The station, formerly known as Radio VL-5UV, went to air for the first time on 28 June 1972 with a transmission reaching 20 miles north and south of Adelaide.
This inaugural broadcast was made possible with an anonymous donation of $100,000 from businessman Kenneth Stirling to the University of Adelaide in 1970. The donation was “for the establishment of an educational radio station within the Department of Adult Education”, marking the birth of Radio Adelaide and the community broadcasting sector in Australia.
50 years on, Radio Adelaide is fully independent and can be heard across metropolitan Adelaide, in parts of the mid-north, Fleurieu and Yorke Peninsulas on 101.5 FM, DAB+, podcast streaming apps, and online across Australia and around the world. There are now over 450 licensed community radio stations across Australia.
“Radio Adelaide, at its heart, is all about education”, says Clayton Werner, Chair of Radio Adelaide.
“Whether it’s through our diverse, on-air programming or our podcasting workshops in schools, our aim will always be to empower members of the community with new skills and knowledge.
“Since the very beginning we’ve been the training ground for aspiring media makers – many of whom have gone on to have successful careers in the media and beyond.”
Radio Adelaide’s 150 volunteers produce over 120 hours of original, local content every week, ranging from news and current affairs to music programming. The station shares the voices, sounds and viewpoints of people and communities not often heard in the mainstream media.
In December 2021, Radio Adelaide moved from Cinema Place to its new home at 198 Greenhill Road, Eastwood. The new studios will be officially unveiled at the South Australian Community Broadcasting Association’s annual conference in September of this year.
“It’s an exciting new era for our station – and we’re so grateful to our listeners, guests and volunteers over the last half a century, who’ve made Radio Adelaide what it is today.”
Radio Adelaide will celebrate its 50th birthday on Tuesday 28 June at The Gov, featuring special performances from Nathan May and Parvyn. Entry is free and doors open to the public at 8:30pm.