The year was 1993 and a black voice sung out across the airwaves for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike. Murri Radio, Australia’s first Indigenous radio station in an Australian capital city, had arrived.
The journey from the ‘82 Brisbane Commonwealth Games protests to BIMA studios at Ambleside Street, West End has been paved with the yarns, laughter and music of our communities across the country.
Over the decades it was considered more than a radio station by mob. It was a training ground for youth, a voice for the incarcerated, and a podium for new artists seeking to break onto the airwaves.
Now, a celebration of the immense legacy that is Murri Radio, also known as Brisbane Indigenous Media Association (BIMA), is being held at the State Library of Queensland. Titled, ‘I heard it on the radio: 25 years of 98.9FM Murri Country’, the exhibition which opened last week, will continue through to early October.
Broadcasters, family members and veterans of the station attended the launch, mingling with community who had come together to honour the BIMA path, which stemmed from black activism in the 1970s and 1980s.
Through targeting country music listeners, the station also attracted a large audience of non-Indigenous punters. Alongside hearing the best country music had to offer, they heard the stories of Indigenous communities from across the country. Murri Radio was bridging the distance between black and white.
“Murri Radio along with Indigenous media across the country plays a very important role in telling the true history and giving an unfiltered message from our community to the broader community about issues and affairs from our perspective,” BIMA chief, Kaava Watson told NITV News
“This exhibit in particular gives us the opportunity to look back at our old people that have established a lot of our media and have set up the frame work and the station and the infrastructure that we have today,” he said.
“We hold the baton now and it our job to run as hard and as fast as we can to ensure we make some ground for the generations to come.”