A World of Scientific Discovery

Otago-based scientists from around the world are sharing their stories of discovery in a new radio and podcast series on OAR FM Dunedin.

Around the World in 80 Discoveries is hosted by Alba Suarez Garcia, who is working towards a PhD in science communication at University of Otago.

Interviews with Alba’s colleagues are recorded in their own research spaces and laboratories, providing insight into the struggles and successes that go hand in hand with scientific learning.

The featured scientists are:

Alexandra Boix, a cancer microbiologist from Spain, who is studying the role of a tumour protein called p53 in the development of cancer.

Karlis Berzins, a physical chemist from Latvia, who is investigating the properties of pharmaceutical compounds using lasers of visible light.

Lara Urban, a conservation geneticist from Germany, who is using genomic data to inform and improve conservation management of kakapo and takahe.

Pedro Henrique, an astrophysicist from Brazil, who is researching the rotational speeds of neutron stars.

Nellissa Ling, a biological anthropologist from Borneo/Canada, who is studying the origins and antiquity of gout and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) in ancient Asian populations.

Amir Amini, a food scientist from Iran, who is fortifying bread with a green banana flour that is rich in resistant starch.

Around The World in 80 Discoveries airs on Saturdays at 2.30pm with replays on Wednesdays at 9.30am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Health Matters On Air

OAR FM’s latest health programme has its origins on a clifftop on Christmas Island, a small Australian external territory in the Indian Ocean.

Back in 2008, Dr Gary Mitchell took to the airwaves from the island’s radio station, chatting about health issues and spinning a few tunes while watching the whale sharks cruise the waters below.

Today, Gary hosts DUDAC and the Duchess from closer to home, although he does return to Christmas Island for a few months of locum work most years.

DUDAC stands for Dunedin Urgent Doctors and Accident Centre, Gary’s place of work. The Duchess might or might not be his daughter, a mysterious occasional contributor to discussions on medical matters major and minor.

On any given episode, you will hear about anything from managing a sprained ankle to managing a pandemic, and sometimes both. Guest speakers shed light on their areas of expertise, including analysis of interesting cases that have presented at Urgent Doctors.

Strict patient confidentiality is ensured for all discussions on real-life cases and while clinical aspects are explored, the primary focus is on demystifying the experience of having an illness or injury.

Recent episodes, which are available to listen to via podcast, have included University of Otago Associate Professor Hamish Wilson’s insights into general practice and teaching, and an introduction to the work of a Dunedin Urgent Doctors nurse.

The series began with a discussion on the coronavirus with Professor Peter Crampton, from the Centre for Hauora Maori at the University of Otago, and Professor Alistair Woodward, from the University of Auckland.

DUDAC and the Duchess airs every second Tuesday at 10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, with podcasts available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Podcasts a Fresh Challenge for 2020

Something new: Hemachandran Rajamanicam (left) is in production training with OAR FM studio engineer Geoff Barkman.

A new year brings with it opportunities to change things up a bit. If you have already decided to stretch your mental muscles in 2020 but are waiting for an inspirational idea, how about making your own podcast and programme with your community access station OAR FM Dunedin?

The sky is the limit when it comes to the possibilities for podcast subject matter. Last year, OAR FM hosted new music shows, documentaries, radio dramas, sports segments, cultural and arts programmes, science and sustainability perspectives, and social service messages.

In keeping with our station’s mission to provide multiple platforms for voices that are otherwise underrepresented in the mainstream media, we especially welcome new content made by, for and about Dunedin’s young people, migrant communities and other minority groups.

All OAR FM programmes are broadcast on 105.4FM and 1575AM and streamed from our website. In addition, online audiences for Dunedin-made content are growing exponentially, with more than half-a-million hits on our station’s podcasts last year.

Making a radio programme and podcast provides you with a unique opportunity to learn the skills of production and presentation in a supportive environment that takes into account the needs of first-time broadcasters. Training is personalised and flexible, designed to encourage a style that is natural to each individual.

Whether you’ve been harbouring a desire to bust out your amazing record collection, or have a special interest or skill that you would like to share with the rest of Dunedin, there is plenty of scope for developing your own programme. Podcasts and radio broadcasts are also an especially effective way for clubs and community groups to publicise their activities and promote membership.

OAR FM staff can help you with any questions about joining the more-than 200 locals who have already taken their first steps into broadcasting. You can call the station on 471 6161 during office hours, which are 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, or email community@oar.org.nz.

OAR FM podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

accessmedia.nz App

We’re excited to announce the re-launch of the accessmedia.nz app, available from Google Play and the App Store.

