Stephanie Amir

stephanieCurrent roles: In my daytime life, I work fulltime as a Project Manager at the Foundation for Young Australians. In my radio life, I co-host of weekly current affairs show Is Nothing Sacred? on Joy94.9.

How long have you been involved in the sector?

Only since May 2013. I’m still a newbie!

Where did you start out?

I did the Taste of Radio course at Joy94.9 after my colleagues convinced me that I should try being on radio. From there, I co-hosted a few shows on Fresh Air, which is for new graduates or pilot programs, then I was lucky enough to get my own show with some other Taste of Radio attendees, and we are now into our fourth season.

Why did you get involved in radio?

I have a background in research and in public policy, and there are many things that I am passionate about but two of those things are social justice and good science communication. I recognised radio as a tool for raising awareness of social issues and presenting information or ideas that isn’t always included in mainstream media, but once I started I realised how much I valued the opportunity to interview so many interesting and intelligent people. It’s so great to read an inspiring article or to hear about an interesting project, and to have a valid reason to call up the person responsible and say “Hi, you don’t know me, but can I ask you a whole lot of questions about this?”, and usually they say yes! Also I find being on radio really fun. I almost always leave the studio buzzing!

Career highlights?

My radio career has been very short so far, and there is a highlight almost every week. The things that stand out for me though were when I felt that we really succeeded in discussing important things that don’t often get discussed in an open way. We did a show a few months ago about inter-country adoption and I was blown away by how open and honest our guests were, talking about their families, and what it was like to meet your birth parents but only be able to communicate through an interpreter.

We also did our first international interview a few weeks ago with an academic from Boston, and it made me feel proud to be bringing cutting-edge international academic discussion to people in an accessible way. We received a message through her PR person the next day saying that she “adored those Australians,” which I was excited about too!

Biggest learning curve so far?

I’d say panelling, because – unlike talking to people – it wasn’t something that came naturally to me at all. It took months until I got through a show without making a mistake.

If I had known then, what I know now….

Community radio is so much more accessible than I thought, and so fun. I wish I’d been more involved as a student, to start my radio career earlier. I’d have so much more experience already!

Anything else you want to say about women in community broadcasting?

I’m a feminist, so I feel strongly about working towards equality for women in any way that I can. Community radio is one of those domains. The choices we make to be on radio, and the songs that we choose and people we interview and topics we cover – all of those things contribute to part of the bigger picture in the way that women are treated in the sector and the broader community.