National Features & Documentary Series

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In the north of Australia, enormous amounts of money are being invested in plans to irrigate using water from some of our wildest rivers. Wangki Radio’s Dylan Storer explores the situation in Australia’s North West and the lessons to be learnt from the failures in the Murray Darling Basin. Produced for the 2019 CBAA National Features and Documentary Series.Find out more at
In the Pilbara, the duties of a Yurala are handed down from father to son through the generations, as they are called on to perform songs and dances to make it rain. Ngaarda Media’s Marion Cheedy, tells the story of the last known rainmaker of the Yindijbarndi nation, who died of a broken heart following the construction of the Harding River Dam. Produced for the 2019 CBAA National Features and Documentary Series.Find out more at
Aguer Athian brings us some stories from South Sudanese youth in Australia to give voice to the voiceless in Hear Our Voices. Produced by Aguer Athian of 3ZZZ, Melbourne. Supervising production by Maddy Macfarlane. Discover more at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) website
Consider a trip to a shopping centre, or a walk in the park. How do you feel thinking about these activities?They may seem everyday for many of us, but it can be more complicated when living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.In Disconnected States, Simon Finch gets to know a Geelong community of defence force veterans attempting to return to civilian life. It’s far from straight-forward, but there are programs trying to make a difference.For more information, visit
In this feature, we take a closer look at the ongoing effects of refugee migration. In Australia, many refugees are now opting out of city life, in favour of finding a new home in regional Australia.Coel Healy takes a look at the regional town of Katanning in Western Australia, and what it’s like to be a refugee family living in such an isolated place.For further reading on this radio documentary, visit Pot Melody comes to you as part of The National Features and Documentary Series in 2016, encouraging storytelling from new and emerging producers around Australia. For further information, visit
With over 30 years experience in organic farming, in Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities, Barry Green hears from a group of Australians concerned about the future of food, and the solution they’re putting on the table. Produced by Barry Green of Donnybrook Community Radio. Supervising production by Ian Hill. Discover more at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) website.
By Yen Eriksen, Adelaide Rief and Farz EdrakiIn the spirit of the second decade of the twenty-first century, we’ve named our documentary using a ubiquitous marker of our times: the hashtag.#CityOfLove was trending on Twitter as the ACT government made moves towards making laws to create marriage equality in 2013. As the conversation around marriage equality grew in the media, we wanted to ask: why marriage?How did marriage become the focal point for queer rights in the Territory (and wider Australia)? Is marriage even a good thing to be fighting for, anyway? Those questions — and many, many more — became both the hardest and most enjoyable part of making this feature.In an attempt to find some answers, a big part of our documentary became our own conversations around marriage equality. In many ways, the conversations came out of the informal chats (and occasional arguments) we would inevitably fall into during our meet-ups — helped along by cups of tea.Our late-night discussions over marriage, the politics behind it, the ways that the law shapes us and our interactions with the world invariably led us to talking about love: finding it, having it, recovering from it. And it's those conversations that ended up bringing us each to some revelatory moments: family recognition as a crucial reason as to why marriage is held dear to some; the effect of the law and social structures on how we value relationships; the obvious need for reform.We wouldn't have made this feature without the insights and erudite conversation of our guests. Or without the amazing mentoring and support from Kevin Klehr, Martin Walters and Giordana Caputo, who guided us through our hiccups and (many) false starts.And it certainly wouldn't sound as lush without the music of (mostly) local Canberra artists, Pocket Fox,Fossil Rabbit, Oxen, Reuben Ingall and The General Assembly. Oh and John Paul Young for "Love is in the Air".We hope the interviews and conversations you hear spark discussions in your own life about marriage and movements for change. How has the the law has shaped you in ways you wouldn’t necessarily expect? Perhaps, like us, you’ll be left with more questions than answers. While the status of marriage equality in Australia still hangs in the balance, let us take you on a trip to where it all started: the #CityOfLove.
