Noongar radio finalists Supplied by Department of Corrective Services 31 October 2013
collaboration between Noongar Radio 100.9FM and a WA prison is a finalist in the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s (CBAA) national awards. The broadcast, one of just four finalists in the ‘Most Innovative Outside Broadcast or Special Event Broadcast’ category, was a five-part Restorative Justice documentary called Djin Djin Karnam Koort, which means ‘good spirits, speaking truth, from the heart.’ It aired over five days during the 2012 Restorative Justice Week, an international event held each November to recognise the benefits of repairing harm caused by criminal behaviour. It is a week dedicated to healing and making amends. The series was recorded inside the Serco-run Acacia Prison, a medium-security prison about 50 km east of Perth. It was primarily a collaboration between Acacia’s Indigenous Initiatives Coordinator Kay Buck, Unit Manager Mark Nichol, then Peer Support Officer Kerry Lennon, Noongar Radio Station Manager Wayne Bynder, Radio Host/Producer Mechelle Wilson as well as prisoners. Kay said the group planned five separate programs exploring five restorative justice initiatives at the prison. “We got together and agreed we wanted to show the community the programs going on inside but we also wanted the prisoners to reflect on how much progress they had made during their time; have a moment to focus on the good stuff,” Kay said. Mechelle presented workshops
Noongar Radio members stand proud of their achievements. Mechelle Wilson, Broadcaster/Producer with Kay Buck - Coordinator Indigenous Initiatives – Acacia Prison. Image suplied
at Acacia to teach 20 prisoners how to construct and deliver a story for broadcasting, Kerry provided the voice over and Mark used recording equipment for interviews. Once the team was happy with the content, it was sent to Mechelle at the station who gave the series a professional polish. The series looked at the positive programs prisoners are involved in including the Sycamore Tree project, in which offenders speak with victims of crime to better understand the damage caused by a criminal act; the Alternatives to Violence project, which runs peace-focused workshops; Safe Avon Valley, which involves prisoners retraining neglected and abandoned dogs; Outcare’s Aboriginal employment program; and Storybook Dads, which enables fathers to record bedtime stories for their children to help maintain family bonds. Program facilitators, chaplains, custodial staff and prisoners all feature in interviews. Each series began with a Traditional Welcome to Country in Noongar Language delivered by a prisoner. Noongar Radio has been named as a finalist across many of the
CBAA award categories for 2013, including Excellence in Sports Programming, Best News Radio Programme and Excellence in Spoken Word, News and Current Affairs Programming. The station’s Inside Out prison song request and talk show won Best New Program or Content Initiative at the 2011 CBAA’s Voxies competition. Mechelle, whose on-air persona is Big Girl, said Noongar FM staff were pleased with how well they had reached out to Aboriginal communities throughout WA, including those in prison. “I’m proud of the quality stories we are helping to get out there,” she said. “The awards won’t be announced until 16 November but we reckon we feel like winners anyway.” Acacia and Noongar Radio have paired up again for this year’s Restorative Justice this week, co-ordinating an online prisoner artwork auction to raise funds for the Princess Margaret Hospital. For more information about the auction check for updates from 10 November on Noongar Radio’s website: www.noongarradio.com.