We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalising content and advertising. To learn more, check out our Privacy Policy


by Tony Roma
posted 01/12/2021

And the Nominees Are…Eastside Radio!

Eastside Radio Scores Seven Finalists in 2021 CBAA Awards

Seven Eastside Radio 89.7FM FM people and programs have been rewarded as finalists in the 2021 Community Radio Awards. A remarkable achievement, as these Community Broadcasting Association of Australia awards received over 320 entries across 30 categories this year – and represent a truly diverse cross-section of the community radio sector.

This is the culmination of years of effort, whereby Eastside has continued to increase its category entries – resulting in the station succeeding in seven out of its eight nominations.

Over 100 judges volunteered their time for the difficult task of selecting the finalists of the CBAA Awards – which celebrate innovation, perseverance, and community champions.

“These nominations are not only important in recognising the long hours – mainly voluntary – that our people put into making Eastside the popular, quality station that our listeners rely upon,” Eastside Radio managing director Tony Smythe says, “But also the crucial role that the station plays within the community – especially through challenging times, such as COVID.”

Eastside finalist Cathy Fitzpatrick agrees: “Radio – whether delivered by internet, digital or the magic of the airwaves – has shown itself to be bomb-proof, prohibition-proof and pandemic-proof.  What a wonder it is!” she observes. “I adore broadcasting at Eastside FM.  It’s an honour to be able to present artists and their creations. Love being able to speak to people directly, with warmth and humour, warning and wonder – straight from listening heart to open ears.”

“I am thrilled with my CBAA nomination as it places a spotlight on women in the music industry,” Sonia de Freitas’ tells, whose program Shout Sister Shout – which highlights stories of the gifted women of Australian jazz, improvised and world music – was nominated for Best Online Content.

“Radio – whether delivered by internet, digital or the magic of the airwaves – has shown itself to be bomb-proof, prohibition-proof and pandemic-proof.  What a wonder it is!”

“I’m proud to have contributed to the wonderful community that is Eastside Radio,” Joel Woolf says who, along with Cathy Kirkpatrick was nominated as a finalist in the Best Station Production category for “Grow Your Audience”.

All Award winners will be announced virtually in December and celebrated with the 2020 virtual winners in March at the CBAA Conference in Cairns, during which the prestigious Michael Law and Tony Staley Awards will also be announced.

The outstanding Eastside Radio nominees and their entries / areas of expertise are:

Best New Radio Program: Breaking Waves – Ruth Hessey, Alex Heley, Arabella Alami, Riley Lavelle Long, John Mark Hessey, Geoff Forrester, Shai De Vletter Sont

A program about smashing stereotypes and dispelling stigma. The six presenters represent the gamut of physical and neuro-diversity – including those with Tourettes, and another who went blind after suffering a massive stroke. It’s about daring to be different and getting maximum fun out of life. https://eastsidefm.org/breakingwaves/

Best Online Content: Shout Sister Shout – Sonia de Freitas

Shout Sister Shout captures numerous projects that gifted women of Australian music have woven into our cultural fabric. The inspiration for my interview series is the story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe,” Sonia explains. “She is the progenitor of Rock ’n Roll. Glorified and unforgettable men, like Elvis and Little Richard, took inspiration from her bold stage craft, but her story was lost to the history books. My hope is that these women are not lost or written out of the history books in the same way as Sister Rosetta Tharpe.” https://eastsidefm.org/shout-sister-shout-epilogue/

Best Radio Program: Music – The Last Waltz – Cathy Kirkpatrick

Cathy brings tales tall and true, fabulous classics, forgotten memories and new tunes from Sydney and beyond, usually wrapped around a theme that have included: Love Gone Wrong, Animals, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Vegetables, Welcoming the Stranger, Coffee and Cigarettes.

The show celebrates folk music and everything under its umbrella: folk, alt-country, singer-songwriter and more. “The Last Waltz gives me the opportunity to play new work from Australian artists alongside iconic classics, showing the depth and calibre of music which is pouring out of this country.” Cathy says. “Wrapping each playlist around a weekly theme gives a fun structure to the 90 minutes and helps to create meaning around some off-beat juxtapositions.”

Best Station Production: Grow Your Audience – Cathy Kirkpatrick & Joel Woolf

Grow Your Audience relates to all the Program Promos that were produced this year in successfully promoting the station through this team’s creativity, skill and hard work. “Working mostly behind the scenes at Eastside, it’s a real honour to be nominated for this award,” Joel says.

Excellence in Technical Innovation: Nick La Rosa Radio Services

Quality hi-tech work on the Eastside FM website, as well as on streaming, On Demand and LRM has resulted in this well-deserved nomination of Nick La Rosa.

His is the last word on being a finalist and contributing to Eastside’s success – as Nick observes: “Sharing music through community radio and my technical solutions has been a great experience – it keeps me hungry, and it keeps me striving to do better.” 


National Features & Documentaries Series: One Step Away – Shannon Haritos & Poppy Dowsett

Housing in Australia is extremely precarious, with affordability increasingly out of reach for many. We hear plenty of bad news in this arena, but what is being done to address this situation?

Poppy Dowsett and Shannon Haritos of Eastside Radio take us on a very personal journey to speak to some pioneering Australians thinking outside the box when it comes to social and affordable housing initiatives.

“Being a part of the NFDS helped us tell the that story too many Australians are experiencing” says Poppy, “and to hear ideas from experts on how to make housing more affordable.”

One Friend Away

National Features & Documentaries Series: Dancing With Death – Chelsea Deeley

Chelsea Deeley of Eastside Radio and the CMTO reflects on what it’s like to work around death and dying every single day.

This documentary is inspired by her flagrant embracing of the subject of death, unwrapping the personal experiences and views of 2 people, including my mum, who effectively ‘dance with death’ on a daily basis.

What effect does their work have on their view of their field, themselves, and what is their own personal relationship with death?

Dancing With Death