By Anna CarlsonListen to 'Kabul to Kafka: Inside Australia's Community Detention'Hello, child, Welcome to Australia. Here are some things you'll need during your time with us. First, here's your boat ID number. This is so that everyone knows that you don't deserve a name. Also, yours is too hard for us to say. Next, here's your gag clause. You must keep it on at all times. If we find out that you've taken it off, we'll send you back to detention. And finally, here's your future. We've wrapped it up nice and tightly so that we can be sure that you don't open it until we tell you to. If we find out that you've tried to open it, we'll take it off you for good.Now, while you're in Australia, you must obey all directions from an authorised person. Who's an authorised person? I'm sorry, we are not authorised to give you that information at this time.Please wait patiently while your claim is assessed. Look, a pencil! Would you like a pencil? You could use it to draw a picture to put up in your cage. That'll make you feel better.What's that? You'd like to know how long you'll have to stay here?Sorry, Boat ID 714661X, we are not authorised to provide an exit date. It might give you too much hope...Drawings by children on Christmas Island, via Australian Human Rights Commission Illustration by James Foley, via, boredom and the invisible cageIn July 2015, 857 children were in immigration detention in Australia. Of those 857 children, 642 live in the community, under a program called "Community Detention." They are the "lucky" ones.Kabul to Kafka: Inside Australia's Community Detention program takes an inside look at what life is like for children and young adults who arrive in Australia alone. Through a collection of interviews with youth workers, caseworkers, project officers, counsellors and advocates, I look to the mundane, the everyday, to try to understand what it feels like to be a "UAM" - unaccompanied minor - in Australia. Right at the core of the project, however, lies a gap. When I started thinking about Kabul to Kafka, I had spoken to a number of young people who had lived in community detention and who were keen to share their stories. Once I explained the possible consequences of speaking to the media, however, almost all of my participants withdrew their consent. As a former youth worker and current community educator in Brisbane's refugee and asylum seeker communities, I was pretty unwilling to push these vulnerable and marginalised young people into a position of heightened anxiety. And so instead of direct interviews, I asked everyone I knew, to ask everyone they knew, to find stories and anecdotes from refugees and asylum seekers in community detention. These submissions make up the backbone of this documentary. They are the reason I made this work. And they are powerful. They allow us to feel, just for a moment, some of the intensity that comes of growing up in a new country, in a new city, surrounded by strangers, under the watchful gaze of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection - the legal guardian and chief protector of young asylum seekers.If you feel like you’d like to speak to someone after listening to this documentary, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. They offer counselling and assistance, for free, to anyone who calls. They are a wonderful service. If this has motivated you to do something about Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, join your local branch of the Refugee Action Collective, or contact any one of the numerous social and political organisations dedicated to softening the blow of Australia’s policies. And if you’d like any more information about this particular project, please contact Anna Carlson via Brisbane community radio station 4ZZZ.
By Britta JorgensenListen to 'Cracked Open'I came to this story after reading a surprising claim by Tassie's anti-battery hen campaigner Pam Clarke in an ABC news article late last year: that layer hens are no better off today than they were back in the 1980s.In a day and age where people are more worried about what's in their food and where it comes from than ever, where 'free range' and ‘ethically sourced' are popular buzzwords in menus and Instagram hashtags, and where more and more people are buying free range eggs from the supermarket shelf, it seemed impossible that things hadn't changed. The news in Tassie around that time was that yet another attempt to ban cage eggs, this time for use in the prison service, had failed.I wondered what was really behind all this to-ing and fro-ing. Despite an obvious push by the community to ban cage eggs, something was driving the industry to continue producing them.It didn't seem to make sense that here in Tassie, the ‘free range’ state, where the market scene is thriving and local farmers are proud of the way they grow their food, consumer demand for eggs produced by hens hidden away from public view in battery sheds was still going strong.This story takes a look behind the footage, giving some colour to an issue that’s so often painted as black and white and a voice to local figures on all sides, including the free range farmers trying to find some middle ground and perhaps a way forward.It cracks open what's going on in the industry right now, the way the laws aren't really protecting hens or consumers and why it matters.All the music in this piece is by local Hobart band and Salamanca Market regulars, The Foley Artists.
