Radio Explores the Power of Positive Action

Rape Crisis Dunedin is using radio as a way of highlighting the achievements of organisations and individuals working in the interests of women and families, around the world.

Fortnightly show The Empower Half Hour is hosted by Rape Crisis community educators Anna Hoek-Sims and Rachel Shaw.

Anna said the focus of the programme was “not just feminism”.

“We’re coming from an all-encompassing point of view, so it doesn’t matter what the gender is of any person we might talk about. We want to celebrate that there are some stars shining brightly out there in the world.”

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate, was one such inspirational individual. Her memoir I Am Malala and 2015 documentary film He Named Me Malala had provided insight into how determined advocacy for change had grown into an international human rights movement.

Rachel cited the wave of women’s marches that followed the election of Donald Trump to the United States presidency as another source of motivation.

“The amount of work and passion that went into those marches was very inspiring to me.”

The radio show would include updates on events closer to home, music by women artists and thoughtful quotes to ponder. It would also build on workshops the pair were conducting with Dunedin secondary school students on issues of consent and bystander intervention, and explore the latest initiatives to address online bullying.

“Radio is a way of branching out to reach some of the community we wouldn’t meet through the training we do,” Anna said.

“It’s a way of saying there’s still some positive, amazing things going on in the world today at a time when there are a lot of conflicts. And it’s a great way for us to maintain a healthy working environment. We hear a lot of negative things as support workers and when we debrief with other staff. So for me it’s part of my self-care.”

The Empower Half Hour airs every second Tuesday at 12.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from

Photo: Inspiring work: Rape Crisis Dunedin community educators Anna Hoek-Sims (left) and Rachel Shaw are hosts of Otago Access Radio show The Empower Half Hour.