101.9 Coast FM is a community radio station that is broadcast across the northern beaches area of Cairns in Tropical North Queensland by Smithfield Community Radio Association. The Aim of Coast Fm is:
- To provide training, production facilities and airtime to the youth of the region and to community groups which provide services to these youth.
- Provide entertainment, and informative programs which cater for the needs of youth in the region.
- Encourage youth performance and creative endeavour within the radio and live broadcast industry and to foster experimentation and innovation in writing, production and presentation
In 1997 Smithfield Community Radio first went to air with an aspirant community license as part of the country’s first ever accredited radio-broadcasting course in a secondary school. A group of twenty Year 11and 12 students from Smithfield State High School formed the crew and were responsible for all aspects of running, broadcasting, logging, advertising, community services/announcements and outside broadcasts.
The students operated this facility very well. So well, in fact, that they became the second highest rating station in Cairns in several peak listening times. An arson attack destroyed the facility in 1998 and along with all the equipment; Smithfield Community Radio lost the broadcasting license. The struggle to regain a license was long and hard. Fortunately, there were several politicians, both at a state and federal level, who fought for this cause. The licence was finally won and in February 2000, 101.9 COASTFM was launched.
Since 2000 Coast Fm has gone through many highs and lows to the point that it looked like Coast FM would be closed down and facilities sold off. However due to the hard work and dedication of staff at Smithfield SHS, local volunteers and students, the Station is still airing and student participation in the school program has increased.
101.9 CoastFM still maintains a strong focus on youth and community youth programs and has recently ventured into a broader area of Arts and Cultural entertainment, and community service as well as Music.
The station is run by a small group of dedicated volunteers ranging in age from 15 – 60+