By Sue Reece, Radio Adelaidesecretsyou knowyou mustn’tshare them so heavyyou don’t knowhow tocarry them hide themhide themdeep inside Welcome to the world of Multiple Personalities, or ‘multiples’ for short. You may have heard of this as Dissociative Identity Disorder. The world of I, the Many; We, the One is often a world of secrecy, rejection, and the burden of far too many thrillers where the serial killer turns out to be the hidden personality of someone who didn’t know they were multiple.Even from mental health professionals, misdiagnosis, confusion, and assumptions that people are ‘making things up for attention’ are painfully common.This is a world close to me, as one of the voices in this documentary belongs to my daughter, and the other participants are members of the DI, an international network she founded.When I asked the network what they would like people to know about multiples, I was given many answers, all of them wanting to go beyond the fears, myths, and stigma. Here is a rare opportunity to hear from 5 different people about their personal experiences with multiplicity.Please be advised that the content you're about to hear contains descriptions of mental illness, the effects of abuse, and references to suicide, which some listeners may find distressing.I’d like to thank the five who contributed their stories, using their single public name for each person with multiple selves. Some share more through websites, while others requested anonymity. Ruth, Samira Claire, Jade, Tyrone, Sarah K Reece. Thank you to those who lent their voices as voice-actors, Winston Kay, Jennifer Fane & Kirk Jones. Thank you to Keith Gratton for technical advice and assistance. Original music composed by Dave Reece.To learn more about multiplicity visit The Dissociative Initiative.If any content has caused distress to you, please call Lifeline, on 131114 or visit
2017 National Features and Documentary Series Showreel by Community Broadcasting Association of Australia
In this feature, we’ll be going behind the scenes to hear about a Sydney-based radio program, called Making Airwaves, which is created by people living with an intellectual disability. Find out all about it in All About Abilities, produced by Caroline Savransky and Kate Wadey.For further reading on this radio documentary, visit About Abilities comes to you as part of The National Features and Documentary Series in 2016, encouraging storytelling from new and emerging producers around Australia. For further information, visit
In this feature, we'll hear about a revolution in the works – revolution through biotechnology. It is said biotechnology will not only shape the 21st century, it may change what it means to be homo sapiens.Today you’ll meet a group of biohackers in Melbourne, who believe this technology needs to be available to all citizens on the street. BioHacker Oz was produced by Juan Guerra.For further reading on this radio documentary, visit Oz comes to you as part of The National Features and Documentary Series in 2016, encouraging storytelling from new and emerging producers around Australia. For further information, visit
By Ellie FreemanOver 150,000 Koreans have been adopted overseas since the Korean War Armistice in 1954. And I am one of them. I was born in South Korea. I was adopted to Australia when I was a baby and raised by white Australian parents. I never knew my birth parents. All I knew was that my mother was not married when she became pregnant with me and, in 1980s Korea, could not afford to support me and had to give me up for adoption. When I met a Korean American adoptee in early 2013 who mentioned that some adoption files are falsified, I wanted suddenly to find out the truth. With the support of a Korean adoptee support organisation the Global Overseas Adoptees' Link, I returned to Korea for the first time since I was born and searched for my birth parents.Along the way, I met other Korean adoptees, saw the country where I was born, learned more about adoption and - unexpectedly - found my birth family. The idea for documenting this experience began when I was in Korea last September, so most of the atmos and scenes from my