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Video clip synopsis – Trevor Barr talks about independent media and behind the scenes at Radio Redfern as another show goes to air.
Year of production - 1988/05
Duration - 4min 1sec
Tags - audiences, broadcasting, identity, Indigenous Australia, indigenous cultures, media and society, media ownership, radio, self-determination, technology and society, see all tags


Independent media

How to Download the Video Clip

To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.

download clip icon Premium MP4 radioredfern_pr.mp4 (29.6MB).

ipod icon Broadband MP4 radioredfern_bb.mp4 (14.0MB), suitable for iPods and computer downloads.

Additional help.

About the Video Clip


Radio Redfern is an excerpt from the film 88.9 Radio Redfern, produced in 1988 by the Film Australia National Interest Program. 88.9 Radio Redfern is a portrait of Sydney’s Aboriginal radio station. This video clip is on the From Wireless to Web website, produced in 2005.

The interview with Trevor Barr was recorded for the website.

Trevor Barr is an author, professor and the Director of the Creative Industries Research & Applications Centre at the Queensland University of Technology. You can view his full biography at From Wireless to Web

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Students will:

  • discuss the relevance of community radio broadcasting in general and to their own lives
  • write a magazine article about community radio, aimed at a specific audience
  • prepare a written submission arguing for a community radio licence
  • conduct, record and edit a radio interview.

Reading Standard: students view, analyse, critique, reflect on and discuss contemporary and classical imaginative texts that explore personal, social, cultural and political issues of significance to their own lives. They compare and contrast the typical features of particular texts and synthesise information from different texts to draw conclusions.

Writing Standard: students write sustained and cohesive narratives that experiment with different techniques and show attention to chronology, characterisation, consistent point of view and development of a resolution. They write persuasive texts that support the presentation of different perspectives on complex themes and issues. They proofread and edit their own writing for accuracy, consistency and clarity.

Speaking and Listening Standard: students compare ideas, build on others’ ideas, provide and justify other points of view, and reach conclusions that take account of aspects of an issue. They draw on a range of strategies to listen to and present spoken texts, complex issues or information imaginatively to interest an audience.

The activities in this digital resource are relevant to the Interdisciplinary Learning strands of Level 6 Communications (Listening, Viewing and Responding standard; Presenting standard), and Thinking Processes (Reasoning, Processing and Inquiry standard; Creativity standard).

The activities are also relevant to the Physical, Personal and Social Learning strand of Level 6 Interpersonal Development (Building Social Relationships standard; Working in Teams standard), and Personal Learning (The Individual Learner standard; Managing Personal Learning standard).

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


Community broadcasting provides news, information, cultural content and entertainment. Some 'communities’ are defined by location, others by common interest. The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia has four guiding principles:

Community broadcasting promotes active volunteer participation in media production rather than passive consumption of media. The sector provides skills and training that ensures access to the media for all parts of the community.

Community broadcasting fosters innovation, creativity and diversity of content. In both structure and output, community media reflects Australia’s immense cultural diversity and by doing so supports greater tolerance, understanding and social cohesion.

Community media has an expanding local role. While commercial media and the ABC are reducing local content and increasing networking, community stations have become the voice of local communities.

Community broadcasting stations are owned and operated by individual not-for-profit groups. Each licensed group has open membership and democratic decision-making practices. All stations must adhere to a sector code of practice that embodies the sector’s philosophy and secures their independence. (Community Broadcasting Online – 'What is Community Broadcasting?’)

Classroom Activities

  1. Getting started
    As a class, view the interview with Trevor Barr and the archival video clip of Radio Redfern, then discuss and write notes on the following:
    1. Comment on the benefits and advantages of community radio.
    2. What clues are there, from the contents of the archival video clip, that Radio Redfern is a community radio station rather than a mainstream commercial or ABC station?
    3. Comment on your own familiarity with listening to, being involved in, or knowing someone involved in, community radio broadcasting.
  2. Writing a magazine article
    In pairs, research the community radio stations in your listening area, then, drawing on your research where necessary, prepare an illustrated double-page magazine article aimed at young teenage readers about the purpose and benefits of community radio broadcasting.
  3. Applying for a radio licence
    A new community radio licence is to be made available. Research, plan, draft, edit and proofread a written submission of 300 words to the Australian Communications and Media Authority arguing why a group you represent should be granted an operating licence. The group may be community health, non-English migrant groups, conservation and environment, or one decided upon in discussion with your teacher.
  4. Recording radio interviews
    Imagine a school radio program where an announcer interviews students about their hobbies or special interests. In pairs, plan, and record a sound file of an interview. The completed version should be five minutes long — you will need to edit your sound file for length, quality and audience interest, which means deciding what to leave out. Reverse the roles of interviewer-interviewee and repeat the process. If possible, place the interviews on your school’s intranet for playback.

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.

Go to Community Broadcasting Association of Australia

Go to Australian Communications and Media Authority

Go to Koori Radio

Go to Triple R FM