About Connection Matters Radio

The Who, What, When, Where and Why of CMR

Born of a passion for positive stories of Aboriginal resilience and survival, a resentment of non-Aboriginal editorial control, a love of journalism and recognition of the need to travel and be face-to-face with storytellers, Connection Matters Radio (CMR) is all that…and more!

From its beginnings as a one-hour per week volunteer program on community radio, CMR is now a full-time self-funded project that lives, works and survives, quite literally, on the roads, highways, cities and townships of Victoria.

Who…

I’m Charles Pakana (born Keir Wells), an Aboriginal man of Tasmanian descent. A journalist and corporate writer since leaving the Army after nine years service in 1984, I am devoted to travelling Victoria in Violet the Van (pictured) and sharing positive stories of and about this State’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

What…

It’s all about travelling across Victoria, tracking down positive stories and interviewing those people behind the stories face-to-face. Once recorded, the stories are audio edited and shared via the Connection Matters Radio website and sometimes written up for Koori Mail newspaper and/or broadcast on NITV/SBS radio.

When…

Connection Matters Radio started in 2017 as a one hour weekly current affairs program on 3KND. During the first of Victoria’s Stage 4 COVID lockdowns, it morphed into a half-hour five days a week positive stories program. In Feburary 2021, Charles moved full time into Violet the Van and relaunched CMR as an independent program.

Where…

Put as simply as possible, it’s all about travelling across Victoria, tracking down positive stories and interviewing those people behind the stories face-to-face. Once recorded, the stories are audio edited and shared via the Connection Matters Radio website and are sometimes also written up for Koori Mail newspaper and/or broadcast on NITV/SBS radio.

Why…

Why? Pretty simple really. There’s just too little by way of positive stories being delivered on the amazing Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The only way to get those stories is to be fully mobile and travel to where those stories are taking place then reporting on them without the undue influence of non-Aboriginal managers and editors. 

How…

Connection Matters Radio is currently fully self-funded, although Charles’ brother provided the financial backing for the initial purchase of Violet the Van. Other than that, everything is funded by means of taking on paid gigs as an MC, public speaker and panel moderator. By living full-time in the van, Charles has the freedom to travel across Victoria and speak directly with the people who are behind the positive stories.

How you can help CMR

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