In 2014, the ABC's international service lost 60 per cent of its funding. Australia's voice to our region has been reduced to a whisper, with radio services cut to more than 30 countries, including important near neighbours such as Indonesia and many Pacific Island nations. Television services to more than 30 million homes were cut.

The decision was widely criticised in Australia and around the Asia-Pacific as short-sighted and not in the best interests of the region. Subsequent changing geopolitical tensions tend to show those criticisms were well-founded.

There is growing support for a major revitalisation of services to Asia and the Pacific. ABC Alumni works closely with a new group called Supporters of Australian Broadcasting in Asia and the Pacific which has asked Government for around $64 million a year in additional funding for Asia Pacific broadcasting.

ABC Alumni made a submission to the Review of Australian Broadcasting Services in the Asia Pacific - you can read our submission here.

The review at home - while Morrison goes away

The Federal Government has held reviews of Australian broadcasting and soft power in the Asia Pacific. But even before they were concluded, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his Government will pay Australian commercial operators $A17 million a year to push 1000 hours of TV shows into the Pacific over three years.

The commercial TV industry did not seek the funds and does not know what content to provide. The decision has been criticised in Australia and the Pacific.

Supporters of Australian Broadcasting in Asia and the Pacific is a group of Australians with experience or interest in the Asia Pacific region and people in the region interested in what the Australian media has to offer them. It includes journalists and former media executives with many years’ experience in the Pacific and Asia, experts in broadcast technology, members of the audience in the region and of Asia Pacific diaspora communities in Australia

The group formed in May 2018 in response to the Australian government's decision to review Australian Broadcasting services in the Asia Pacific. We have members in most Australian states and territories and supporters in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa and Palau. We have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and have made submissions to the Department of Foreign Affairs Soft Power review as well as the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Review. If you would like a copy of the submissions or to join please get in touch with Jemima Garrett garrett.jemima@gmail.com or Sue Ahearn raahrearn@hotmail.com

The day Radio Australia shut down

After almost 80 years of shortwave transmissions and 72 years from Shepparton, the last transmitter was turned off on January 31, 2017, silencing domestic and international ABC services.