Riverland Life FM is an FM radio station that, after 8 years of planning, began broadcasting on the 11th December 2005.
It began with a meeting in 1997 of people interested in having Christian radio broadcast in the Riverland. Since then, it has been a journey full of hope, trial, disappointments, victories, and excitement. Plus many, many, many hours of hard work, prayers and tears to make this possible. Not to mention all the financial support given, making it possible to begin transmission.
In 1998, Riverland Christian Radio Inc was formed and a constitution drawn. A Board was elected, members subscribed, newsletters sent out, and a station was born!
In 2003, RCR Inc. finally received a Temporary Community Broadcasting Licence from the Australian Broadcasting Authority (now ACMA) and secured a place on the ‘Broadcast Australia’ tower outside of Loxton from which to broadcast. This is a full story in itself and is nothing short of a miracle!
2004, was a year of substantial growth for the station, including the employment of RCR Inc’s first employee, Jason Staben, as Promotions Manager. His role included sharing the vision and needs of Riverland Life FM with the churches of the region, promotion of the station through all mediums, gathering sponsorship and support from businesses and individuals and more.
2005, in the first half of the year we submitted a grant for $25,000 with Regional Partnership. This was rejected in April.
Through a number of circumstances where God clearly showed the Board that they were to step out in faith, the Board of Management made a decision in late June to set an on-air date for September 2005, even though the bank balance was $30K short. Within 2 weeks of setting a date, $35,000 came in… Praise the Lord! BUT, drama was still to come!
The Board received correspondence from the Australian Broadcasting Authority revoking our frequency. A bigger player wanted our spot on the dial and it seemed we had to go! However, after prayer, a flurry of letters and phone calls and offers of support from some pollies, we were reinstated (for the time being!)
From that point it was a matter of setting the date to go to air, getting our licence application in and making preparations for the big day. We set up an office in Loxton, and called for more volunteers to get involved.
Things developed fairly rapidly from there. After broadcasting for some months, we secured the services of some eminent and experienced announcers who were keen to help us get going. Doug Oakley, Peter Court and Rob Smitheram, all with Life FM in Adelaide at the time, and Jayne Lochert, a former Riverlander, took on regular air time, showing us how it is supposed to be done!
Training local people to be announcers was also a major step forward. Recording shows began with a computer and basic sound equipment in a quiet corner of the station office. Two studios are now operational, though under-utilised. Having more announcers on air is a major priority now for the station.