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Radio Margaret River celebrates first birthday in style

Radio Margaret River volunteers and fans were in high spirits over the weekend as the station celebrated its first anniversary after 12 months of operation.

Radio Margaret River (RMR) officially went live as the first community run internet radio station in WA on August 24, 2020.

Initially launched with just a playlist of fabulous tunes and a handful of dedicated volunteers, the station has now grown to a vibrant team of nearly 30 hosts, technicians, producers and DJs and a packed schedule of live shows broadcast direct from the studios at the Margaret River Community Centre on Tunbridge Street.

Station Manager James Burke said he was delighted with the growth and popularity of the station.

“In June we had over 10,000 listeners, which is an amazing milestone and a huge credit to everyone who’s helped to make this happen,” Mr Burke said.

“RMR is about more than just the music we play, it’s about bringing people together, supporting our amazing local area and showcasing the incredible talent we have here in the south west.”

Mr Burke thanked founding partners Community Bank Augusta & Districts Bendigo Bank, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and Rotary Margaret River along with “all the supporters who believed in the station from the start”.

He also acknowledged Burger Baby, Settlers Tavern, The River, Margaret River HEART, Retravision, CinefestOz and Bettenay’s Margaret River, who gifted vouchers to volunteers to celebrate the milestone.

“Great ideas just can’t get off the ground without financial support, and we’re extremely grateful to those who got behind us and have stayed with us through this journey,” Mr Burke said.

Over the past year the station has trained more than 30 volunteers in radio tech, broadcasting and production skills.

There are now seven live shows hosted by talented locals on the station programme, a further five pre-recorded shows, and many more in the pipeline.

Programming Director Pip Mattiske said the local element – including shows hosted by students from MRSHS – were essential to the station’s ethos.

“We’re dedicated to creating shows that are entertaining, informative and uplifting,” Ms Mattiske said. “We want to reflect and engage everyone in the community – that’s people of all ages and all backgrounds.”

The party was in full swing at Bettenay’s Margaret River on Sunday, as RMR’s Ian Smith presented the first ‘outside broadcast’ of his popular show, Take Me Back live at the winery to a large group of listeners.

Bettenay’s have launched the Sunday Locals Day promotion to welcome people from the area to the cellar door to enjoy Bettenay’s wines, Espresso Nougaretto Martinis, and to toast nougat on the fire.

“It’s the locals and community that makes living in the south west so special and we thought we could acknowledge that with Locals Day every Sunday,” said Product Development Manager, Danica Bettenay.

“To us, Sundays are the best day in the region – things are a little calmer and it feels more relaxed.

“Locals Day has worked really well. It gives people a chance to enjoy the beautiful surrounds of our cellar door with lake and forest views over drinks with friends, or make new friends around the fire.

“Everyone is welcome, locals and visitors – at the heart of it, it’s about coming together.”