problem, 4RFM’s Brianna Baggow and Alaina Earl developed content that engage and entertain the miners, and importantly help them stay alert.
4RFM produced ten podcast episodes of Untold Stories from the Coalfields featuring miners in the region (and beyond). Episodes include the story of a FIFO miner who moonlights as a UFO hunter and tales of Yowie Encounters which had almost 1000 downloads. With CBF support, Brianna and Alaina bought new equipment to conduct interviews across the region and have created a series that keeps miners company on those long, lonely and isolating graveyard shifts.
“The CBF grant meant we could get out to the awesome little towns and locations in our region, allowing us to tell their unique – often weird and wonderful – stories and alerting people to the cool stuff we have in our own backyard.”
– Alaina Earl, co-host of Untold Stories from the Coalfields
Image caption: podcast c0-hosts Brianna Baggow (left) and Alaina Earl with author and ‘Friends of Lillyvale’ member Joe Bridgeman from the “Ghost of Lilyvale” episode.
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