Young Writers Share Gossip

A group of young writers is sharing insight into their processes and inspirations with listeners to OAR FM programme and podcast “Minor Gossip”.

The Dunedin Youth Writers’ Association is a student-led group that is open to discussion and sharing works, and which aims to create a community that welcomes and expands the thinking of passionate writers from Dunedin high schools.

The group meets every second Wednesday on the fourth floor of Dunedin City Library. Sessions vary from student-led group discussions to silent writing sessions and presentations from guest speakers.

Hosting duties for the radio show are shared between group coordinators Shima Jack (18), Darcy Monteath (18) and Hugo Todd (16).

Ms Jack placed second in the 2022 Charles Brasch Essay competition and, along with Ms Monteath, was recently selected to participate in the 2022 NZSA Youth Mentorship Programme, which aims to nurture, encourage, inspire and develop emerging writers with the support of established authors.

The writers group also publishes monthly magazine “Minor Gospel”, with the assistance of Dunedin Public Libraries. Last month’s first edition featured an anthology of works from group members.

“Minor Gossip” is broadcast every Monday at 4.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.


OGHS on Air

Otago Girls’ High School media studies students have been behind the mic at OAR FM.

The Year 12 students worked in small groups, preparing and presenting nine live-to-air programmes on a range of themes.

Schools can work with OAR FM to tailor a radio experience to suit their study goals. Station staff will arrange an introductory visit to the school, a short station tour, and guidance on how best to present students’ ideas.

When programmes go to air, students are given training in how to operate the production console, cue music and deliver voice breaks. Content can also be created in the classroom using mobile recording devices.

All programmes are streamed and podcast from the station’s website, enabling students to share their work with friends and family. Links can be posted in newsletters and on school websites.

OGHS Assistant Head of Department, English, Charlotte Hayward said the partnership with OAR provided students with an opportunity to complete a meaningful assessment with real-world applications.

“Students get very excited about their radio shows and it encourages them to step out of their comfort zone and have a great time.”

Schools interested in learning more about radio opportunities can contact Arina Aizal on 471 6161 or email


Enriching Language Journey

A native Hindi speaker from Mumbai is inviting OAR FM listeners to take an
enriching journey to connect Hindi speaking communities of New Zealand.

Richa Berde moved to Dunedin in February 2020 to pursue her studies in tourism, soon finding herself confined to hostel accommodation through a nationwide lockdown.

The experience was made especially challenging by her distance from family and
friends, and her sense of disconnection from her homeland.

An invitation to talk about her background, interests and language on OAR FM’s
Connecting Cultures Zone led to a further conversation about hosting a
programme and podcast of her own.

Ms Berde said “Enrich with Richa” was for anyone interested in learning Hindi
along with the cultural aspects of the language.

“Guests will share their experiences of coming to New Zealand, of their life journey
and their relationship with the Hindi language.

“I believe this will foster increased cultural awareness and exchange.”

The series features a mix of English and Hindi, and includes a segment introducing
a common Hindi phrase for those who are new to the language.

“Enrich with Richa” is broadcast every second Thursday at 8.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple
A full schedule of OAR FM programmes can be found at

Nursing Network World Tour on Air

 A new programme and podcast on OAR FM is bringing together rural, and remote, healthcare communities from around the globe.

The Global Rural Nursing Exchange Network (GRNEN) “World Tour” is hosted by Professor Samuel Mann, from the College of Work-Based Learning at Otago Polytechnic. Each episode finds him talking with a network member based in one of nine rural communities around the world.

GRNEN is an international network of nursing practitioners, educators, researchers and students who share a passion for improving the health of rural communities and an appreciation for the role nurses play in serving these communities.

The network was created with the belief that by providing a forum that encourages global diversity, and invites multiple perspectives, decision making on issues that matter to rural nurses and rural communities around the globe will be improved.

Prof Mann said he hoped the series would be a useful resource for nurses, students and other practitioners in rural health.

“GRNEN is wrapping a pile of product around these stories, to share around their network.”

The Global Rural Nursing Exchange Network “World Tour” is broadcast on the third Sunday of the month at 7pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Youth Council On Air

Photo: Dedicated to Dunedin: Bram Casey is one of the hosts of Dunedin Youth Council On Air on OAR FM.

Dunedin Youth Council is using its local media platform to share news of the achievements of the city’s younger citizens.

OAR FM programme and podcast Dunedin Youth Council On Air is co-hosted by a team of young councillors, secondary school students elected for a two-year term as representatives for youth in the community.

Dunedin Youth Councillor Bram Casey (15) said the radio show offered the general public insight into what young people were involved with locally.

“Youth council members are able to provide some of that view, but we often call in other young people and interview them about their accomplishments and activities.”

Recent episodes have included features on the Dunedin Youth Writers’ Group, independent record label Strawberry Jam Records, and maintaining wellbeing while studying in times of a pandemic.

Youth council membership for Bram was a deeply personal commitment to his home city.

“I’m in love with every acre of Dunedin,” he said.

“I thought to myself that if I could make a meaningful change or improvement in the city, it would benefit my heart as much as the people I live with, and near.”

Dunedin Youth Council On Air is broadcast on Mondays at 4pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Radio Show Offer Study Tips

Photo: Life-long learning: Sofea Haizal (17) hosts Sofea’s Study Space on OAR FM.

Maintaining good study habits is the focus of new OAR FM programme and podcast “Sofea’s Study Space”.

