The creative energy behind Bay FM’s long-running radio show Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond are organising a big fundraiser this week with a shindig at the Brunswick Picture House.
Some of the core team Annalee Atia and founder Sally Cusack spoke with The Echo.
What is it, do you think, about Pregnancy Birth and Beyond that has seen its longevity?
We are a team of parents from the Byron Shire who created a parenting radio show project seven years ago. Each week we create a weekly space for discussing issues related to raising a happy and healthy next generation in a way that informs and empowers parents, and inspires the wider community to support them. We want to offer an alternative to conventional media coverage of parenting, which either trivialises the challenges, or reduces meaningful discussion on important topics to the same old divisive, uninformed outrage rather than open-minded, helpful discussion. Our topics range from conception & pregnancy, childbirth, parenting & family, to community & sustainable living.
How do you approach your subject matter?
Collectively our team has a broad range of connections to community groups, business, government, health services – with an eye on conventional media, and with our own lives as a reference point, we have no shortage of content to cover. We look for the big picture themes in all our shows to ensure the broadest possible relevance for our listeners, while also drilling down into individual stories to help flesh out understanding of a topic. When sharing personal stories, we ensure our interviewees are resolved in their understanding of their story, so as to not re-traumatise them or the listener. We are also keen to ensure that at the end of each episode there is a clear message for the listener to act on, eg tips for prevention, how to heal, whom to seek help from.
What is unique, do you think, about your approach to parenting in our region?
Our approach may be unique because it sees the connection between our everyday choices as parents and the wider community and the healthy future of our species and the planet. We see no difference between the importance of well-informed and well-supported parents and caregivers and a well-informed wider family and community in the impact on our children. That means that a grandparent is as important as a parent and that an uncle or friends of the family have a unique space in a child’s life that is critical in their growth. We see direct links between the wellbeing of a child and their consequent connection to themselves, their peers, their community and the world and environment around them later on in life. Our aim is to have this information available in all its complexity through our various platforms (live-to-air radio, podcast, local events, online and more!) for ease of access to a busy and changing community.
What is the reason for the fundraiser?
We have received very little funding for our work over the years. We currently have a large dedicated team of 13 people volunteering to bring this information to the wider community – and our ongoing costs. We all work as volunteers and we have to raise funds for our infrastructure and administration costs – podcast server, website, insurance, etc. In the past year we have been nominated for a CBAA award (‘Excellence in Digital Media’ – to be announced next month) and participated in a Walkley Awards Incubator Program, and with our now substantial international audience, and ongoing longevity, we see enormous potential for us to grow. To that end we have engaged with key supporters from our region who have come on board as team members to help our project ‘step up’ to the next level.
Through the year we have grown to a team from three to 13 and we want to incorporate in order to raise our own funds. We also need to invest in recording equipment to increase our output, but this all needs money.
With keynote speakers Janine Barron as MC and Zenith Virago, spoken-word artist Luka Lesson, Joel Orchard president of Mullum SEED Inc, Dr Robyn Thompson activist for women’s rights in childbirth and beyond, and with performances by Ohad Rein (Old Man River), Amir Paiss & Avishai Barnatan (Sheva) & Shai Shriki.
Friday from 6pm at Brunswick Picture House . Tickets at www.pbbmedia.org/shindigs.