Broadcast Australia is a brand new Channel 31 series showcasing the diversity in Australia’s community radio sector and for episode seven, the focus was on the Vision Australia Radio (VAR) network.
With studios based in Kooyong, VAR offers a range of interesting and informative programs including readings from newspapers, magazines and books, interviews and specialist programs on new technology, gardening, finance, travel, wine and food, the arts and more.
The episode featured a group of dedicated volunteers, some of whom have been with VAR for numerous decades throughout its various forms, such as Tim McQueen and Stephen Jolley who have been involved for approximately 20 and 40 years respectively.
Tim and Stephen both have lived experience with blindness and low vision, which brought them to VAR, and they talk about the history of the station, how they got involved and what VAR means to them.
“We realised that here was a real opportunity to make use of the radio even more to provide information that otherwise wasn’t available [to people who are blind or have low vision],” Stephen said.
“Many of us believe that one of the biggest inconveniences of blindness or low vision is a lack of access to information, so radio is a good way to address that,” he said.
Many other people have brought their experience from elsewhere to contribute to VAR, such as Stella Glorie.
Stella hosts VAR’s flagship program Talking Vision, and talks about how excited she has been to share inspiring and notable stories about people in the blind and low vision community.
“I knew that I wanted to work for a not-for-profit and I love radio, so it’s kind of a dream working here. It’s a privilege and it’s what I wanted to do and that’s why I chose it,” Stella said.
“I didn’t know a lot about blindness or low vision before I started here, and [now] I’d like to think I know a lot more,” she said.
You can hear more from Stephen, Tim and Stella, as well as a number of other VAR volunteers, in the special audio described version of the Broadcast Australia episode below:
For more information on how to listen to Vision Australia Radio visit our website. This series was made possible through the support of the Community Broadcasting Foundation – click here to find out more.
Participants in order of appearance:
- Tim McQueen, Morning Paper Round and Cover to Cover
- Ian Eastham, Vision Sports and Topical Island
- Stephen Jolley, long term volunteer
- Stella Glorie, Talking Vision
- Matt Lee, Vision Sports
- Harriet Moffat, Seeing Eye Dogs Program
- Glenis Henderson, Afternoon Live team
- Nadja Lobato Mesquito, Afternoon Live team
- Joanna Jojkity, Afternoon Live team
If you would like a written transcript of the video above, you can find it at the following link.