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Why community and connection are so important

Steph Ryan MP

This magazine throws a spotlight on the stories of more than 50 community groups and businesses, and over 110 people in Kilmore.

I’d like to thank each and every person who gave their time to share their stories.


Mitchell Community Radio

OKR FM 98.3 FM

Ellie Smith and Mark Perrott say that people who come into OKR FM for the first time are usually pretty nervous about going on air. “It can be bit terrifying,” says Ellie who is assistant station manager. “But it’s really just a conversation. Afterwards people do wonder what all the fuss was about.”

Mark Perrott, OKR FM president, has been with the station 15 years. “I’m passionate about community engagement,” he says. “I work closely with schools, including Wallan Secondary College.”

“We provide students with the opportunity to experience and learn about community radio.”

Ellie says that community radio is an important resource that helps meets community needs, particularly through work experience.

The sound and post-production engineer said that she found it challenging to find a job in Melbourne after graduating from her diploma.

“I knew the industry was competitive, so I decided to volunteer at a small radio station closer to home,” she says. “That was OKR FM.” After some time, Ellie was hired in a part-time capacity, directly as the result of a grant.

If there is one message the duo would like to get out, it is ‘use us, we’re here’. “Come and get involved,” Mark and Ellie say. “It’s not just a radio station, it’s a movement, right across Australia.


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