Dusty Radio is located at Coober Pedy in the heart of the Australian Outback.
Dusty Radio, 104.5 FM was born in March 3, 1997 and was the brainchild of Bob Pryce a well known local personality and Media teacher at the local school. Located at the Coober Pedy Area School, Dusty Radio has always been a non-profit organisation.
Bob’s vision was to provide a community broadcasting service for the Coober Pedy region. He was keen to develop student skills and train community members as local volunteer resources to run and manage the radio station. Primarily Bob saw the role of the radio station was to service the community and promote a positive image of Coober Pedy to interest and attract tourists.
Bob placed a lot of emphasis on multiculturalism and encouraged regular community segments in other languages on the weekends.
Dusty started as a narrowcast station as part of the Media Studies Program, operating from the office on the mezzanine floor in the school gym. In the early days Dusty was on air at recess, lunch and after school. Soon the larger community of the town became interested in the fledgling radio station and Dusty became incorporated and started transmitting on a Temporary Community Broadcasting License (TBLC) on an increased 10 watts of power instead of it’s original 1 watt.
As time went on Dusty Radio became a permanent community station. In 2000 Coober Pedy welcomed over 200 delegates from around Australia as the town hosted the SACBA (South Australian Community Broadcasting Association) Conference.
By 2001 Dusty Radio was transmitting live 24 hours a day, seven days a week and had a staff or around 50 volunteers – drawn from school students and community members. Ongoing funding was provided by grants to update equipment and furnishings for the station and local sponsorships to pay the regular bills thanks to Bob’s tireless efforts.
Over the years Dusty has received recognition and awards – including 2 Bilby Awards – for its contribution to radio journalism and the community . The station has helped the careers of several local Coober Pedy people in media and the arts. At different times, the ages of our volunteers have ranged from 11 to 79.
Sadly in 2018, Bob Pryce passed but his vision carries on.