Why and how did I become a multicultural community radio host?

Bringing you great Thai songs, once a month

Say you are in a foreign place where people do not speak ‘your language,’ how would you feel if an awesome song (in your language) comes on the radio accompanied by friendly voices speaking your langauage?

You might find it a bit odd, but you would probably find it pleasant (even though you think listening to the radio is a thing of the past)!

I’ve been living in Canberra, Australia for just over a year now and half of that time I have the priviledge of hosting a community radio show (in Thai) once a month. If you don’t believe me, try tuning in to 91.1FM Canberra Multicultural Service (CMS) Radio Station every second Friday of the month between 14:00-15:00. Our programme is called “Dek ACT” (เด็ก เอซีที which translates to ‘ACT Youths’ in Thai).

Every month we share personal stories about being an international student, chat about current events, and highlight our favourite places in Canberra (and ocassionally elsewhere). All of this accompanied by (what we consider) great Thai music ranging from those first released in our parents generation to the latest chart toppers!

Multicultural community radios programmes also provide a great way for local expat communities to notify their members of things that may be of interest in the area or things to be aware of. For example, the Royal Thai Embassy give information about special chartered flights to repatriate Thais back home during COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a great way for those interested in different cultures and language to sample different music and content!

I have no experience hosting a radio programme before a staff member at the Royal Thai Embassy in Canberra asked if my mates and I would like to have a slot once a week to be the voice of ‘youth.’ I thought it would be a good way to practice my communication skills and use it as a platform to highlight different stories Thai international students in Canberra.

So far me and my friends have done 8 episodes. I’ve learnt heaps about hosting a live show and audio editing for the shows we pre-record. It’s also a lot of fun listening to a lot of Thai music new and old!

Wherever you are, I highly recommend checking out your community radio station, you never know what you’ll find!

Sarin 'Putter' Tiatragul
Sarin 'Putter' Tiatragul
PhD Candidate

I’m a Thai PhD candidate at the Research School of Biology (ANU). I go by the name “Putter”.