Radio news

Vision Australia Radio earns two CBAA nominations

08 November 2021

Congratulations to Vision Australia Radio’s Conrad Browne and Dale Simpson who have both been nominated for a Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) Award.

Network Manager, Conrad Browne has been nominated for the Station Leadership award which acknowledges sustained exceptional leadership.

Since joining Vision Australia Radio, Conrad said his commitment has been to honour the traditional aspects of the network and also build on the CBAA ethos of involving the “community you serve in every aspect you do”.

“There’s been a progression in the number of people with lived experience become more actively engaged with Vision Australia Radio. We’re also producing more inclusive programs where shows are about blindness and low vision made by people who are blind or have low vision,” Conrad said.

“We’ve still got a way to go but Vision Australia Radio is constantly evolving. COVID has made us think of the different ways we can broadcast and who can broadcast for us, which opens up further opportunities.”

Gob smacked to be nominated

Broadcast systems technician, Dale Simpson, said he is “absolutely gob smacked” on his nomination for Excellence in Technical Services.

“I had no idea someone nominated me,” Dale said.

Dale’s work involves all technical aspects of radio: from microphones to transmitters – which, as Dale said, are generally positioned in “the middle of nowhere”. 

“I’ve had to dodge a lot of cows over the years,” Dale, who has been with Vision Australia Radio since 2010, said.

Conrad said the station nominated Dale because of his exceptional work ethic and dedication.

“The role requires someone to be available at all times and Dale goes above and beyond this. He is a great example of someone in the community excelling in his career.”

Challenging and rewarding

Dale has only two percent vision in one eye and says this makes his work both challenging and rewarding.

“I know how important the service is to our listeners, especially in the regional areas.”

The use of “very strong” reading glass and IrisVision allows him to complete the finer technical work, although with changes in technology this type of work has become less common.  

Dale said he became interested in radio and sound engineering when he was a child through a family member.

“My uncle was the first, and possibly still the only, low vision broadcast engineer in the country. He started as a cable puller and when he finished he was chief engineer at Channel 7. Through him, I could see what was possible.”

Close-knit community

As a consequence of his own experience, Dale is strongly encouraging of people who are blind or have low vision becoming involved not just at Vision Australia Radio but in radio in general and audio engineering.

“Broadcast technology has become more sophisticated, which in some ways could prove to be more difficult, but I would say to any young person with the interest to ‘go for it’.

“They’ll know what their limitations are. Of course they’ll run into brick walls but they’ll find a way and people will help.”

This year, the CBAA Awards received more than 320 entries across 30 award categories, representing a diverse cross-section of the community radio sector.

The full list of Award finalists can be found below. Winners will be announced virtually in December, and the Michael Law Award and Tony Staley Award will be presented at the CBAA Conference in March 2022.