You can have OAR FM Dunedin and our sister stations around Aotearoa New Zealand with you wherever you go, on your phone and other devices, with podcasts and live streaming of primo local content at your fingertips.

Thanks NZ On Air for supporting new ways to have our communities’ voices heard. Download today!

Young Leaders Host Radio Show

Youth voice:
Esther Tamati (left) and Leo Lublow-Catty with Orokonui Ecosanctuary education officer Tahu Mackenzie, a guest on their OAR FM show Operation Rangitahi.

Two Logan Park High School students are determined to ensure that the voices of young Dunedin people are heard by decision-makers.

Esther Tamati and Leo Lublow-Catty (both 17) are the hosts of OAR FM Youth Zone programme Operation Ragitahi, a fortnightly radio show and podcast of interviews and topical discussion.

Both have an active interest in developing their leadership skills, with Leo having attended UN Youth’s New Zealand Model Parliament in Christchurch in August, and Esther having this month attended the Pacific Student Leaders Programme in Rarotonga.

Esther said she was grateful for the opportunities she had been given to engage in community life.

“With our radio show, we want to make sure that youth in Dunedin have the same opportunities and are recognised for what they do. We want to empower them to feel confident enough to do anything and to stand up for themselves.”

The trip to Rarotonga with 19 other New Zealand secondary school pupils had made Esther feel better about herself and the direction her life was taking, she said.

“I’ve come back with a more open mind and learnt lots of listening skills, as well as making heaps of really cool friends and connections.”

Leo, who aspires to study and work in the political field, said he would like to encourage young people to engage more in the political process.

“It would be great if young people were given evidence (about policies and political decisions) from a youth perspective, so that they can create the kind of discussions I’d like to hear in our community.

“We can’t vote, so this radio show has been a good way to get our voices on air and getting youth to talk about the issues that need to be talked about.”

Operation Rangitahi airs on Youth Zone every second Tuesday at 4pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, with podcasts available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Glam Angle on the Arts

Sparkling example:
Dr Glam lends his name and attitude to Dr Ian Chapman’s new programme on OAR FM Dunedin.

Dunedin musician, educator and motivational speaker Dr Ian Chapman is keeping the spirit of alter-ego Dr Glam alive through a new radio show and podcast.

Dr Chapman said The Sparkly Show with Dr Glam on OAR FM Dunedin was a celebration of “the awesomeness of the arts”.

The programme would delve into the motivations for making and consuming art, with a focus on art’s transformative and healing qualities.

Silvery statuesque rocker Dr Glam is rarely seen in performance these days but remains integral to Dr Chapman’s positive approach to life.

“My story is a bit unusual, in that I became self-actualised through dressing up in skin-tight Lycra, adopting a huge wig, lots of make-up and platform boots,” he said.

“But Dr Glam is still of value to me and I hope there are aspects of him that are helpful to other people.”

Dr Chapman has written, performed and lectured extensively on David Bowie’s influence on his own musical and professional life. Bowie’s glam-rock schtick was a “glittering example of someone who says you can take control and make your own life better.”

“That was hugely important for me as a teenager who was bullied, at a time when things were going very wrong in my life.

“The message was, if life is crap, reinvent yourself.”

The Sparkly Show would include interviews with established and emerging musicians, visual artists, actors, jewellers and sculptors, and include insights on how others have coped with difficult times in their lives.

“Sometimes artists will channel ways of coping into their art, and through their art we can make sense of the world and find empathy with others.”

The Sparkly Show with Dr Glam airs every second Thursday at 6pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, with podcasts available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum of Broken Relationships – Have you had your heart broken? Do you own an object that won’t let you forget? Hannah Molloy from Otago Museum is calling for submissions for an exhibition to open in December.

Hannah joined Jeff on the OARsome Morning Show to tell us more about the exhibition and their call for submissions.

Radio Show Explores Shark Science

Shark Odyssey: Michael Heldsinger hosts Murky Waters on OAR FM Dunedin.

Sharks are one of the most feared and misunderstood predators on earth. Over 400 million years of evolution a diverse group of species has emerged to become integral part of ocean ecosystems, and they are declining in numbers.

A new programme and podcast on OAR FM Dunedin seeks to explore the lives of these wonderful animals and to investigate the deep ocean, coral reef and estuary habitats they occupy.

Murky Waters is hosted by Australian shark scientist and self-described “everyday water-man” Michael Heldsinger, who is completing a Masters in Marine Science at University of Otago.

The aim of his research is to see whether marine reserves provide benefits for shark species in New Zealand. He using stereo-BRUVs (baited remote underwater stereo-video systems) in his research throughout Fiordland and Stewart Island.