trip in this documentary are real recordings from that time. Judging from all the questions I am asked about my birth and where I'm from, I see that there are many myths and misconceptions about international adoptees. Not all of us want to search for birth family. Some of us have no desire to return to our home country. Some of us feel more Australian than Korean, or badly want to get in touch with our Korean roots, or simply don't know. Some of us have tried to search but unfortunately failed. Some of us have had happy reunion experiences, and some not so happy. International adoptees often battle issues around ethnic identity and isolation due to our unusual family circumstances. But in the modern age of social media, adoptees are establishing ways to organise activism, education, support, and outlets to express ourselves. We are a growing community with many diverse views, experiences and stories. I am telling my own story of birth family reunion in Korea along with the voices of other Korean Australian adoptees, academics and activists - to give an insight into our reality. These voices are:Kerrie Freeman - my adoptive motherHeeRa Heaser - Korean American adoptee, PhD student the University of New South WalesSeon Kee Woodley - Australian Korean adoptee from Melbourne, originally PerthTiarne Double - Australian Korean adoptee from TasmaniaPia Meehan - Australian Korean adoptee from PerthHana Crisp - Australian Korean adoptee from Melbourne, originally HobartCarly Reid - Australian Korean adoptee from Brisbane, originally PerthTim Vanderburg - Australian Korean adoptee living in South Korea, originally SydneyAndrea Kim - Korean American adoptee, Fullbright Scholarship researcher currently living in SeoulMy Korean birth motherPark Young Hee - Korean Australian actress and performer, who acts as the voice of my adoptee social worker
By Nikki MarcelAdelaide tap water tastes disgusting.It’s renowned for being the worst in Australia and people go to great lengths to get good drinking water from anywhere but the tap. I used to get rain water from my Nans house in the Adelaide hills but she’s moved and I really miss the taste of her old galv tank. It’s a unique flavor that’s quite different from plastic tanks or bottled spring water. I had to find a new source of good drinking water.I’ve often looked with curiosity at the people lined up to get water from the West End Brewery Charity Fountain on Port Road in Thebarton. I drive past it every day and there’s always a queue of cars in the driveway with people standing around filling all kinds of containers. They pay $2 for 15 litres of filtered groundwater from an industrial strength water dispenser. In 12 years it’s raised $2 million dollars, which the Brewery donates to various local charities.Not only does the constant amount of people at the Fountain catch my eye but it’s the diversity of people that makes it really interesting. There’s all ages, genders and cultural backgrounds. I wonder how people got water before they came to Australia? Did they have to travel far or queue for it like they are now? I imagined they were shocked to find the water tasting so bad here and bet they didn’t picture themselves needing to queue for good drinking water in Australia – after all this is a ‘first world’ developed country.So I stop to find out – what’s so good about the water at this modern day village well? I meet Australians originally from Laos, Burma, Italy, America, India, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Serbia, Congo, Philippines, Liberia, Tanzania, France and Greece. They all have interesting stories to tell and all share a deep conviction that the Brewery’s water is the best in town. Through a discovery of different cultural and spiritual attitudes to water I’ve developed a new appreciation of water and finally get it - water is life!
In Hidden Carers, Meredith Gilmore sits down with two of the quarter million Australians caring for family members living with mental health difficulties. Produced by Meredith Gilmore of Coast FM 963. Supervising production by Ian Crouch. Discover more at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) website.
