Harman Radio, Sydney,Australia
by: iHues Media • 53
Harman Radio was established in June 2005, in Sydney by Amandeep Singh Sidhu, a successful farmer and an entrepreneur. It is named after his eldest son Harmandeep and name suits channel's popularity as well.
Amandeep was voluntarily running first and only weekly Punjabi program in rural region of Coffs Harbour (NSW), famous as Woolgoolga, the village of first Punjabi/Indian settlement in Australia. The program was a huge success in distributing information, entertainment and running community programs.
Since year 2000 Australia is experiencing a huge migration boom from Indian subcontinent especially from Punjab. The streets of big cities like Melbourne and Sydney never seen a big number of Indian youth ever before. For the large population of Indians in foreign land there was a need of community based radio channel. Amandeep tried his best to convert this need into an opportunity to serve the community and mother tongue . He started working on this bigger goal.
There was 3 stage plan to start 24 hour broadcasting in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. There were number of limitations at first stage. The biggest was lack of spectrum availability in major city for specific language broadcasting(and it still is). After lot of research, side band of FM channel was chosen which is more commonly known as 'chip radio' in Canada and subscription model was chosen. Teams were formed which took various responsibilities such as studio building, instrumentation, quality control, advisory, etc. Program structure and content was discussed and planned. The first 24 hour test broadcast covering Sydney was conducted on 3rd July 2006. The official live launch was on 29th September, 2006. Programs improved day by day and more concepts were launched.
Harman Radio was the channel which exclusively targeted Indian audiences for 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Having studio and corporate office in Sydney, studios in Melbourne and Muktsar (Punjab), we broadcasted all across Sydney and Melbourne in Punjabi and Hindi. We also feel proud for being the first ever to live broadcast of Sports, Cultural and Religious activities of Indian origin in Australia. Being pioneers within the industry, we also contributed to the Indian community businesses by promoting their products and services on our Radio.
Day at Harman Radio would start with Gurbani at 4 am with Asa Di Vaar, followed by morning Gurbani, Shabad Kirtan and Katha till 8 am. 8.00 to 9.00am was Bhajan followed by the morning program which includes live news from Australia and India, Traffic, Weather, requests, etc. During day, theme based programs such as "Apni Saanjh" based on northern India's History, Literature and Poetry, "Heer Majajan" based on Punjabi Boliyan, "Matinee Masala" based on Bollywood Commentaries and Stories, etc were very popular.
Time from 3.00 to 5:00pm was set for afternoon programs with different themes everyday. At five, the live news bulletin was much anticipated by the listeners. 5:30 to 7:00pm was the most listened time slot in which we had evening Gurbani program which included Rehras Shabads, Dharmik Geet, Viakhia, Hukamnama Sahib and Religious announcements. Following Live news were evening Programs which included "Mix it Up" for youth, Bollywood mix, Deson Pardes, Patari, etc. Talk back programs such as "Baatan te Bhujartaan", Current affairs during weekdays, Fulwari on Sunday morning, Gupp Shupp, etc. "Khed Tarag" sports program were designed to give voice to community and were very successful.
Repeat programs from weekdays were also played during the weekends.
People joined in for their presentations. Harman radio provide a platform for Local Australian Punjabi youth to show their talent and capability as presenters, newsreader and in technical support. Extensive training was provided by experienced presenters of Harman radio to new presenters willing to contribute for community and our language.
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