CBAA nfds 2019 1140x400 002 05 Colour Logos

An annual showcase of work by new and emerging Australian community radio producers. 

Applications for the 2019 National Features and Documentary Series (NFDS) are now open. We're looking for applicants from community radio stations across Australia to produce 30-min stories, armed with:

  • Industry-standard radio training through the CMTO to help bring your documentary or feature to life (approx. $1000 worth of training)
  • An experienced mentor, who will work with you to make the piece as good as it can be
  • Your work shared nationally via the Community Radio Network
  • The chance to win a CBAA Award
  • Honorary payment per minute of audio upon completion

Applications are now closed

We spoke to last year's NFDS CBAA Award winner, Katharina Loesche from 4EB, about her experience partaking in NFDS 2018.

What are the most useful skills and lessons you learned from the 2018 NFDS series?

Through the NFDS series I learned, in a very short period of time, all the skills I needed to take the production of radio segments/podcasts to the next level: from research, pitching a project, planning and conducting interviews (content and technical wise), exploring creative ways to tell a story to having now a thoroughly understanding of editing with Hindenburg. The webinars were always a wonderful input and I could immediately implement my new knowledge into my documentary “The Runners’ Guide”. On top, I really enjoyed working with my mentor Kim Stewart (4ZZZ), who kept me on track with her knowledge and humour. It was wonderful to finally work with like-minded people, as often in community radio you are doing everything by yourself. Producing creative radio content is now much easier for me, as I have the skills and mindset after I pushed through the 2018-series. I am more confident in deciding what I need to make a good story great and what I need to ask my interviewee, plus the editing is really fun!

What do people considering applying for this year's round need to know about the commitment?

It is an ongoing commitment you should think through before applying, as it is definitely a lot of work and you need to make time in your weekly schedule. It is not done in one go on a weekend. That said, it is nothing you have to be afraid of, as everyone from the CMTO and your mentor is helpful to get you through - and it is absolutely worth it. Just keep open communication. I honestly only take away positive things from participating in the NDFS 2018 and it was all worth it!

Are you still working on radio stories after the completion of the series? How did your time working on the NFDS help with what you're working on now?

I am still broadcasting for the German Language Group at Radio 4EB (4x/ month) and I deliver a weekly radio segment to Radio SBS German. At the moment, I am applying for podcast grants through the CBF for two multicultural projects. Producing “The Runners’ Guide” gave me the skillset to take on new and exciting projects and opened my eyes to what is possible in community radio. And after gaining experience during the NDFS 2018 editing with Hindenburg, I got in contact with a popular US-Podcast producer - who edits with Hindenburg, too. As a freelancer, I am now his regular podcast editor for diverse topics, ranging from Politics, Mental Health Issues and even Behind-The-Scenes about how horror movies are made. Without the NDFS 2018, this wouldn’t have happened and I am very grateful for this unique opportunity that the CMTO offers us community radio producers. Give it a go!

Applications close midnight AEDT Sunday 7 April, 2019.

Apply via nfds.org.au.