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School students take to the airwaves

USQ program gets school students to produce their own radio show.

Video may have once killed the radio star, but USQ is helping revive it for a new generation.

The University has launched a new program, Lunchbox, to give school students a chance to produce their own radio show.

Delivered through USQ’s own station Phoenix Radio, students present a one-hour lunchtime program each week, focusing on their school and community.

They have the chance to record their show at the University’s purpose-built radio studios at the Springfield campus and receive guidance from USQ’s staff and students.

Lelani Burchell is a Year 12 student at Laidley State High School, one of the schools involved in the program.

“The first time I got to host the show was really exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” the 16-year-old said.

“I am really interested in a career in radio, so it’s been a good place to start and experience first-hand how much fun it is to produce a radio show.

“We’ve already had some great feedback about our shows, including our principal and teachers who were very happy.”

USQ Senior Lecturer (TV and Radio Broadcast) Dr Ashley Jones said the program was designed to help young people discover the power and possibilities of radio, and inspire them to consider a career in the media industry.

Lunchbox provides a rich experience for students to get involved in the entire production process, from developing segment concepts and writing scripts, to conducting interviews and hosting the show,” Dr Jones said.

“They don’t need to have prior knowledge of radio; we help them shape their show. They just have to be interested in telling the rest of the world about their place and their school.”

Radio remains the most accessible and engaging form of media, and is a powerful tool for spreading information and empowering communities.

Dr Jones said the rise of smartphones had made it easier for people to listen to radio through multiple platforms.

“More Australians are listening to radio than ever before, driven by an increase in listening via mobile streaming apps, DAB+ digital radio and podcasts,” he said.

“These technological developments have dramatically reshaped the radio landscape and led to several exciting new opportunities for young people looking to enter the sector.”

People can listen to Lunchbox through Phoenix Radio via the TuneIn Radio app by searching Phoenix Radio Online or through Brisbane Youth Radio on 1197AM, DAB+ and online. All shows are also recorded and turned into podcasts.

Lunchbox will air until the end of the year and new schools are invited to join. For more information or to register, visit Lunchbox Radio.


Students in radio studio
Students from St Saviour’s College Toowoomba and Laidley SHS in the radio studio.