Katherine, NT

Students gain hands on experience using multi-media software and equipment, creating playlists and programing live radio segments.


Katherine teens hit the airways!

Somerville Community Services Inc is a non-government, not-for-profit, youth, family and community welfare organisation in the Northern Territory. The Somerville Katherine branch provides intensive case management support to at-risk or homeless youth aged 12-25.

Somerville Katherine applied to the Small Grants for Rural Communities program to help fund a multi-media course, including work experience for youth aged 14-17 in a real radio studio. The Bertalli Family Foundation funded $3,000 for this project and a group of eight students completed a six week course at Katherine’s Community Radio Station.

Making their voices heard

Through the course, the students gained hands on experience using the software and equipment, creating playlists and programming live radio segments, and they even interviewed the local MP and Mayor! On completion, the participants received a certificate at an awards ceremony and now manage their own weekly radio session.

Somerville staff have seen the success of the program first hand with participants gaining confidence and improving their public speaking skills over the six week course. All students said they would recommend the program to their peers and would assist in teaching other groups.

Spreading the word

Now that the youth radio segment has been established, the plan is to train two groups at a time. This will increase the radio segments from one to two a week, with the aim of having the training accredited so that the youth participants can become qualified in the field.

Being a remote community, there are limited training opportunities for disadvantaged youth outside the education setting and there is a high level of youth unemployment, particularly in the 17-25 age group. A large number of youth engage in dangerous or risky behaviour, such as binge drinking, petrol sniffing and vandalism. Somerville Katherine knows it’s important to create a diversion for young people and are committed to providing different types of sustainable training opportunities.