A TAFE NSW graduate is using her media skills and passion for communications to deliver hope to audiences across a range of traditional and new media around Australia and overseas.
Since completing her Diploma of Screen and Media through TAFE Digital, Georgia Free has been promoted from breakfast producer to drive-time announcer on popular Sydney Christian radio station, Hope FM.
Ms Free is also venturing into the digital communications space by producing two podcasts with themes aligned to her broadcasting job – Finding Hope with Georgia Free and The Hope Book Club.
Podcasting and broadcasting continue to be powerful communications tools, with research for Commercial Radio Australia revealing 86 per cent of Australians listen to radio over the air, online or via catch-up podcasts, while 37 per cent of people listen to podcasts monthly.
Ms Free, 26, is getting the best of both worlds by harnessing the combined powers of broadcast and digital messaging.
“It’s very rewarding to help people to find hope and get them through hard times but with a background in science rather than communications, I was definitely flying by the seat of my pants and learning on the job when it came to broadcasting and podcasting,” she said.
“But by studying Screen and Media through TAFE Digital, I was able to learn flexibly and gained the confidence and knowledge I needed to be a better broadcaster and create a quality product in the digital space where I can reach people through my podcasts.”
As an announcer in the traditional broadcasting sphere, Georgia is part of a team reaching thousands of listeners on the FM dial every day, while the station’s app allows her to reach many more all around the world.
Her podcasts are also opening large audience channels, with each episode averaging more than 400 downloads, for a total of 17,000 downloads over the past month.
Her teacher at TAFE Digital, Lisa McIntosh, said Ms Free had been able to build on her industry knowledge by gaining practical skills and formal qualifications at TAFE NSW.
“Our Screen and Media courses focus on the skills that are needed by communicators to engage, entertain and inform audiences and it’s wonderful to see Georgia using that knowledge to share her message of hope with so many listeners, both on the airwaves and in the digital sphere,” Ms McIntosh said.
“The right qualifications and training in screen and media can lead to exciting jobs in traditional radio, TV and film roles but the infinite world of digital communications means the opportunities to find audiences are limitless – so it’s really exciting to see Georgia making such an impact across multiple platforms.”
As Ms Free continues to grow her online and on-air audience, she also has hopes of her own to incorporate the knowledge she gained from a science degree at university with her passion for broadcasting and podcasting.
“It’s been a whirlwind time of learning and engaging with audiences but it’s joyous work and I feel very lucky to be doing it,” she said.
“In the longer term, I’d like to work in a science-based communications role, perhaps with a company or school, and use all of my training and skills gained at TAFE NSW and on the job to make a real difference.”