Bougainville community radio station wins 2009 UQ Award

23 Mar 2016

Friday 21 August 2009

A pioneering community radio station in Papua New Guinea’s Autonomous Province of Bougainville, New Dawn FM 95.3, has won the UQ School of Journalism and Communication's 2009 Communication and Social Change Award.

Based in the town of Buka, locally-owned New Dawn FM 95.3 Community Radio was founded to help rebuild Bougainville’s civil society in the wake of a devastating 10-year internal conflict which killed 20,000 people, and displaced 40,000 others.

UQ’s prestigious annual Communication and Social Change Award was launched in 2006, to

honour outstanding contributions by individuals or organisations around the world to the theory and practice of Communication for Social Change (CSC).

Announcing the 2009 Award-winner, the Head of UQ’s School of Journalism and Communication Professor Michael Bromley said it was significant that a South Pacific media organisation had won for the first time since the Award began.

“New Dawn FM’s mission is to restore freedom of expression and promote the reconciliation process on Bougainville, by giving a voice to local communities that have been dispossessed by civil war.

“Our independent 2009 Award Jury Panel, which included senior representatives of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Government’s overseas development agency, AusAID, unanimously agreed that New Dawn FM 95.3 Community Radio’s brave and pioneering work is in the best tradition of international grass-roots activism to promote communication for social change”, Professor Bromley said.

This year there was a strong international field of 19 nominations for the Communication and Social Change Award, which comprises a plaque and A$2500.

As well as Papua New Guinea, award nominees came from organisations or individuals based in Bangladesh, Burundi, Canada, the Congo, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Fiji, India, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and the USA.

Reflecting the consistently high-calibre of entries, the CSC Jury also awarded a special Meritorious Commendation for Communication and Social Change Award to Indian graphic designer and artist Ms Lakshmi Murthy for her innovative and ground-breaking use of graphic design to promote communication and social change.

The winner of the Meritorious Commendation Award receives A$1500 and a plaque.

The Awards are administered by the UQ School of Journalism and Communication's Centre for Communication and Social Change. The fast-growing social science discipline of CSC promotes the use of various forms of communication (including community media, and information and communication technologies, or ICTs) to bring about positive participatory development and social change.

The 2009 CSC Award Jury was chaired by Professor Ken Wiltshire, AO (JD Story Professor of Public Administration, The University of Queensland).

Other Jury members were: Ms Annmaree O'Keeffe (Deputy Director-General, AusAID), Mr Peter Cave, (Foreign Editor of ABC News) Mr Hugh Leonard (former Secretary-General of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union), Professor Michael Bromley (Head of the School of Journalism and Communication, University of Queensland),  and Dr Zala Volcic (Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland), Associate Professor Pradip Thomas (Research Director, School of Journalism and Communication, The University of Queensland). The Executive Secretary to the Jury was Associate Professor Martin Hadlow (Director, Centre for Communication and Social Change, School of Journalism and Communication.)

The 2009 CSC Awards will be presented at an official ceremony at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane later this year.

Additional information on the winners is attached.

Media: Ms Marsali MacKinnon, Centre for Communication and Social Change.

Email: telephone: +61 7 3346 3092 

13 November 2009

 Biographical summaries

• 2009 CSC Award winner: New Dawn FM 95.3 Community Radio, Autonomous Province of Bougainville, PNG.

New Dawn FM 95.3 Community Radio is a locally-owned and managed radio station that offers the people of Bougainville an independent source of news, information, education and entertainment.

The radio station, which describes its mission as "Strengthening Bougainville autonomy through radio broadcasting to provide information & community development', began broadcasting in 2008.

It offers its local audiences an independent local and provincial news service, as well as a diverse mix of programs including current affairs, government service announcements, music and talkback.

New Dawn FM also provides local villagers with the latest information about local development initiatives in agriculture, health, social welfare, HIV/AIDS prevention, and gender issues. It supports a range of community projects to promote literacy and assist jobless youth, and encourages the preservation of Bougainville’s cultural heritage through music, story-telling and oral history programs.

In March this year, New Dawn FM Community Radio also launched a website,

The radio station’s founders include the radio station’s current Chairman (Mr Carolus Ketsimur) and its Manager (Mr Aloysius Laukai). The two men are amongst a local group of broadcasters and journalists who spent years in hiding in the mountains of Bougainville during the civil war to escape threats to their lives.


• 2009 CSC Merit Commendation winner Ms Lakshmi Murthy/Vikalpdesign, Rajasthan, India.

For over 20 years, Rajasthan-based graphic designer and artist Lakshmi Murthy has innovatively used her skills as an artist and graphic designer to promote communication for social change amongst India’s most disadvantaged.

Ms Murthy, who manages the Vikalpdesign studio in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Northern India,

( specialises in designing illustrations for information and training materials used in a diverse range of communication and social change projects.

Her work on a range of social communication and public education projects is targeted at illiterate rural and urban communities throughout the country.

Ms Murthy has collaborated with a range of NGOs and development communication experts on projects in areas such as gender, life skills education, natural resource management, agricultural development and environmental conservation.

Educational material produced by Vikalp Design has been distributed across India through the networks of UNFPA (The United Nations Population Fund), CHARCHA (the Association of Indian Progressive Study Groups/AIPSG’s discussion and news blog), the State Resource Centre, Jaipur, and a number of NGOs.

Mr Murthy’s Vikalpdesign studio also offers training for craft and graphic design students on subjects such as the role of design in the development sector, and supports an internship program.

Ms Murthy is Country Director (India) for the International Rural Network (Canada), and is a Visiting Lecturer at the National Institute of Design; the Indian Institute of Craft and Design, Jaipur; the Pearl Academy of Design, Delhi; the Centre of Environmental Education; the Nehru Foundation, Ahmedabad, and the University of Udaipur.