The Radio Academy has held its Annual General Meeting online, with incoming Chair Helen Thomas and Deputy Chair Nick Pitts looking ahead to an exciting year of activity in 2021, and the outgoing Chair Yvonne Thompson and Deputy Chair John Dash delivering a review of our activity in 2020.
Setting out her vision for the year ahead, Helen Thomas stated her commitment that the Radio Academy should “inspire all our members, to be a beacon and champion of creativity and inclusivity, and a place where everyone feels heard and supported“, and to do this through “a programme of events where members feel they can come together to share experiences and learnings, from which our industry can only grow stronger as a result.“
Looking back on 2020, Yvonne Thompson reflected on the Race On Audio & Radio (ROAR) initiative developed in the last year, which was enacted in response to the death of George Floyd which, she said “made the whole industry sit up and take notice of the fact that we all needed to be more inclusive – we needed to think about how we would include equality and diversity within our policies and everyday lives, so it became something we didn’t have to think about“. She also looked ahead to other Radio Academy diversity events covering the Disabled and LGBTQI+ experiences in radio and audio, planned for January and February next year, and outlined the plans for Women In Radio to be celebrated in March.
John Dash reflected on a successful ARIAS in March 2020, and the virtual Radio Academy Festival in November, and was joined by the Chair of the Audio and Radio Emergency Fund, Dom Chambers, to reflect on the work of AREF to support colleagues during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic. He described how, this year, the fund had received 472 applications for support, and issued 161 grants, to support those in financial hardship that needed a helping hand.
As well as the legal business of presenting the Radio Academy’s year-end accounts, John Dash also thanked the Trustees that are standing down (Steve Taylor, Aradhna Tayal, and Dennie Morris) and announced that nominations for future Trustees would open later this week.
Members of The Radio Academy can watch the AGM on this website (you must be logged in to access it).