The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has celebrated World Radio Day (13 February) with the publication of online profiles of two of Australia’s female radio pioneers.
earn sound tribute
Lynn Foster (1914-1985) was the first woman in Australia to direct a major radio serial on a national network, as well as the first to write and direct one, and Dorothy Crawford (1911-1988) excelled as a radio and television drama producer through her role as co-founder of Crawford Productions.
|Archive publishes profiles
The two women are the latest additions to the NFSA’s Women in Radio portal, joining other radio pioneers such as Queenie Ashton, Amber Mae Cecil, Grace Gibson and Ethel Lang.
All profiles feature a selection of exclusive images and radio recording clips from the NFSA’s national collection – which also includes scrapbooks, scripts, books, magazines and oral histories.
Radio Archivist at NFSA, Chris Arneil said both Foster and Crawford were pioneers in the development of Australian radio and were integral to the shaping of Australia’s national cultural identity.
“By the mid-to-late 1930s, women working in radio production gained prominence as producers, directors, writers and performers,” Mr Arneil said.
“This was at a time when most women were encouraged to stay at home as housewives and mothers — many of these radio pioneers were themselves mothers with their own households to manage.
“Women remained an integral part of Australian radio production through the golden years of radio in the 1940s and 1950s, up until today.”
World Radio Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 2011 to raise awareness of the importance of the medium.
It celebrates radio as a low-cost medium capable of reaching remote communities and vulnerable people, as well as offering a platform for everyone – irrespective of people’s educational level – to intervene in the public debate.
The Women in Radio portal can be accessed at this PS News link
Edition 349, 19 February 2013