Umeewarra launch new kids radio show

PROGRAM LAUNCH: Umeewarra Media launched the Way to Play early years radio show at Gladstone Square on Wednesday, May 22 with a combined playgroup.
PROGRAM LAUNCH: Umeewarra Media launched the Way to Play early years radio show at Gladstone Square on Wednesday, May 22 with a combined playgroup.

Two new voices have hit the airwaves at Umeewarra Radio with the launch of a brand new family show.

Hayley Newchurch and Mandy Dempsey are the brains behind Way to Play, a weekly radio program where families can listen to stories, sing-a-long to songs and be entertained by local guest speakers.

The duo will also be dishing out some 'hot tips' and advice to parents courtesy of early years experts from around Port Augusta.

When she's not moonlighting as a radio host, Mandy is the director at the Port Augusta Children's Centre, which is how the idea for the show came about.

"Initially we were thinking about how can we get people listening to Umeewarra, but also listening to more stories, singing together with their family and really understanding the quality of early childhood education and what that means for children and their development," Mandy said.

"We thought maybe we could get all the playgroup and preschool teachers to read a story on Umeewarra and so we went in to have a chat with them and we ended up with an hour long radio show every week. It was a bit of an accident!

"An idea about one story turned into the reality of this show, which is really exciting because it means we can reach out and touch more people's lives."

Hayley also has a background in early childhood education and is a case manager working with Aboriginal families.

While the show is certainly full of fun, Hayley also weaves in important information for parents regarding school attendance and access to early education.

"We talk about things that can assist families like routines and how to get your kids to bed early," she said.

"Even things like how to settle a crying baby and we get that information from professionals around our area. So it's building on what parents already know, but assisting them with that knowledge through the radio."

The launch of Way to Play coincides with the release of the station's new book, 'Umeewarra Radio is for children too!'.

A book encouraging kids to connect with their culture, language and music through radio media.

Umeewarra Media Director Vince Coulthard said radio plays an important role in a child's sensory development.

"People always think of radio as a thing for adults, and television is for kids," he said.

"But when you're travelling in the car not a lot of people have the little video screens for their kids. But if you've got a radio program, a kids radio program, they can sing a long and listen to it.

"One of the key factors we are trying to get out there is that our media matters whether its print, television or radio. It all matters."

Hayley and Mandy host Way to Play every Friday at 1pm on 89.1fm.