‘Broadcasting Unity: Serving the Community’
On Sunday the 22nd of May 2016 2MFM held its Open Day at its new location on 40 Hector Street, Chester Hill. The multicultural community event saw attendees gather to enjoy food and drinks, to watch live entertainment and performances, and to participate in studio guided tours and competitions.
There was a great turn out by community members as they gathered to showcase their support for the Muslim Community Radio, which in and of itself was a reflection of the Open Day motto ‘Broadcasting Unity: Serving the Community’.
David Rice, Abdul Ghannooum, Rafic Hussein, Danny Chieffly, Faten El Dana OAM & Nicola Joseph
The open day was a real success with lots of positive feedback received from the community, both about the open day and the radio station more generally. There were a wide range of activities for attendees of all ages. Excited children had a lot of fun playing on the jumping castles, getting their faces painted, participating in the colouring in competition and the live kids show.
The State Emergency Service also attended with one of their trucks and was extremely popular with both adults and children alike. Attendees were able to take photos with the orange helmet on as they stood beside the truck. They also learned more about the services which the SES provides and about emergency contact.
Throughout the day listeners also got a chance to peek behind the curtains and check out the new 2MFM studios. This was the first time community members were able to come in and see the new home of their favourite radio station, so there definitely was a buzz of excitement in the air. Some listeners were even invited to participate in a live broadcast on air with presenters, which was a very unique experience for them. They particularly enjoyed the opportunity to sit behind the microphone with the headphones on and have their photo taken. For those who wanted to take their experience in the studio one step further, they were able to audition and see if they had what it takes to become a presenter or performer.
Ann Staley, Rafic Hussein, Tania Mehailuk, Faten El Dana OAM & Paul lynch
As the day progressed, the number of people in attendance continued to increase until the area was bustling with activity, noise and laughter. Studio guided tours and activities ran almost all day, but the formal program for the open day started at 2 pm. The formal program MC was Vice President of 2MFM Abdul Ghanniyy Ghannoum who emphasized the role of not only staff but also the listeners in building the radio station.
The formal program began with a performance of the Australian National Anthem by Mariam Saad and was followed by a recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Farouk Najmeddine, a student from Al Amanah College. 2MFM President Rafic Hussein was then welcomed onto the stage to give an opening address about the radio station and its role in the community. He also highlighted that "...recent research conducted by McNair had found that over 200,000 Australians are tuning in to the radio station each month." Sheikh Bilal Homaysi then delivered a message on behalf of Darulfatwa, the Islamic High Council of Australia to the Open Day audience who praised 2MFM as an imperative mechanism of projecting the moderate face of Islam and strengthening the ties of harmony and cohesion amongst fellow Australians.
A number of politicians were also in attendance and addressed the community at the event. Member for Liverpool Paul Lynch was the first politician welcomed to the stage. He highlighted that "2MFM plays a very significant role in the community and that what it does is important not only for the Islamic community, but is also important in a broader sense for everyone in Australia". He also congratulated “...2MFM on twenty years of very good work".
Attendees of the 2016 2MFM OPEN DAY
Member for Bankstown Tania Mihailuk stated in her address: “I am delighted that you have found a good home here in the wonderful location of Chester Hill. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the radio station for many years and I want to pay tribute to all your staff, board and to everyone that volunteers. I’d also like to pay tribute to your theme today ‘Broadcasting unity, serving the community’, I have no doubt that 2MFM epitomises that theme and I take this opportunity to acknowledge your incredible efforts for our community over the years and I know that you will continue to serve the community”.
Member for Granville Julia Finn gave the final political address and said: “I would like to commend 2MFM for being relevant to the entire Muslim community in Sydney by broadcasting programs in ten community languages and maintaining that unity which you are celebrating here today. I wish you all the best for the coming years”.
The Open day also welcomed Nicola Joseph, the Manager of the Community Media Training Organisation. Nicola had previously trained a number of 2MFM employees and volunteers, was extremely happy to see how far the radio station had come. She highlighted "...the enormous impact 2MFM has had on everybody in the community radio sector’.
The final speech of the Open Day was given by Danny Chifley the Member Services Officer for the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. He said: “On a personal and professional level I’ve long admired the work of the Muslim Community Radio, the station that has for close to 20 years excelled at serving the community and broadcasting content not available elsewhere to a deserving and appreciative audience. The contribution made by the Muslim Community Radio cannot be understated, but the value of the station cannot be measured just by its success as a media organization. The true value lies in the fact that it is made possible by the hard work, dedication and cooperation of like minded individuals.”
The jubilant event concluded with the distribution of prizes for three attendees in a draw and other prizes for the winners who participated in the competitions held throughout the day. The faces of prize recipients were beaming with delight and joy as they collected their incredible prizes.
With another successful open day, 2MFM management, staff and volunteers would like to extend their best wishes and gratitude to the multicultural community for supporting the day so strongly. The station will continue to be a voice that broadcasts unity and serves the community.