‘Y.R.U Listening to 102.9FM? ….. Well it’s all happening here!’ says Youth Mentor Percy Bishop in his radio sign-on to the community of Umbakumba.
The community of Umbakumba, Groote Eylandt has this week celebrated the first broadcast of its’ very own youth radio show titled Y.R.U 102.9FM. Standing for Youth Radio Umbakumba, the radio show has been set up by the East Arnhem Shire Council Youth, Sports & Recreation team in partnership with the Alyarrmandumanja Umbakumba School to not only bring about a dedicated Youth Radio Program, but also tie the radio program into an engaging curriculum at school within the Media & Literacy Studies of senior students.
Umbakumba Shire Services Manager Clayton McCudden explained how the radio partnership was established, ‘The Y.R.U Program serves as a pivot point to link all programs that exist in the community of Umbakumba. We identified the need to develop a tool that not only focus on youth based communication, but also engaged youth in the age brackets of 16 to 18 years. Percy Bishop our new Youth Mentor has had years of experience in radio, so I spoke to the school to see if we could work together to bring set up a regular Youth Radio Show’.
The broadcast reaches about half way across the island and when Y.R.U is not transmitting, the frequency retransmits CAAMA radio. Already proving to be very popular in the community, word has spread very quickly about the broadcast.
Announcer and EASC Youth Mentor Percy Bishop said ‘The show has only been up and running since Monday and we already have a cue of guest speakers wanting to come on the program. This week alone we have had around 20 guest speakers including Centrelink, CEA, Aged Care and at least 10 Warnindilyakwan people speaking in language about local activities and services with a youth focus’.
‘The response from the school has also been fantastic and all the kids seem to be enjoying it. During the first broadcast on Monday, we had live conversations with some of the more confident and outspoken students, while their mates were in the ‘green room’ having a laugh!'.
‘Running a radio program is such a simple and engaging exercise; the more we broadcast, the more other students are coming out of their shells’.
‘Everyone is tuning in, community leaders; residents; the teachers play it on their radio at school; CDEP crew have been listening in and the Aminjarrinja and Council teams have it blaring out their car radios while they work’.
‘The young ones like hip hop and a bit of rap, while the older residents love their country and blues music. Local bands are very popular among everyone’.
East Arnhem Shire Council we will also now provide training covering aspects of the National Broadcasting Code of Conduct, programming, public speaking and production to people and community groups interested in hosting their own shows.
Clayton McCudden said, ‘The Council has always had access to the radio retransmission but we haven’t been able to find anyone within the community to work part time in Radio Broadcasting. So we figured if we integrate this into school and youth programs, we will be able to provide training and skills to eventually give participants confidence and experience to pursue a career in the field or host their own programs’.
‘We originally planned to just run the Y.R.U Program in school hours form 10am to 11am. We have had such positive interaction and response, that we have already extending the morning show hours and now integrated the radio program in our afternoon Youth, Sport & Recreation program’.
If you are in Umbakumba or surrounding areas, tune into Y.R.U 102.9FM between 9 to 11am & 4 to 6pm Mondays to Thursdays. To send a song request or a shout out contact Percy on firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into the Council Office.