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ABC Radio Australia is the international broadcasting and online service operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker, Australia's public broadcaster.


Shortwave services from the Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker were inaugurated in December 1939 by Prime Minister Robert Menzies.

One of the functions of Australian shortwave broadcasting was to counter Axis, particularly Japanese propaganda. However, the ABC's transmitters were much weaker than the Japanese or German services. The transmitter of Amalgamated Wireless Australia near Sydney had 10 kilowatts of power, and stations VLR and VLW had 2 kW each.In 1941, following consultation between the British and Australian governments, a transmtter site in Shepparton, Victoriamarker, was selected, in part because of a flat landscape and soil conductivity. The site was completed in 1944 with two 100 kW and one 50 kW transmitters. The station was then formally named Radio Australia.

It had a considerable range of broadcasts to the Asian region in the 1970s and 1980s, however in the late 1990s political influence on its broadcasting range and programming limited its Asian spread.

In recent years Radio Australia programs have also become available via web streaming.

Target areas

Radio Australia's signal is primarily aimed at the Asia-Pacific region. It broadcasts in several languages - English, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Khmer and Tok Pisin (a pidgin commonly spoken in Papua New Guineamarker). A daily Pacific news bulletin is podcast in French.

Though Radio Australia does not directly target North America or Europe via shortwave, some of its transmissions can be heard in these areas [170542].

Current Market Situation

There have been many changes and alterations in the international media market over the past 5 years. Most notably the fact that media vernacular has a number of new words added into them, such as Digital Television, Podcasting and Vodcasting.

Of the key markets that Radio Australia operates in, each market segment is at different stages of growth and requires marketing information specific to those key markets for sustainable strategic plans to be developed that focus on product, packaging, placement and promotion.

There are two key industry wide trends that affect the nature of Radio Australia’s operations:1. Technology changes - Technology changes within the radio/media broadcasting industry means that Radio Australia now faces greater than before competition as the number of delivery platforms increases2. Asian and Pacific affluence - De-regulated media environments across SE Asia together with greater wealth and education continue to drive the demand for diversified content (such as English lessons) and more defined information about Australian life or stronger understanding of Australian perspectives in issues

Sources of RA programming

Radio Australia's English language programs consist of material produced by Radio Australia and also other ABC radio networks such as ABC Local Radio and Radio National.

The programming of RA

Radio Australia will carried a ABC radio networks such as ABC Local Radio, Radio National, ABC Classic FM, triple j, & ABC NewsRadio. ABC radio music simulcasts of DiG Radio, ABC Jazz, and ABC Country.

RA programming simulcasts

Radio Australia will carry a simulcasts on BBC World Service, National Indigenous Radio Service, & Voice of America as the future radio satellite.

Radio Australia's programming output (1950-1996)

For a comparison of RA to other broadcasters see


  1. Ahern, Steve. Making Radio: A Practical Guide to Working in Radio . 2000, Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1876351071, p. 6
  2. Wood, James. History of International Broadcasting. 2000, IET. ISBN 0852969201, p. 169
  3. Wood, 2000: 170

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