Australian Radio Audio Researchers Association

Project Coordinator: Dr Bridget Griffen-Foley
Project Convenor: Dr John Tebbutt


Since the publication of the special ‘Radio’ issue of Media International Australia in May 1999, there has been a burgeoning of interest in the field of Australian radio studies. A loose network of interested researchers was formed at the Australian New Zealand Communication Association conferences in 2004. The group’s major activity was compiling and periodically updating an audit of recent and ongoing research in the field of Australian radio studies. Members of this loose network were involved in convening in Melbourne the highly successful The Radio Conference 2005: A Transnational Forum and have assisted with the organisation of major radio symposia in the United States and Italy. Other members are on the editorial board of The Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media.

In May 2006 the CRN sponsored, and underwrote the participation of postgraduate students in, Making Histories: Radio as Cultural Technology. The roundtable, which was organised by Dr John Tebbutt in Melbourne, discussed current research and involved representatives from the ABC Archives and the National Film and Sound Archives.

At the conclusion of this roundtable, it was decided to formalise the network of researchers who had been loosely working together since 2004. The result was the Australian Radio Audio Researchers Association (ARARA), headed by Dr John Tebbutt. ARARA recognises that radio is quickly becoming a function of a broader audio culture that features a range of digital distribution formats including podcasting, audio streaming and digital audio broadcasting. Questions regarding policy, commercial research strategies, community participation and programming will become increasing important over the next decade and need to be seriously addressed by academic and independent researchers. ARARA also recognizes the importance of historical research in developing a culture of intellectual engagement with radio and its development.

ARARA members participate in an electronic discussion list, feed into the Australian Media History Database, and aim to have some input into debates about how creative outputs are measured by universities and government. Members will also participate in conferences, including The Radio Conference: A Transnational Forum in the United Kingdom in July 2007, ANZCA conferences, and the biennial Australian Media Traditions Conferences.

An electronic discussion list has been formed:

To be added to the ARARA list contact the convenor, Dr John Tebbutt:

Project Activities

Making Histories: Radio as Cultural Technology
Melbourne, May 12-14th May, 2006