Mr Heldsinger’s overarching passion in shark science is to understand the mechanisms behind human-shark interactions to help develop harmonious mitigation strategies.

He says he is on “an odyssey” to effectively research and communicate the plight of shark populations and their conservation with a focus on solutions, such as protected areas.

“A podcast and radio show is the perfect way to reach people. I’m surrounded by some really good shark scientists, people who are really passionate, so I’m able to talk to them about their research and help get the science out into the community.”

Do sharks sleep? What is their strongest sense? How do they reproduce? What’s their history? Do they have good eyesight? These questions and more are answered in an interview with Dr Sammy Andrzejaczek, a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University in California.

Another episode features a conversation with beach lifeguard and marine ecologist Kye Adams, who invented a shark blimp as a way of monitoring sharks to increase beach safety, while future shows will explore citizen science initiatives and fisheries practices.

Murky Waters airs every second Thursday at 3pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, with podcasts available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Radio Show Celebrates Sister City Relationship

Scottish connection: Marion O’Kane and Simon Vare host Kilts and Kiwis on OAR FM Dunedin.

The Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society is back on air with a radio show and podcast in the lead-up to this year’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations.

OAR FM Dunedin show Kilts and Kiwis has returned for a third series. The fortnightly magazine-style programme features music, interviews and updates on plans for the annual Celebrate St Andrew’s Day event, to be held in the Octagon on Saturday, 30 November.

Marion O’Kane, who co-hosts the show with Simon Vare, said the Society’s role was to promote and grow the creative links between Dunedin and Edinburgh.

“The radio show is an opportunity to talk about what communities here and in Edinburgh are up to, and to further the Society’s aims of building on our historical connections.

“We’ll be talking with guests from Edinburgh as well as Dunedin people who are preparing to make this year’s St Andrew’s Day very special.”

This year was the first time the Society’s event in the Octagon would be held on Scotland’s official national day. As well as all the usual stalls, games, music and family-friendly “have-a-go” activities, there would be plenty of Scottish-themed food items.

Listeners with a yen for a hearty bowl of porridge in the meantime could expect competitions and giveaways of Harraways products on the Kilts and Kiwis show.

Mr Vare said a “friendship agreement” with Corstorphine Community Council, signed earlier this year, was an example of the Society’s ongoing efforts to strengthen relationships with Edinburgh.

“We’re looking to find mutually beneficial solutions to common challenges and to build on longstanding connections.

“The agreement includes supporting and developing new social and economic, cultural and community programmes to encourage citizens of both cities to share their experiences and learn from one another.”

Kilts and Kiwis airs every second Friday at 10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, with podcasts available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Celebrating Half-Million Milestone

We’re celebrating a milestone that confirms OAR FM as a leading provider of podcast services in New Zealand. OAR FM has topped the half-million Dunedin-Made podcast mark!

Our station was highest contributor to overall results for the AIR (Access Internet Radio) podcasting project, crossing the half-million mark with Dunedin-produced content streamed or downloaded 541,000 times in the year to 30 June.
This represents an 88% increase in demand for the station’s online content on the previous 12 months.

Ten of the twelve New Zealand CAMA [Community Access Media Alliance] stations collaborate in the AIR project, which delivers over 8,500 episodes of hundreds of radio shows/podcasts to niche communities reflecting the Access sector’s key priorities – women, children and youth, migrant and refugee communities, health and disability issues, religious and ethical issues and any interests not catered for by the mainstream media.

It has just been announced that AIR partner stations achieved over 1.8 million podcast hits in the July to June project year, an increase of 77% over the 2017/18 year. The project’s growth was projected to reach 2 million podcast hits in 2019/20.

OAR FM General Manager Lesley Paris says the result reflects audiences’ growing appetite for “diverse, relevant and engaging local stories”.

“This result demonstrates that audiences are connecting with niche programming beyond the mainstream, and that listeners value having many ways to listen – on FM and AM, live-streaming and podcasts.”

The most popular podcast on OAR FM for the period was AA Live, presented by the Dunedin branch of Alcoholics Anonymous. The series was accessed online on more than 73,400 occasions.

Lesley says she is “really proud” of the achievements of all the station’s volunteer broadcasters.

“Their programmes and podcasts are incredibly wide-ranging, from the experiences of our migrant communities to a variety of health, wellbeing, sustainability and specialist music shows.

“It’s fantastic to know that the voices and viewpoints of our communities are being heard.”

The Access Internet Radio Project provides streaming and podcasting services for Community Access media organisations, and is supported by NZ On Air.