The voice of Dunedin ethnic communities in local media just got a little stronger, with the Dunedin Multi Ethnic Council (DMEC) hosting a weekly show on Otago Access Radio’s Connecting Cultures Zone.
DMEC On Air had until recently aired in a monthly half-hour slot, focused on promoting networks and links with the wider community of Dunedin. The change to a weekly format was driven by DMEC vice-president Lux Selvanesan, a member of the Dunedin Tamil Society which presented its own show, Vanakkam Tamizha, on Tuesdays from 7pm to 8pm.
Mr Selvanesan said the Tamil group had learned much about the diverse traditions, backgrounds and interests of its own members through membership of a Society, and through making a talkback show. His role with DMEC opened his eyes to opportunities for other cultural organisations to tell their stories.
“I hadn’t realised the power of radio as a tool for connecting until I got involved with Vanakkam Tamizha. I wanted to expand that opportunity to all the other groups.
“If the large number of ethnic communities in Dunedin can connect and share learnings, it will make for an amazing family.”
DMEC community initiatives included Chai and Chat, a weekly opportunity for women of all cultures to share food and hear from guest speakers, and Koru International Playgroup for children under 6 years, open to migrant and Kiwi families. A community garden at Musselburgh School was another project for men and women interested in gardening, especially seniors.
DMEC On Air will feature updates on DMEC activities, profiles of Council members, and interviews of general interest to new and established migrant families. Hosting roles would be shared among members, including women from the Chai and Chat group.
The programme next Tuesday will include an interview with Whaea Tania Williams and Kai Tahu kaumatua David Ellison on the topic of tangata whenua.
DMEC On Air airs every Tuesday at 6pm on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM. Podcasts are available from www.oar.org.nz.
Photo: Connected: Dunedin Multi Ethnic Council vice-president Lux Selvanesan coordinates DMEC On Air on Otago Access Radio.