Raise the Platform 21 June 2014 – community access

The crew of Raise the Platform have conducted some great interviews since first going to air on SYN in July 2013.

Here is another … a chat with Kathryn Beaton about her Guide Dog, Zeke.

Zeke has a Facebook page here (of course!) and you can stay up to date with the Jazzy the Adventure Chair here too!

Raise the Platform is a seasonal program at SYN Media that began as Diversity Program with the support of YDAS

Our Diversity Programs provide a unique mix of confidence building, life and job-ready skills and a platform for your voice in the community.

Call or email DiversityProgramming Coordinator, Danae Gibson, to find out more.

03 9925 4192



Diversity Program: Northern Support Services

The crew from Northern Support Services go to air each Thursday at 11am.

They chat about TV, sport, music and lots of other fun topics.

SYN Media loves working with community groups like NSS.

Tune in to 90.7 FM to hear their work or contact SYN to find out how your group could enjoy the media making opportunities at SYN.

Happy Snaps at the SYN Studio! April 2014

Happy Snaps at the SYN Studio! April 2014

Northern Support Services (NSS) for people with disabilities is a non-profit community organisation created by people with a disability and their families in the 1940’s.

Our Diversity Programs provide a unique mix of confidence building, life and job-ready skills and a platform for your voice in the community.

Call or email DiversityProgramming Coordinator, Danae Gibson, to find out more.

03 9925 4192


2013: A year of media learning at SYN

Participants of SYN's "Raise The Platform"

Participants of SYN’s “Raise The Platform”

2013 has been an amazing year for the Media Learning Department at SYN Media. We’ve taught hundreds of keen new SYN volunteers and thousands of participants from schools and community groups. We aim to teach media skills and provide access to media platforms for young people all across the community. Here are some of our 2013 highlights:

Queer Youth on Air

Supported by the HEY grants program SYN launched Queer Youth on Air – a summer training program for young people from LGBTIQ backgrounds.

Schools on Air

With the support of the Victorian Department of Education’s Strategic Partnerships Program and the Community Broadcasting Foundation we had another huge year of our Schools on Air program delivering radio shows, tours and workshops with over 3000+ students. You can hear some of their best work with the Best of Schools on Air podcast. We also won the “Excellence in Training” award at the 2013 CBAA awards.

Oxfam and Change Reaction

Change Reaction

We partnered with Oxfam on Change Reaction – a program to  encourage discussion about international aid and development amongst young Australians. Hear their work here.

Regional training

3WAY Training

We delivered training to young people at 3WAY in Warrnambool and EMFM in Echuca and assisted regional community radio stations in applying for the Victorian Government’s Be Heard grants program.

Radio and TV/Screen Training

Tim Training

Our Radio and TV/Screen training team inducted and trained over 40-50 young people per month into the SYN Media community. Our Information Nights regularly booked out throughout the year. Anyone 12-25 can volunteer in 2014 too: http://www.syn.org.au/getinvolved

Paper Fire

Paper Fire

In partnership with Express Media, 100 Story Building and Footscray Primary School we produced Paper Fire – radio plays written and produced by primary school students. Read a great summary of the launch event from 100 Story Building here.

YDAS and Raise The Platform

Raise The Platform

The Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) and SYN partnered on Raise The Platform –  a platform for young people to advocate for and share experiences of young people with disabilities. You can hear some of their podcasts here.

Interfaith/Multifaith programming – Unscriptured and Intersection


With support from the Victorian Multicultural Commission we farewelled Unscriptured after a great year of multifaith/interfaith discussion and welcomed Intersection to our programming. Both programs trained young people from diverse faith backgrounds in radio and media skills. Intersection will continue to be on air in 2014.

This is the Face of Australia’s Media

We celebrated our volunteers with “This is the Face of Australia’s Media” –  a showcase of the many types of young people who volunteer at SYN. Find out more at http://www.syn.org.au/ThisIsTheFace

Conferences, presentations and more


We spoke at a number of conferences and events across the year including Berry Street’s Good Childhood Conference, the Foundation for Young Australian’s Change It Up program and presenting Youth Engagement Forums across regional Victoria.


And on a personal note – it all wouldn’t be possible without our wonderful volunteers, trainees, trainers, office staff, teachers, support workers, partners, supporters, advocates, mentors and you! So many people in the community make SYN and our media learning programs a reality and we can’t wait to learn, grow, challenge, experiment and innovate even more in 2014. Thank you for your support.

-JB (Jonathan Brown – Education and Training Manager)

If you’d like to work with SYN Media Learning in 2014 you can find out more at http://www.syn.org.au/learn. Our office will be closed from December 21 to January 5.

