About the Radio Collection
Image: Alice Walker in studio at SYN 90.7 FM in Melbourne. NFSA ID: 1567927
The NFSA’s radio collection spans the first quarter of the 20th century to today.
The NFSA collects and preserves titles created for Australian commercial and community radio stations and networks. Thanks to the generosity of networks, stations, collectors and producers the collection includes a wide variety of genres from drama serials, variety and quiz shows, jingles, news and current affairs, talk shows, documentaries, sport, inaugural broadcasts and podcasts to recordings of significant events and natural disasters.
Our ongoing collection of contemporary programs as 24-hour slices includes breakfast and drive shows, as well as coverage of major sporting events and podcasts like the Game Changers: Radio series featuring interviews with significant radio industry figures.
The vintage collection from the golden age of radio in the mid-20th century includes drama serials like Dad and Dave, Night Beat and When A Girl Marries; talent shows such as the long-running Australia's Amateur Hour; and quiz shows like Pick-A-Box with Bob Dyer. The Binny Lum collection of radio interviews, recorded in the 1960s with a multitude of Australian and international personalities, is available for listening on the NFSA SoundCloud page.
We hold 1970s rock music specials and social issues programs produced by 2SM while our 2UE material includes compilations of historically significant events from the 1950s to early 2000s, broadcasts by radio legends John Laws and Bob Rogers, and celebrity interviews with Don Lane. We hold the archive of programs by Hamish and Andy, significant events such as Australia Day programs broadcast by Radio Redfern in 1988, 3CR coverage of the Franklin Dam blockade and reportage of natural disasters like the 2009 Victorian bushfires. As well as recordings, we also hold a unique collection of radio-related scrapbooks, scripts and photographs.
Given the large size of Australia’s commercial and community radio sectors, the NFSA focuses its program selection on titles with cultural, historic and aesthetic significance, guided by the NFSA collection policy. The collection aims to illustrate the diversity of Australian radio production, developments in the industry and its history.
If you have radio material that you wish to offer the NFSA, please see the Collection offers page.
Download collection guide: Australian radio series (1930s–1970s)