Bernard Namok Senior designed the Torres Strait Flag, 27 years ago, but despite its continued use, it’s still not clear who owns the copyright to the design. Join Bernard Namok Junior from TEABBA as he embarks on a journey to resolve the copyright issues surrounding the flag that his father designed. Produced for the 2019 CBAA National Features and Documentary Series.Find out more at
The Australian Muslim Cameleers opened up the interior of Australia to settlers during the 19th and 20th centuries. Their work was tough and the life that they lived is a largely a forgotten chapter in Australia’s history. Join Saad Khalid, from 1CMS, as he explores how the ‘Ghans contributed to the development of today’s Australia. Produced for the 2019 CBAA National Features and Documentary Series.Find out more at
Produced by Graeme Taylor (Mountain District Radio, Emerald)Take a journey into the historical situation that led to Britain's colonisation of the lands now known as Australia – and how British instruction has shaped the culture of Australia ever since.Featuring historical re-enactments and an original score, with Crown Rules Graeme Taylor aims for a better understanding of Australian history.For more information, visit
Produced by Isabeau Schubert (Bay FM, Byron Bay)How does attending a Steiner School shape someone's understanding of the world?Isabeau Schubert should have a good idea, as she is an alumnus. In Steiner Education: An Alternative Model Isabeau talks with parents, students and teachers to ultimately ask whether Steiner education has a place in contemporary Australia. For more information, visit
In this feature, Nancy Lin is going to take us on a trip down memory lane, as she tells us about her experiences of trying to summon the dead as a teenager. Hello Yes No Goodbye is a ghost story, and one that questions memory, belief, and the privileging of human-centric realities.For further reading on this radio documentary, visit Yes No Goodbye comes to you as part of The National Features and Documentary Series in 2016, encouraging storytelling from new and emerging producers around Australia. For further information, visit
By Jess Fairfax"To those I have loved, I know there were many times that we suffered, suffocated, felt the stabs of unnecessary pain and pinned self-loaded expectations onto each other. We fell apart, and this piece was made in an attempt to understand why.To the listeners, you will hear fragments of conversations seeped in emotion, stories, ponderings and thought bubbles. You will be privy to moments of pure intimacy and hear honesty and self-reflection in its most vulnerable form. I hope that you find a moment that resonates, that makes its way into your home and heart, that you find a way to live a little lighter in love.To my friends, you are the most wonderful, deep thinking, full of feeling human beings, whose words and wisdom will carry into the ears and roll like waves into the lives of many.Let me introduce you to them:Damian Spears: Sparky by day, verse writer by night. Hip Hop is his passion and his lyrics ooze with deeply thought out observations of the everyday world around him.Louisa Scarmozzino: Primary school teacher, cheerleader and lover.Ebony Moncrief: Born in the Deep South of Alabama, Ebony is a teacher in training, published poet, workshop facilitator and spoken word slam champion who delves into the realm of vulnerability and self-strength through her works.Wallace Calvalho: Brazilian born beatmaker and producer, sound engineer in training and beats/electonica event curator.Katherine Gailer: Colombian born visual artist and musician.Oscar Jimenez: Colombian born musician and producer, front-man of ARIA nominated band Watussi..Zakia Baig: Hazara writer, educator and activist. Zakia set up the Australia Hazara Women’s Friendship Network to aid with settlement issues for Hazara women living in Dandenong.Quinn: Quinn is an emerging writer working in queer theory, fictocriticism, and post-structuralist and feminist theories of the body, subjectivity, and self. She writes short fiction, poetry, and fictocriticism, and is currently writing her PhD titled ‘this body, written’ at La Trobe University, Melbourne.Yoseph H. Bekele: Ethiopian bass player, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer.Vicki Fairfax: writer, meditater, nature lover, mother…. Of Jess.Finally, I would love to keep the conversation going and the pens flowing. The poems you hear throughout the piece were written in response to a soundscape I created and fed to my friends as a sonic stimulus. I’d love for you to head to my Soundcloud page, stream this soundscape, write your own piece, record it and post it in the group."
