Welcome to our 2020 Signal Boost participants

Today, we're excited to announce our Signal Boost programme participants for 2020, who'll each take part in a six-month scheme designed to elevate their skills in creative audio storytelling.

Different to many 'podcast incubator' programmes, Signal Boost's focus is on investing in the craft of working with sound. The Wheeler Centre will work with each participant to support their creative growth and develop their audio skills, and assist them with building a network of peers, gaining insight into the industry and accessing a range of professional opportunities. 

These five aspiring Australian podcasters will undergo a six-month programme of tailored mentorship, practical support, tools and professional development. Recipients will be paired with an experienced mentor, provided with equipment and access to software, and have the opportunity to attend a series of intensive workshops led by some of Australia’s leading podcast and radio industry professionals.

This year, applications were assessed by Helen Zaltzman, Daniel Browning and Jess O'Callaghan, with support from the Wheeler Centre team.

Composite image of Karishma Luthria, Linh Do, Maddison Miller, Nicole Pingon and Phineas Meere

Top, left to right: Karishma Luthria, Linh Do, Maddison Miller; bottom, left to right: Nicole Pingon, Phineas Meere

Karishma Luthria (NSW)

'Through Signal Boost I hope to further my learning in the areas of scripting and storytelling for audio. The programme will give me a boost to find my voice and niche in the Australian podcasting and media sphere.'

Karishma Luthria is a Sydney-based, Mumbai-born and raised community radio journalist and producer. She is a recent Media and Communications graduate, with a passion for audio storytelling that shares lived experiences across culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

She has written for and interned with Reuters, SBS News and Network 10, with her most recent audio project airing on All the Best

Linh Do (Vic)

'For someone who thinks that they can talk under water, I haven’t always been as forthcoming about translating my thoughts into the audio format … I can’t wait to participate in the Signal Boost programme to find my voice and work to make space for other perspectives that aren’t always heard. I'm also looking forward to being in a community of practice whilst acquiring a new skill or two as well!'

Linh Do has a background in climate change action, where she is equally comfortable organising in social movement spaces or covering the United Nations as a journalist. She is currently a fellow with the Bertha Foundation and, outside of listening to audiobooks and podcasts, can be found eating ice cream or practicing yoga.

Her written work and photography has appeared in Al Jazeera, Sydney Morning Herald and the Washington Post.

Maddison Miller (Vic)

'I hope that the Signal Boost programme will help me develop skills in audio crafts and discover new avenues for storytelling.'

Maddison Miller is a Darug Woman and archaeologist. Maddi advocates for broader acceptance and incorporation of Aboriginal knowledge systems in design, urban research and architecture.

She is the co-chair of the Indigenous Advisory Group to the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub of the National Environmental Science Program. She was an inaugural participant of the Joan Kirner Young and Emerging Women Leaders Program. In 2019, she was the first Indigenous delegate of Australia at the UNESCO World Heritage Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Nicole Pingon (NSW)

As an avid listener of podcasts and radio drama, I’ve always wanted to create my own audio experiences. Through Signal Boost, I hope to delve deeper into the magic of audio storytelling, and develop greater knowledge, skills and understanding of how to share personal, cultural and fantastical stories through radio drama and experimental audio experiences. I’m so excited for everything to come, and I can’t wait to find out where the next six months takes me!

Nicole Pingon is a multidisciplinary artist, performer and facilitator, working across theatre, live art and digital mediums. Her work often delves into the curiosities and magic of the everyday, and takes inspiration from natural occurrences, small creatures and mythology. Most recently, she was a Shopfront Artslab artist-in-residence, a member of Kings Cross Theatre’s Step Up Program, and is currently part of CuriousWorks’ Makers Space Program.

Phineas Meere (Vic)

People with disabilities are not often given the chance to hear ourselves, or see ourselves reflected in the media. Through the Signal Boost programme, I hope to be able to learn how to do that through the craft of podcasting and by engaging stories and people. A podcast despite its structure and craft, is a way we can control and tell our own stories.

Phineas Meere is a proud disabled man, disability activist and community broadcaster. He has co-presented and produced monthly disability and human rights radio on Melbourne’s 3CR for over 10 years. He was a presenter and producer on disability show No Limits as seen on Melbourne’s C31. He’s been recognised for his media work including being a joint winner of Human Rights Award for television, and a Yooralla Media Award for radio. In much of his spare time, he listens to radio or podcasts and is usually found talking or listening to somebody else talk.


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