Tell us about your station:
89.9 LightFM is Melbourne’s only Christian Radio (FM) station, playing a mix of Christian and secular music. Our tagline is “Melbourne’s Positive Alternative” and it’s our mission to have a positive impact in our community, with content that is not only fun and family friendly, but also by connecting with our listeners and offering a message of faith and hope. Our vision is to see Every Life Alight with Christian Hope.
We were granted our licence in November 2002 and started broadcasting from a little back office with one full-time announcer, a few part-timers and a bunch of passionate volunteers. Thirteen years later we have the largest audience of any community radio station in Australia. In 2011 we launched a sister station that is 100% Christian on Digital radio called LightDigital.
We actively partner with other not for profit and community organisations such as Christian Blind Mission, World Vision, and Habitat for Humanity, who are making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. We also offer a free phone service for listeners (the “LightFM Careline”), manned by caring volunteers that provide a listening ear and prayer for those who need it.
One of our core goals is to be influential in not only the Melbourne community but also the world community. We want to impact the atmosphere, to be the catalyst for societal transformation, in Melbourne and beyond. We hope for transformational change in the lives of everyone who listens that will branch out to global change.
Your station’s most successful promotion:
“Relationship Reno”: Another (commercial station) in our market was running an anti-marriage agenda. They were running a month long promotion to pay for peoples divorces. So we decided to run “Relationship Reno”, acknowledging that marriage is hard and sometimes it does end in divorce, but that we want to give people whatever tools we can to help them with their marriage. It was amazingly popular from those wanting to get help. We gave out free marriage counselling, marriage courses, date nights and the like. It ran for one week, but was so well received by those who took part (and listeners) that it is now a weekly promotion for the next 12 months.
Resources your station uses:
• Christian Media & Arts Australia sector discussions and collaborations with other Christian station CEO’s and Content Directors, Dan Bradley – Australia commercial radio guru, Tracy Johnson – radio guru.
• Slack (slack.com) is used extensively during our fundraising campaigns to communicate rapidly during high pressure times.
• Klipfolio (dashboard web software) is used to track progress towards goals in a visual way that staff can understand and to provide actionable data in a timely way.
• Google Docs is used to track a lot of data which integrates with our other systems.
• Our friends at Sharemedia have been invaluable as consultants for our on-air fundraising campaigns.
• NexGen is our on air system
• GSelector is used for Music scheduling
• Aquira is used for traffic scheduling
One bit of wisdom to share with others:
Be willing to walk a long journey with a potential partnership. It can pay off in incredible results in regards to lives changed for the better.
Share an impactful listener story:
This is Andrea’s Story…an amazing example of how God used LightFM to direct someone involved in the occult to Jesus Christ.
“We don’t think much about the occult and witchcraft but it is very real and frightening,” Andrea says. Andrea went to Sunday School as a child but never had a real connection with God. “At the age of 12, I told my parents I didn’t want to go to Sunday School any more. I knew of God and church but he was very external to me. “I had the odd prayer over the years but I wasn’t conscious or mindful of him. I didn’t know that he was mindful and conscious of me.”
Andrea stumbled across LightFM at a time “when I really needed it”. “I was engaged in the occult. I was in a fearful, lonely place. I got down to just 42kg and was a tormented wreck. One day I had gotten into my car when I was in a very distressed state. I turned the radio on and mysteriously, the station was on LightFM. I don’t know how. There was a Christian song playing. In that chaos, a feeling of God’s peace came over me. The song gave me comfort. I cried out to God. I’m sure God said to me, ‘I am with you. Do not be afraid.’”
After that day, Andrea wanted to find out more about Christianity. She joined an Alpha group. She asked lots of questions. She found answers. “I never lost hope in that dark time so I thought that if there’s something this dark, there must be something good out there to counteract it! Andrea said her occult involvement led to emotional and spiritual torment. The inner turmoil also made her physically sick. “Because of what I had gotten into, the consequences were frightening. Then I came to learn the Holy Spirit is our protector. We are mind, body and spirit, and the occult can be damaging to our whole being.” Andrea eventually reached the point where she committed her life to God! “LightFM helped me start my journey to have a relationship with God, and a few months later I was baptised.” It is such a privilege to be part of Andrea’s journey to faith.
Tell us why you’re a member of CMB:
It’s fantastic to be welcomed to the CMB family. As an Aussie based radio station we get huge value out of the collective knowledge of the American stations that are part of CMB. The highlight for us is the Momentum conference, which gives us access to top Christian speakers and artists that we otherwise wouldn’t have access to, and the networking is tremendous.