The CBAA 2012 Conference: Access All Areas has kicked off with a bang! The SYN bloggers– or “kids” as a representative from North West FM called us – commandeered a table up the back, close to the all-important powerpoints. Greens MP Adam Bandt gave the opening address, mentioning the strength of community radio in Melbourne and how nice it was to be in a room full of community radio enthusiasts (hear hear!). Although he normally sits on the other side of the desk now, Bandt reminded us that he was once operating the panel at 3CR. Voicing the opinions of many in the room, Bandt stressed that community radio plays a vital role in the Australian media landscape, making our society more inclusive and bringing local issues to fore. At 9.19am, Bandt was the first to say that community radio runs on the smell of an oily rag, a cliche that is unfortunately all too true.

Wurundjeri Elder, Uncle Bill Nicholson was running a little late, but when he arrived, he gave a great welcome to country, speaking of the importance of language, cross-cultural communication and storytelling.

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