Ears On Natural World

A Dunedin-based wildlife filmmaker has diverted his focus to what we hear, rather than what we see, when exploring our natural environment.

Karthic SS hosts OAR FM programme and podcast Tune Into Nature, telling stories of wildlife and conservation in Otago.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and coming to terms with immense global and local changes, has made our connection to nature more central than ever, he says.

“Through natural soundscapes and local stories of conservation, Tune Into Nature aims to entertain and inform listeners, and strengthen our relationship with the natural world.

“This project involves conservation activists and volunteers telling their stories, and sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for Otago’s unique natural environments. We hear about the work of numerous community organisations, and hopefully inspire our communities to support important conservation work.”

Field recordings of natural phenomenon are woven through each episode, transporting the listener into a variety of wild environments. Early editions have featured the dawn chorus at Orokonui Ecosanctuary, birdsong at the Aramoana saltmarsh, and the sounds of urban green spaces during lockdown.

Tune Into Nature is made possible through funding from the Otago Regional Council Eco Fund, with support from the University of Otago Centre for Science Communication. The show airs every second Tuesday at 9.30am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. 

Youth Air Their Differences

Dunedin student Ranisha Chand (20) is providing a media platform for young people to discuss their beliefs, in the hope that it will reduce tensions over differing perspectives.

On OAR FM Youth Zone programme and podcast Hear Us Say, guests are invited to share their spontaneous responses to prompt questions around areas of prejudice and personal values.

The questions come from a set of Mosaic Cards, a resource developed by Ara Taiohi, a non-government organisation for youth development in New Zealand.

Hear Us Say was designed to build social cohesion, Ms Chand said.

“Through encouraging people to sit down and have a chat in a very safe environment about what their differences are, and how they can live with those differences in a community without any bitter feelings, we learn how to coexist.”

Ms Chand is a student of Politics and Pacific Island Studies at the University of Otago. She is also a Youth Advocate for not-for-profit community organisation Shakti, which provides free and confidential support for women, youth and children from Asian, Middle Eastern and African backgrounds going through family violence.

The Youth unit has run campaigns to stop intergenerational cultural bullying, and has advocated in parliament on the issues of forced and under-aged marriage. Hear Us Say airs every second Wednesday at 4pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. 

Samoan Women Host Radio Show

A programme by, for and about Samoan women has joined OAR FM Dunedin’s Friday night line-up.

Lupe Sina is hosted by Erolia Rooney and Christine Anesone. Erolia is a supervising scientist with the NZ Blood Service and is an active sport, culture and community volunteer, including as a Catholic Chaplain. Christine is Pacific Islands Community Liaison Officer at the University of Otago’s Pacific Islands Centre.

The programme joins Friday shows Lupe Fetala’i and Lupe o le Foaga, and Sunday morning Christian worship show Lupe o le Talalelei, all of which are supported by Lupe Fa’alele a Samoa i Otago, a Society of Samoans living in Otago.

Presented in a mix of Samoan and English language, Lupe Sina is wide-ranging in its content but mainly focuses on supporting Samoan women with information on health and wellbeing, housing, food and fashion.

Episodes to date have included discussion on education and career pathways, breast and cervical screening programmes, and the traditional role of Samoan women in their communities and families.

Recent shows have also included tips for keeping homes warm, dry and healthy through the winter months.

Lupe Sina airs every second Friday at 5pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

40 Years of Access Media

Access media throughout New Zealand are celebrating a milestone – turning 40 and launching a book about their history.

OAR FM Dunedin is part of a grassroots network of 12 community access radio stations that has evolved over 40 years into an alliance of broadcasters that transmit daily in more than 49 languages, and publish a massively diverse array of podcasts online.

Known now as CAMA (Community Access Media Alliance), the network brings together communities, allowing volunteers to create their own radio shows and podcasts by, for and about their diverse communities.

Whether your interest is Buddhism or feminism, mental health issues or niche music tastes, or maintaining your culture through your heritage language, there is a programme for that on Access media.

Celebrating the 40-year milestone warranted a book. Sharing the Mic – The History of Community Access Radio in Aotearoa New Zealand was launched in April in the Grand Hall at Parliament at an event hosted by the Minister of Broadcasting and Media, Hon. Kris Faafoi.

Researched and co-written by Brian Pauling and Bronwyn Beatty, of the NZ Broadcasting School/Ara in Christchurch, the book travels the country, chronicling the people and stories that have shaped Access media.

The book is available for purchase via the Freerange Press website and local bookstores.

Photo: Milestone: OAR FM Community Connector Arina Aizal with a book tracing the 40-year history of Access media in New Zealand. 

Radio Show for Climate Action Group

The Dunedin branch of socio-political movement Extinction Rebellion is making its voice heard through a programme and podcast on OAR FM Dunedin.

The Environment Awareness show provides a platform for discussion on issues of climate change, social justice, biodiversity loss and potential ecological collapse.

Programme coordinator and host Jen Olsen said she hoped listeners would be inspired to listen to the conversations and ask themselves what they could do to help avert a climate crisis. Governments and other institutions had “not acted quickly enough” to keep global warming below a level that would maintain life as we know it.

“Unless people know what’s happening, they’re not going to support the actions we think need to happen.

“We’re totally committed to non-violent direct action, because writing petitions and asking nicely has not worked.”

Extinction Rebellion protesters had on three occasions in recent months occupied Dunedin rail tracks with the objective of delaying trains carrying coal from Western Southland to Fonterra’s Clandeboye plant in South Canterbury.

“We fully support the movement to end the use of coal, the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in New Zealand.

“It needs to be stopped, so it’s a continuing focus.”

Environment Awareness airs every second Tuesday at 1pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Dunedin Yoga Lady Shares Experience

The marketing of yoga as a pastime for only the young and beautiful is a troubling phenomenon for one local practitioner.

