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For some 40 years, SBS Radio broadcasters have delivered homeland news to migrants, mediated Australian politics and culture, and provided a platform for Australia’s 200 or so ethnic communities. The most multicultural broadcaster in the world, going to air in 74 languages, its promulgation of social cohesion in an era of heightened ethnic and religious tensions provides lessons not just for Australia, but for any multicultural society.
Not that it started out with such lofty notions.
Its precursor, Radio Ethnic Australia, was launched as 2EA in Sydney on June 9, 1975 – 40 years ago today, in fact – and on 3EA in Melbourne shortly after, as a way to provide information to migrant groups on government initiatives such as Medicare.