When Lee Constable (pictured above, right) isn’t completing her Masters in Science Communication or traveling Australia teaching kids about science with Questacon, she produces and presents social justice radio program Soapbox on local community radio station 2XXFM.
Soapbox this month received a Great Ydeas Small Grant from YWCA Canberra, which is a grant of up to $2000 for pursuing creative projects that benefit the community.
“I wrote the grant for a weekly radio show called Soapbox that I originally started when I joined a group called Young Folk Media at 2XX, which is for people under 25 to learn how to make media and get on the radio for the first time,” Lee, who moved to Canberra in 2009 to study at ANU, says.
“I interview people from the Canberra community about their passions – which is usually related to social justice or the environment – and how they’re causing positive change. It’s a platform for these people to talk about what they do and why they do it.
Lee’s interviewees have ranged from primary school students working on environmental projects and advocates for women in media to organisations rescuing food for supermarket waste. The show is broadcast on Sunday afternoons on 2XX FM (98.3 FM), but she’d also like to eventually make the program available as a podcast too.
“I do the interviews at the studios where possible and pre-record the show rather than doing it live. The first question that I ask is what gets them on their soapbox. What are they passionate about? What gets them going?”
She says the grant will allow her to pay the access fees required to put her program to air, as well as fund her attendance at a media training camp in Melbourne.
“I decided to apply for the grant because it’s only a small amount of money. It’s a little push in the right direction and enough funding for a few extra resources to get going. Also, the YWCA’s focus and objectives are aligned with the radio program, as well as my own values,” she says.
Looking forward, Lee says she’d like to eventually either work in media communications or in outreach.
“My main science interest is communicating environmental issues and climate science. There’s a big communications gap and also the potential to make a big positive difference in those areas, but I’ll always have an active interest in social justice issues too.”
YWCA Canberra’s Great Ydeas Small Grants Program provides funds to local women and girls to pursue a professional development opportunity, pilot a project, business idea, or address a need in the community.