Ben & Zoe Tune!FM

Group interview with Tune!FM – Meet the gang, Ben and Zoe!

Would you believe me if I told you University isn’t just assessments and going to a college? In fact, University is an experience that is made up of all sorts of different people, events, and places.

UNE has something pretty unique – a radio station that is student-powered, diverse and inviting. Tune!FM is a place for any and every student.

I popped by the studio on campus and spoke to team members Ben and Zoe to find out why I should listen to the station, and why you should consider volunteering with them.

How has the volunteer program at Tune!FM enhanced your UNE experience?

Ben: Volunteering at Tune!FM has made my UNE Experience. If I wasn’t involved with Tune, I wouldn’t have met the friends that I have today and would have predominately been an online student. When I first came to UNE I began a double degree in Law and Criminology before changing to a degree in Business. The reason I changed degrees is from my experiences at Tune!FM.

Working at Tune can help you in ways you might not notice, and it’s being around a fun and inviting atmosphere that has changed my communication skills and self-confidence immensely.

Zoe: Tune is the sort of place you get to learn what university is really about. You get to see so much more outside of college because you hear about all the non-college events that are happening. My experiences at Tune!FM have really helped me to discover who I am as a person. When I first joined up after Lifesaver Day in my first year, I had pretty shocking communication skills, but now I am completing a degree in HR Management. I find this pretty hilarious because when I first came to UNE I chose to study pharmacy and never imagined myself the type of person to do human resource management.

Safe to say Tune!FM turns introverts into extroverts. 😜

What opportunities has the volunteer program given you?

Ben: There are so many opportunities besides speaking on air. We are involved in all sorts of events at UNE, including LifeSaver day where we get to put Tune!FM under the spotlight and showcase the sort of work we here in the hopes we find new volunteers who are interesting in joining our team.

Zoe: Besides events, we get the inside scoop on what goes on behind the scenes at the University. Oh, and also can’t forget to mention the opportunity to interview local bands and topical people in and outside the UNE community. I got to interview the Preatures live on air when they played at The ‘Stro during their 2018 regional tour – that was unreal.

How can online students get involved?

Ben: We don’t want Tune to have the stigma of being purely an on-campus place. We are a student-powered radio but we also understand that a lot of UNE students are turning to online studies these days. We have definitely changed the way we broadcast music to incorporate the online student experience. So far, we have received some really good feedback on our new music format which is really encouraging. It is so easy for online students to phone in and have them speak in our shows. I had a UNE student ghost spotter from Melbourne phone in for one of my segments on paranormal activity last year which was pretty awesome. There are so many opportunities for online students to get involved.

Zoe: If you are a dedicated online student and you have the time in your schedule, then there is heaps of opportunities for you to be involved at Tune. We welcome writers for our blogs and news items. You can submit an article from anywhere in the world without ever having to step foot on campus to have your say. If you visit Armidale for intensive classes and need an environment that is not study-related, you can come in and hang out with our team, and give us a few song requests! Tune!FM is all about being that connection for people to the University that isn’t Moodle or academic-related.

What are your favourite events at UNE?

Ben: Winter! ❅ (Not the season, the event btw) – it’s a really exciting event we host every year to celebrate the colder months! It isn’t just student based either and we open it up to the general public where anyone can come along and eat some delicious food and play with real snow! If you ask us this question again next year we will definitely mention the Tune!FM 50th Anniversary Party. We are super excited about what we have planned and I think it will definitely be the best event that I have been part of while working at Tune – so #WatchThisSpace!

Zoe: LifeSaver Day was where I met Tune, so it holds a special place in my heart. Freshers get that first glimpse of university outside of study and get to see everything that UNE has to offer. I love watching their brains explode at all the exciting clubs and societies UNE has.

What shows does Tune!FM currently broadcast?

Ben: The two big shows we have are UNE Gaming Society every Monday from 6-8pm, and The Weekly Review every Friday evening 6-7pm. The Weekly Review showcases the top 30 Countdown of the week and I think it’s a really terrific show.

Oh and UNE MedKids – however, they are on holidays at the moment, but that will resume next year.

Also, Jake will be doing a theatre/film show called Anthology on Tuesday nights 7-9pm, which we held for a bit last year and found it to be very popular, especially in France which is pretty cool.

We are all working on shows we want to broadcast in 2020, so expect to see new shows pop up! If you have suggestions – send them through!

Why should students listen to Tune!FM?

Ben: We play everything, and every genre, because we want there to be something on this radio station for everyone. If you tune into us you will find that we don’t just go by the latest songs that are rolling around other stations. We have well over 20, 000 songs in our database which is an impressive feat for a student-based radio.

Zoe: Fun fact – we have one of the biggest music collections in the Southern Hemisphere! There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears poured into this station for it to be a place for students.

I feel like a lot of my friends who have gone to other universities just don’t have that.

How can students become a volunteer?

Zoe: You can walk into the studio, email, smoke signal, sky write (if you can afford it), or alternatively, you can put your name down at LifeSaver Day and will we contact you. Tune is definitely a place for you if you want to be taught skills that your degree won’t teach you – like communication and people skills. It’s a big family over here so come in see what it’s all about. 80% chance you will leave wanting to volunteer.

We also have all our social media you can look at and see the things that we do.

Ben: When I first started, I walked in and talked to Tania and had my volunteering induction less than a week later. We want volunteers and we want students, so there isn’t going to be hoops to jump through.

What are your favourite songs to listen to when you study?

Ben: Sabaton, Night Wish… anything heavy metal related. Funnily it helps me whenever I do anything, I can’t really explain it but it just really helps to motivate me.

Zoe: I usually listen to podcasts, like Last podcast on the Left, but if I’m doing anything else I listen to a lot of what Tune plays.

That’s awesome guys – thanks for sharing a little more about Tune!FM and how to get involved… nothing closes off an interview like a few quick-fire questions, so let’s go!

Which famous musician would you invite to dinner?

Ben: Tuomas Holopainen – that is my idol ….(for those wondering, yes that is a heavy metal artist..)

Zoe: David Bowie!

Dream concert?

Ben: Night Wish, supported by Sabaton, Kiss and Alice Cooper

Zoe: Florence and the Machine! That would be amazing!

Favourite song to sing in the shower?

Ben: Night Witches by Sabaton

Zoe: Sussudio by Phil Collins… I don’t know why I can never get it out of my head haha.


Get involved with Tune!FM from your desk, any place, any time – tune in via their website here or FM 106.9MHz if you’re in the area!

 If you’d like to follow or connect with Tune!FM you can find them here

Instagram: @tunefm
Facebook: TuneFM106.9
Twitter: @tunefm

OR even better enquire and find out more about the volunteer programit might possibly be the best thing you ever do!