State Library of Western Australia celebrates 40 years of Alternative Frequencies

Thursday 16 November 2017
  • Alternative Frequencies:40 Years of RTRFM celebrates WA’s longest running community radio station
  • Exhibition features a collection of audio, images, stories, memorabilia and equipment
  • Free exhibition at the State Library open until 11 February 2018

Alternative Frequencies: 40 Years of RTRFM is a journey through the sometimes turbulent, often uplifting and always community-focused history of RTRFM. The exhibition celebrates the past, present and future of Western Australia’s longest running FM community radio station.

Originally named 6UWA and housed on the grounds of the University of Western Australia, the station was the first in WA to broadcast in stereo. Later merging with Murdoch University to become 6UVS on the 92.1 frequency, the station became an incubator for student activism and alternative music, operating as a counter point to commercial broadcasting. After several battles for survival, the predominantly volunteer driven project lost its university funding. Volunteers banded together to start again and RTRFM was born. The station operated with its call signal being a play on ‘Arty radio’.

Curated by RTRFM and the State Library, the trip down memory lane features a unique collection of audio, images, stories, memorabilia and equipment that not only tell the story of RTRFM, but the story of community radio in Western Australia.

CEO and State Librarian, Margaret Allen said that she was thrilled the State Library could showcase such a unique part of the State’s history and culture. “The spirit of Western Australian community is highlighted in this exhibition. Alternative Frequencies: 40 Years of RTRFM demonstrates the widespread positive impact of a Western Australian community driven project. ”

Rewi Lyall, Chairman of the RTRFM Board commented that the exhibit captures the significant role the station has played in championing local talent over that station’s forty year history. “RTRFM has played an important part in supporting the development of arts and culture in Western Australia, and helped launch the careers of numerous Western Australian bands, artists and presenters.”

Alternative Frequencies: 40 Years of RTRFM runs until Sunday 11 February 2018.

Last updated on: 27 November 2017