Radio gives kids a voice

MAK Radio creator Paula Russell is pictured with some of her little presenters Albi, Miles, Wren and Lennon.

A new radio program ‘Mount Alexander Kids Radio’ (MAK Radio) is giving local kids a voice on community radio station MainFM 94.9.

Castlemaine teacher and MAK Radio creator, Paula Russell, said the unique local radio show was by and for 3-8 year olds.

The program has been made possible thanks to funding through VicHealth and as part of the Mount Alexander Shire Council Early Years Project. 

The new program kicked off at the beginning of term four in 2023 and airs on Saturday mornings at 8am on 94.9 MainFM. 

Paula said the shows were then saved on (search #mak radio) and could be listened to anytime. 

Over the course of the project, Paula plans to visit all the schools, kindergartens and early childhood centres in the Mount Alexander Shire to record an episode.

“Over the summer break I recorded a special ‘Summer Series’ of episodes at Castlemaine Pool, the Rez at Chewton and the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens playground, and earlier this month I visited Busy Bees Early Learning Centre in Johnstone Street Castlemaine,” Paula said.

“I have a huge teddy bear, ‘MAK teddy’, who accompanies me to record at the schools and kinders and is a real hit with the kids.”

The MAK Radio segments feature an Acknowledgement to Country, animal tales, jokes, secret sounds, book reviews, favourite playground updates, song requests and more.

“I am really guided by the children and what’s happening in their school or centre. Some classes sing a group song and often individual children sing a song. Some talk about their favourite hobby or interest,” Paula said. 

“The children at Busy Bees were picking fresh pears and the program naturally-centred around the pears and growing fresh produce.

“The show is really heartwarming and gives a voice to 3-8 year olds in our community. It connects children’s experiences with each others and can help connect remote or isolated young children.”

Paula said recording the recent Summer Series was a real highlight.

“I received a lot of wonderful feedback from community members who have already been tuning into the program every Saturday, which was a really lovely boost,” she said.

“And of course the kids and their families get a real kick out of hearing their voices on the radio!”

For more information about MAK Radio and other community programs, visit