5 reasons why radio and education work so well together

Schools on Air

Schools on Air is SYN Media’s live to air school radio program. It gives students the opportunity to broadcast live across Melbourne (On 90.7FM and Digital Radio) and across the world (At syn.org.au) as part of their classwork. Thousands of students contribute to the program producing over 600+ hours of broadcast content each year.

I’ve been working on the program since 2011 as SYN’s Education and Training Manager and it never ceases to amaze me the impact that the program has on students. Here are some of the reasons why I think radio and education work so well together.

1. It’s real.

Being live on the radio is a real experience. It’s not a simulated or pretend scenario – it’s the real deal. We place a lot of faith in students when we give them access to the airwaves and they return that faith with interesting and diverse content about their lives, their interests and their perspectives on the world and the community around them. The “realness” of the experience just can’t seem to be replicated by other means such as podcast or closed streaming.

2. It exercises different learning styles.

Producing radio enables and empowers students to articulate themselves in new ways. For students with low or developing literacy skills the conversational nature of radio allows them to build their skills and participate meaningfully without feeling restricted by their level of literacy. We have worked with everything from elite student programs to disengaged and at risk youth and radio consistently manages to engage students from a wide range of learning styles and backgrounds.

3. It encourages teamwork, collaboration and interpersonal skills.

Producing quality content takes strong teamwork and the live nature of radio gives students a clear deadline and structure to do so. The quality of their content is dependent on how well they interact and work with each other. Students need to effectively plan their music, content and delivery and can play different participatory roles in the studio such as technical operator, anchor, producer and more. Students can be matched to their strengths/weaknesses in a wide variety of roles.

4. It promotes critical thinking of the media and the media production process.

Producing content for a real audience means that students must think critically about the impact of their content. Students gain valuable insight into how the media production process can influence an audience and how the choices they make can impact how their content is received. On many occasions our in studio support staff have had long and powerful discussions with students about their use of language – in many cases causing students to question how they use language in their every day lives and the impact their words can have on others (in both a positive and negative way).

5. It’s fun (and you get bragging rights).

Radio can be a really fun way to learn. At SYN we give students a lot of freedom to choose their own music, topics and content in collaboration with their teachers and enable students to be creative with the platform. We think this freedom and creativity is really important for student enjoyment and for the authenticity of what students produce. Plus – they get to brag to friends and family that they’ve been on the radio (And often come back to volunteer with us later!)

Australia has one of the most open and accessible community radio sectors in the world – many stations across the country partner with schools for a really unique classroom experience.


Schools on Air is a SYN Media Learning program. Schools across Melbourne and Victoria can be a part of Schools on Air – Click here to book and find out more.



Multifaith Perspectives Program

SYN Media Learning is offering a great opportunity for young people of diverse faith backgrounds.

The program offers free radio and media training and the opportunity to contribute to a regular multifaith program on SYN.

You can find more information and application details at http://syn.org.au/MultifaithPerspectives – Anyone 12-25 can apply and applications close Thursday September 19.

Our Access Programs provide a unique mix of confidence building, life and job-ready skills and a platform for your voice in the community.

Call or email Access Programming Coordinator, Danae Gibson, to find out more.

03 9925 4192


Trainer profile – Mason Smith



Mason Smith

What you do with SYN and SYN Media Learning:

SYN Media Learning Trainer, Talks Manager, presenter on Sunday Sweets, former Executive Producer of The Hoist

Your top 3 training tips:

  1. Choose a topic that makes you laugh. The more you enjoy the subject matter, the better the topic sounds on air, the better the response you get from the audience.
  2. Music. Music is not a break but content in itself. Have themes or genres, talk about the tracks, have a bit of a groove in the studio – while preparing for the next talk break, of course!
  3. Always be prepped! For an hour long show you ought to have researched all your ideas for an hour and a half at the very least and have them written out in dot points.

What has been your favourite training moment?

I was taking an ESL group who were fantastic, really enthusiastic and fun to be around but one of the guys had trouble with pronunciation at times. During his segment “Rules for Picking up Girls” he was explaining that it’s a good idea to find out what a girl likes and talk about her hobbies. Unfortunately, despite myself and his two co-hosts telling him otherwise he pronounced “hobbies” as “herpes”.

What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when training young people?

Every person, no matter how old they are, are individuals and you need to deal with people on a case by case basis. Every group is different; people have varying strengths, abilities, passions and experience that they want to bring to broadcasting so having an exchange to bring out these qualities is ideal for fostering talent and supporting the individual is of utmost importance.