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5THE FM finalist in CBAA national awards 2013 – updated

zena and rebekahZena Lea in training with Rebekah Lowe at 5 THE FM.

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by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline WattleRangeNow

Local Community Radio Station 5THE FM was advised today, Friday, that they are finalists in two categories of the 2013 CBAA National Awards.   5 THE FM is a finalist in the 2013 ‘Excellence in Community Participation’ category and ‘Excellence in Training’ category.

The announcement 5 THE FM is a finalist in the category of ‘Excellence in Community Participation’ is as a result of their newsonline site www. wattlerangenow.com which brought the loss of many of their local hospital services to the public’s attention, including the sudden announcement by the Country Health SA in July that obstetric services were to be stopped at the Millicent Hospital. This resulted in a Public Meeting coordinated by 5 THE FM with the assistance of Wattle Range Council,  at which Millicent Medical Clinic GP’s and Country Health SA representatives were among the guests who addressed the meeting. A petition to the Premier signed by almost 4000 community members has been tabled in parliament and a postcard campaign of 12500 postcards addressed to the Premier Jay Weatherill asking him to save the hospital services at Millicent and Penola Hospitals, is on-going.

The Public Meeting resulted in  a commitment by Country Health SA to re-visit their decision to stop obstetric services at the Millicent Hospital and reopen negotiations with the local doctors. These negotiations are on-going and WattleRangeNow will continue to bring the community up to date with the latest in the health services crisis as it becomes available.

Rebekah Lowe 5 THE FM is a finalist in the category of ‘Excellence in Training.’ Rebekah trains all presenters in on air skills, production, voice overs and presentation and manages to still the nerves of all new-comers to the airwaves. Her experience in broadcasting, news reading and voice -over work is a major benefit to 5THE FM, the community and all volunteers she trains. This level of training has been instrumental in the improved quality of the stations overall broadcast in recent years.

Chairman Boyd Groeneveld said, on learning of the station’s most recent achievement, “I’m not surprised, and with four finalists in each category we have a 25% chance – quite good odds really. Congratulations.”

Accountant  John McLoughlin said, “You’ll win it, you have to.” John has been great support in the stations financial stability over the past few years and remains a valued part of the team.

The station was awarded Most Outstanding Small Station in Australia in the CBAA National Awards 2012 for outstanding achievements for a regional station with limited resources, continually improving facilities for their volunteers and their on-going community work and Rebekah was a finalist in ‘Outstanding Volunteer’ category in the 2012  CBAA National Awards.

In a recent funding  proposal to the Federal Government, the CBAA cited 5 THE FM as an example of what can be achieved by a community radio station with stable management and the stations community value for initiating  the recent campaign to ‘Save our hospital services’ at the Millicent and Penola Hospitals, through their broadcast and their newsonline site wattlerangenow.

The winners of the awards will be announced at the CBAA Conference and Awards Dinner in Sydney in November 15-17.