- Collaborative community engagement leads seven-part series to finals in two categories of national community radio awards
- ‘Blokes Don’t Talk’ series took innovative approach to using multiple platforms to tell stories
- Series explores a variety of issues faced by men today that are not openly discussed
Community radio station 2MCE-FM at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst has been announced as a finalist in three categories of national awards.
‘Blokes Don’t Talk’ is nominated in the finalist categories Excellence in Digital Media, and Excellence in Innovative Content and Programming category.
The third nomination was in the finalist category, Excellence in Music Presentation, for the music program ‘alt.eighties’, presented by Mr Brett Van Heekeren (pictured).
2MCE manager Ms Lisa McLean said she and all the volunteers at the radio station were excited that the series had received nominations in three important categories.
“These nominations recognise an outstanding digital media initiative, and, an innovative programming or content initiative that gives a platform to music, ideas, or concepts not normally addressed by traditional media outlets, demonstrating a deep connection with its audience,” Ms McLean said.
‘Blokes Don’t Talk’ is a series of monologues written by Mr Vince Melton for the Bathurst Theatre Company, and also produced by Mr Brett Van Heekeren at 2MCE in collaboration with the Bathurst Theatre Company and with support from an ArtsOutWest microgrant.
“The series brings to the surface a variety of issues faced by men today that are not openly discussed,” Ms McLean said.
“The series has been previously performed by the Bathurst Theatre Company in pubs and clubs around the region but has now been brought to life as a series of radio plays.
“It’s a fantastic example of community collaboration and the contribution of 2MCE-FM to the diversity of regional media, and it’s recognition of the hard work our community volunteers do and the importance of community broadcasting.”
Series producer Mr Brett Van Heekeren said the series is an excellent example of collaborative community engagement ─ a community radio station working with a community theatre company in association with support from a regional arts organisation.
“Through that collaboration we have been able to tell some very important stories about the well-being of men in our community,” he said.
“The series takes an innovative approach to using multiple platforms to tell these stories.
“We have used live radio, on-demand access, social media, and online chat to immerse audiences in the story environments, and this immersive approach to multi-platform storytelling is one of the reasons the series has made finalist in two of this CBAA Awards categories.”
Mr Van Heekeren said converting the stories to a radio or audio environment was not too difficult because they are intimate stories and radio is an intimate medium.
“The approach to the series was not to use conventional sound effects throughout,” he said.
“A soundtrack for each story was created that allows the listener to understand the emotions and mental state of the characters rather than establish location and setting.
“The series was created during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic which meant accessing recording spaces became a challenge, so we re-purposed the funding to deal with that challenge.”
The ‘Blokes Don’t Talk’ series episodes can be heard on the 2MCE-FM podcast page.
The category award winners will be announced in early December.