In this feature, A Way To Tie The Knot, Vanita Sathasivam explores how, in an increasingly fast-paced world, people are finding it harder than ever to maintain long and meaningful relationships. Is there a magic formula to finding love?For further reading on this radio documentary, visit Way To Tie The Knot comes to you as part of The National Features and Documentary Series in 2016, encouraging storytelling from new and emerging producers around Australia. For further information, visit
By Lisa BurnsDeep in the South Australian outback lies a place only accessible via dirt track and almost 200km from the nearest town. Out-of-towners know the small, mostly Aboriginal community of Oodnadatta as little more than a fuel fill and a quick feed. Few venture beyond the bowsers of the iconic Pink Roadhouse.But over at the church ground rises the Cathedral of a Thousand Stars. It’s an open-air church run by Julia Warren, a local Aboriginal woman. Julia founded the Oodnadatta Faith Community in 2007, on the same earth that missionaries from the United Aborigines Mission built the Oodnadatta Children’s Home in 1924. A slab of concrete is all that remains of the Home, but for generations past and present, its impact has been much more lasting.Cathedral of a Thousand Stars follows the stories of two Aboriginal women separated by time but united by place. Their stories are shaped by family, culture, survival and hope, and together they highlight the diversity of spirituality and faith in Australia. A heartfelt thank you to the Aunties for sharing their stories. Julia Warren (Preacher, Oodnadatta Faith Community Leader), Mona Olsson, (Yankunytjatjara Woman, Stolen Generations Survivor), Reverend Denise Champion (Adnyamathanha Woman, Minister at UAICC Port Augusta), Linda Sutton (Poet, Writer, Former Minister & Gulf FM 89.3 Broadcaster), Karina Lester (Yankunytjatjara Woman, Aboriginal Language Worker, Niece of Auntie Mona Olsson) and Merrilyn Maine (Organist at Western Link Uniting Church).Oodnadatta Image by Lisa Burns.png Open-air church Oodnadatta Faith Image Lisa Burns.pngThanks also to the Oodnadatta community, Ian Dempster from Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, Reverend Jenny Swanbury, Radio Adelaide, the CMTO trainers and mentors, and my friends and family for their ongoing support throughout the making of this feature.
By Meeghan Bell Listen to Red Dirt In Bondi: The Story of Building Bridges'"The facts are really not at all like fish on the fishmonger's slab. They are like fish swimming about in a vast and sometimes inaccessible ocean; and what the historian catches will depend, partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean he chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use – these two factors being, of course, determined by the Kind of fish he wants to catch. By and large, the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. History means interpretation." - E.H. CarrI was sitting in the packed auditorium as Gary Foley presented 'Life of Struggle' at the 2015 Marxism Conference in Melbourne. He commanded the stage, held the audience in the palm of his hand and I listened fiercely and took notes. He spoke passionately about the history of Aboriginal resistance in Australia, of which he played a central role and shared iconic images of his life including photos with rock star Michael Hutchence (pictured below). Foley also spoke about an album he'd been involved with titled, Building Bridges - Australia Has A Black History.Gary Foley & Michael Hutchence, Building Bridges 1989 Bicentenary January 26th 1988 Aboriginal Protests at Sydney HarbourIt wasn't entirely clear then of course but as I listened to Foley talk, a seed was planted and once I'd been selected to participate in the CBAA National Features and Documentary Series, the 1989 Building Bridges album and the story surrounding its creation began to absorb almost every waking moment of my life.'Red Dirt in Bondi' is a radio feature set in Sydney around the time of the Bicentenary, 26 January 1988. The key participants in this feature are Aboriginal activist and academic Gary Foley, the Building Bridges Cultural Construction Crew featuring Jim George, Tony Duke and Denise Officer (Andrew McMillan passed away on 28 January 2012) and singer-songwriter, Kev Carmody.For a rookie like myself there were significant challenges in bringing this radio story to life including the historical nature of the topic and the complex relationship between black and white Australia since 1788. Not to mention attempting an interesting and thought-provoking radio feature in under 27 minutes.The story of Building Bridges, involving a small group of people with the support of the Australian Music Industry, is as relevant today as it was back in '88. It is vital to keep re-telling and sharing this piece of history so that we may move towards true reconciliation in this country and achieve justice for Australia's First People.I would like to thank Phil Ruck, David Miller and others from 3MDR for their amazing support, the CBAA and CMTO for the wonderful opportunity but most importantly to the 'Red Dirt in Bondi' participants Jim, Gary, Tony, Denise and Kev for sharing the incredible Building Bridges story.
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Podcast Details

Aug 19th, 2016
Latest Episode
Nov 18th, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
29 minutes

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