Radio Archivist Chris Arneil looks at the outcomes of our Gaywaves LGBTQIA+ radio preservation program.
Through the generosity of a bequest from the estate of Dietmar Hollman, and in accordance with his wishes to preserve Australian radio, we’ve reached the end of the Gaywaves project, with 25 days’ worth of content digitised.
This includes more than 250 hours of Gaywaves (Sydney’s first regularly broadcast gay and lesbian radio program) held on compact cassette and VHS tapes, alongside other LGBTQIA+-related content from the NFSA collection including programs heard across Melbourne’s 3CR, 3RRR and 3KND Kool ‘N’ Deadly, Sydney’s 2SER and Radio Skid Row, Armidale’s 2ARM, Queensland’s 4BC and Radio Adelaide in South Australia.
The digitisation of these collections (which were held on magnetic tapes at high risk of deterioration) ensures that the important history of diverse and marginalised voices on Australian airwaves remains accessible into the future.
As part of this project, we also acquired other contemporary LGBTQIA+-related radio recordings from around Australia, including:
We also acquired retrospective recordings including test broadcasts from aspirant Sydney LGBTQIA+ community station Out-FM as well as additional Gaywaves recordings and documentation.
To mark the end of the Gaywaves preservation project, we’ve published the recording of a panel session we held during the 2015 SpringOUT festival.
Our panel members were Prue Borthwick and Greg Reading (2SER’S Gaywaves presenters); Peter Hewiston (past 2XX’s Gaywavelength presenter); Nicola Hearn, Nida Mollison and Daria Sigma (2XX’s current Friday Night Lip Service presenters) and myself:
We also identified and digitised pre-existing LGBTQIA+ radio recordings in the NFSA collection, including material from stations 3CR Melbourne, 2SER Sydney, 3KND Kool 'N’ Deadly, and Radio National.
The following SoundCloud playlist includes highlights from the hundreds of hours of Gaywaves recordings:
We gratefully acknowledge Dietmar Hollman’s generosity and foresight in supporting the NFSA through a bequest as well as his significant contribution towards saving this important piece of our national audiovisual history.
This article was first published in 2016. The text was updated in 2023.
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