Kate Bendall, known as the Dunedin Yoga Lady in her fortnightly OAR FM radio show and podcast, has noticed an “explosion” of images depicting lithe and youthful yoga practitioners across social media.

“You could argue it’s a good thing, with more exposure and more people coming to yoga, but I think the opposite is happening,” she said.

Such images were falling into a very narrow band.

“I’m 55 now and started yoga when I was 18, so it’s this mixture of recognising for myself that the yoga that I see, doesn’t relate to me at all. There are so many other people out there who can benefit from yoga, particularly at the moment.”

Ms Bendall has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and practicing for 35 years consistently. Through her local Temple Yoga practice, she shares her experience of traditional classic yoga that includes mantra (sound), visualisation, meditation, philosophy, as well as specific bodily postures.

The radio show and podcast covers how yoga might help address some of the major struggles that people might face, such as anxiety and depression, as well as the deeper philosophies that listeners might apply to their daily lives.

Dunedin Yoga Lady airs every second Tuesday at 10.30am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Women on the Turntables

A move to Dunedin for a former Auckland-based DJ has placed the music of women artists to the fore on OAR FM’s Thursday drive-time slot.

Kristina Simons, who spins tracks under the moniker Tina Turntables, spent close to eight years as a regular host on Auckland student radio station 95bFM.

On her arrival in Dunedin midway through 2020, a voiceover job on local writer Kathryn van Beek’s Pet Podcast series brought Ms Simons into contact with the local Access Media station. The opportunity to host her own drive-time programme was discussed, leading to the development of Thursday show Pull Up To The Bumper.

Ms Simons said her new programme provided a platform for “the godmothers of modern music”.

“There are many wonderful women artists, such as Ma Rainey, who were considered too popular by many of the collector-types that were around in the 1940’s. These collectors focused on the more obscure, mainly male artists and that’s what became more popular over time.”

The show “celebrated these incredible women” and traced their influence on contemporary music.

Being a drive-time show, there would be plenty of fun and a wide range of music styles that reflected Ms Simons’ love of soul, funk and rock music.

“And I want this show to be as inclusive as possible, including tracks from trans and non-binary women.”

Pull Up To The Bumper airs every Thursday at 5pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Clinic Goes Beyond The Script

A new radio and podcast series on OAR FM Dunedin is exploring a key aspect of healthcare.

Beyond the Script features conversations with clinical pharmacists from the University of Otago School of Pharmacy Clinic, He Rau Kawakawa Whare Haumanu, sharing insights into the clinical consultations that help patients review and manage their medicines.

The clinic, located on campus at 325 Great King Street Dunedin, provides consultations free of charge to those in the area, and online via Telehealth. Pharmacists listen to patients’ concerns and questions, provide information and advice, and can work with health care providers to help patients get the most of their medicines.

In the first episode of Beyond the Script, clinical pharmacist Emma Smith discusses aspects of dementia with Dr Yoram Barak, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Otago School of Medicine and consultant psychogeriatrician at the Southern District Health Board.

Topics include the various different forms of dementia, the common signs to look for, and what someone should do if they, or someone they are close too, are showing signs of dementia.

The early stages of dementia are a good time to find out about what support and choices are available, including through the School of Pharmacy clinic.

Beyond The Script airs on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 12.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts.

Community Connector for Access Station

OAR FM Dunedin’s Community Connector – Arina Aizal

OAR FM Dunedin is putting extra effort and resource into its mission to reflect the cultural diversity of Dunedin.

Arina Aizal is the access media station’s new Community Connector intern, a role that will see her extend and strengthen links with migrant communities through opportunities to create radio programmes and podcasts.

Ms Aizal helped establish the Muslim Chaplaincy Conversation programme on OAR FM and is now also hosting her own show The Arinality, which features stories of women and their cultural identities, exploring their sense of belonging and wellbeing in New Zealand.

A recent visit to Dunedin by Shane Whitfield, Regional Manager for Community Engagement at Office of Ethnic Communities, saw Ms Aizal take the opportunity interview him about the Ethnic Communities Development Fund for a new Connecting Cultures Features podcast.

OAR FM’s new Community Connector will also be working with the station’s existing broadcasters, to help them strengthen connections with their audiences, and will assist with development of Youth Zone programming.

Ms Aizal, who grew up in Malaysia, is a former International Representative for Otago University Students Association and is currently a leadership network member of the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Anyone wishing to get in touch can email arina@oar.org.nz or call the station on 471 6161.

The Arinality airs every second Wednesday at 5.30pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from oar.org.nz, Google podcasts and Apple podcasts 

Women’s Experience Explored on Radio

Iram Anjum host of Being Women

Every woman deserves to be appreciated and encouraged. That’s the thinking behind new radio programme and podcast Being Women, on OAR FM Dunedin.

Iram Anjum settled in Dunedin with her husband and year-old son in September 2019. Her experience of relocating from India, balancing the transition into work while raising a child, was the subject of an episode of another OAR FM show, Migrant Motherhood.

Ms Anjum said the conversation on motherhood sparked an idea to create a series that further explored her Indian culture, climate, food, art, and fashion through discussion with other women, who could compare and contrast their own experiences and values.

“The show is also about what it means to be a woman in the 21st Century, throwing some light on the different roles of a mother, a partner, a wife, a daughter or a friend.

“And if you are a working woman, how do you toggle between work and your home responsibilities? We’ll talk about that.”

Making a radio show was also an opportunity for Ms Anjum to further develop her communication skills.

“As a speaker of Hindi and Urdu, gaining more confidence in the English language, meeting people and making new friends is really great for me.”

Being Women airs every second Tuesday at 10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM.