New radio docks in Fremantle

Nick Juniper says Freocast has embraced community spirit for its new venture in Fremantle. Photo: Katrina Tap.

Fremantle’s newest community radio station ‘Freocast’ is set to make its debut this weekend at the rock music street festival, High Voltage.

The radio station streams its broadcast on the internet and has recently found a home for its studio, in South Fremantle.

As an independent not-for-profit, the station is run by a group of volunteers led by founder Nick Juniper.

An architect by trade, Juniper was introduced to radio in a training course with his son at not-for-profit station RTRfm in 2017.

Festival goers can see the progress made on the studio this weekend. Photo: Nick Juniper.

After hosting 4am slots at RTRfm he moved to presenting on community radio station, Radio Fremantle.

“It generated quite a lot of interest and enthusiasm,” he says.

Juniper says he was inspired by the two community radio stations and felt there was an opportunity in Fremantle to create something new and engaging.

“I do feel like there’s a real level of optimism in Freo and I think the response that we’ve had to this community radio idea is really a reflection of that optimism people feel.”

Nick Juniper

He says Freocast is focussed on championing diversity and inclusivity.

“We are really keen to make sure Freocast is an opportunity to capture a huge variety of voices and opinions in Fremantle,” he says.

Video: Katrina Tap.

The group also received a grant from the City of Fremantle, which it has used to buy studio equipment.

Freocast has been supported by donations from several local businesses. The station’s building materials have been donated and volunteers have constructed the studio.

Juniper says he’s been amazed by the generosity of the community.

The studio is on land donated by neighbouring business, Terrace Greenhouse. It has been constructed inside of a donated shipping container, which Juniper says pays homage to Fremantle’s port heritage.

He says there was opportunity to use commercial office spaces for the station, but he felt the street-side location gave them a better opportunity to connect with the community.

Terrace Greenhouse owner Sarah-May Baxter says it has been great to revitalise the piece of land, which has sat unused for 35 years.

“Everybody is all for it, they think it’s a great idea,” she says.

“I’m really pleased that we are able to support him, and we’re looking forward to it to be up-and-running.”

Ms Baxter says there is a strong sense of community in Fremantle. Photo: Katrina Tap.

Construction on the station’s South Terrace sea container studio has been underway this week.

Once completed, Juniper says there will be seating space for people to interact with the studio and listen to the programming.

The radio studio is well placed in Western Australia’s music capital, which boasts the origins of Tame Impala, Bon Scott, and many of the country’s biggest music acts.

Freocast has 12 programs in development, hosting a variety of local and alternative music as well as talkback programs.

Juniper says they have also received support from Fremantle’s DJ scene, which they hope to feature on the station.

“There’s a really exciting young kind of DJ scene in Fremantle that has been growing,” he says.

“There’s a lot of young DJ crews out there that see Freocast as a way of getting their broadcast out there.”

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