The show is the brainchild of Bayfield High School student Sofea Haizal (17), who is balancing her responsibilities as Head Girl with Year 13 studies and running a fledgling business.

Spotting a gap in the local market for hijabs, the head covering worn in public by some Muslim women, Sofea established her business Piller in 2021 under the Young Enterprise New Zealand initiative, which promotes entrepreneurship skills in New Zealand high schools.

The independently-run small enterprise is committed to diversity, sustainability, and sourcing local materials.

With so many hats to wear, and with the challenges that the pandemic has brought, Sofea found herself searching for tips on how best to manage her studies. She decided to share what she learned through a radio show and podcast.

Sofea said the show was not just for school students.

“This is also about being a life-long learner. Whatever people want to do, whether it be learning a new language or anything else, there is a whole technique to finding studying enjoyable.”

“Sofea’s Study Space” is broadcast every second Tuesday at 4pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

New Sinhalese Language and Music Show

A new community access radio show and podcast is celebrating Sinhalese language and the golden era of Sri Lankan music.

Dr Suranga Dassanayake, an Assistant Research Fellow at the School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, hosts weekly programme Sathsara Rawa on OAR FM.

Dr Dassanayake grew up in a small village in Sri Lanka’s Western Province, where mornings were often spent tuned into a popular music programme on the radio.

He and fellow villagers depended on the radio, he said.

“Music gave us direction, perseverance and enthusiasm to go ahead with the day.

“These were songs about love, our society, our history and the beauty of nature.”

Sathsara Rawa features artists such as Sri Lankan music legend Pandit Amaradeva, who dominated a period from the 1960s through to the early 2000’s known as the golden era.

Dr Dassanayake said the music would have nostalgic appeal to listeners from Dunedin’s Sri Lankan community, and to others around the world tuning into podcasts.

“These songs take us back to an era when we spent a very happy life in Sri Lanka.”

Sathsara Rawa airs every Wednesday at 7pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts. Listeners can email the programme at

Radio Tailored to Listener Needs

Dunedin Public Libraries has been working with OAR FM Dunedin on a project to tailor a new radio show in response to a community survey conducted in early 2020.

Survey respondents voted highly for a programme that included interesting interviews, a range of music, history, and readings.

New show Recollections Radio reflects this wish list, and acknowledges that for many listeners who spend their days at home or in aged-care facilities, the radio is welcome company.

Presenters Jill Bowie and Kay Mercer are the team behind Dunedin Public Libraries’ Scattered Seeds digital archive, which hosts the collected memories, mementos and stories of people who have landed here, taken root and come to call Dunedin home.

Ms Bowie said that she and her radio co-host see themselves as a couple of friends to spend Monday morning-tea time with.

“We want to collect listeners’ stories, also. The most exciting thing about Scattered Seeds is that some of the stories are amazing, and we know there are more hiding out there to be shared.”

The programme is supported by funding from the New Zealand Libraries Partnership Project, which supports library services to be retained and assists libraries to support community recovery.

Recollections Radio airs every Monday from 11am to 12pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Photo: Telling Stories: Kay Mercer and Jill Bowie are hosts of OAR FM show Recollections Radio.

Vaccination Stories Shared

A new podcast series on OAR FM Dunedin is sharing vaccination experiences from a range of cultural perspectives.

For Our People: Diverse Dunedin Shares Its Vaccination Stories is made with support from the Ministry of Health. Funding has been made available to support local communication initiatives that will increase access, uptake, and support of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in ethnic communities.

In each of the 10 episodes, one Dunedin-based person shares personal and cultural reasons for getting fully vaccinated.

The perspectives of contributors from Malaysia, China, Iran have been aired in the series so far, in a mix of English and languages of origin.

Lisa Li settled in Dunedin from China 20 years ago. Her view reflects a common thread emerging in the series to date.

“Vaccination reduces the possibility of infection,” Mrs Li said.

“This is safe and healthy for me, my friends and my family.

“I have a two-year-old granddaughter. I made the right decision now so that she can live in a safe, peaceful and beautiful country.”

For Our People airs on Wednesdays at 7pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Radio Church Keeps The Faith

A weekly radio programme of Christian worship is still going strong after 87 years.

Whether OAR FM Dunedin’s Radio Church listeners are people confined to home, travellers, are in aged care facilities and hospital, or anyone else who cannot attend a church service, there is something for everyone.

The roster of hosts for the weekly programme includes Methodist, Anglican, Presbyterian, Catholic and Seventh-Day Adventist ministries.

The programme and podcast also provides an opportunity for students to lead a service, through Student Christian Movement Aotearoa.

Radio Church is New Zealand’s longest-running radio show. Originally titled Radio Church of the Helping Hand when it first aired on 9 April 1934 from Dunedin station 4ZM, the programme was the initiative of Dunedin Central Methodist Mission superintendent Reverend Leslie Bourneman Neale, known to his thousands of dedicated listeners as “Uncle Leslie”.

Having lived in the pre-wireless era, Rev Neale was fascinated with broadcasting and soon attracted a huge unseen congregation to his programme of music, poems, prayers and talk.

More recently, the programme has played an important role in keeping people connected to their faith and the wider community of worshipers.

As one listener put it in a recent telephone message, “Thank you so much for Radio Church during lockdown. I don’t have Zoom so it has been very important for me.”

Radio Church airs on Sundays at 8.30am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Photo: Home worship: Holy Name parish’s Amy Armstrong and Jim Devlin take their turn presenting Radio Church on OAR FM.