Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


21 November 2018

The Making Airwaves project: women in Australian broadcasting

Presented By Dr Jeannine Baker
  • 13.00-14.00
  • Brockington U1.22

About this event


Jeannine Baker will discuss the approach, key themes and early findings of her research project on the history of women in Australian broadcasting. In particular she will talk about the mobilisation of women at the Australian Broadcasting Commission in the 1970s and 1980s, beginning with the 1973 Script Assistants’ strike. Two years later, female employees at the ABC formed the Australian Women’s Broadcasting Cooperative (AWBC), with the aim of tackling structural inequalities and sexual discrimination. The AWBC’s numerous interventions included the production of an overtly feminist radio program (the Coming Out Show), the provision of production training to women, and pushing for a task force to conduct a formal inquiry into the status of women in the institution. The task force’s report, Women in the ABC (1977), documented the entrenched sexual division of labour at the organisation. In this paper Jeannine draws on both primary research and oral history interviews with former ABC women to analyse the background to the AWBC and assess its impact. 


Dr Jeannine Baker is a postdoctoral research fellow, and co-Deputy Director of the Centre for Media History in the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is the author of Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam (2015), and the co-editor (with Justine Lloyd), of a special issue of Media International Australia on ‘Gendered labour and media’ (November 2016). Jeannine is currently a British Academy Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex, where she is researching Commonwealth women and gendered labour at the BBC.