Scad celebrates 15 years in radio

In community radio, standout shows and personalities tend to be hidden - quietly getting on with their thing, in small suburbs and regional areas.

There's an exception to this however, and her name is Sardia “Scad” Kakoschke, and she's the producer of 5tcb's multi-award winning radio show 'Melomania'.

Scad's interest in all things radio began at the tender age of 15. Always a music lover, she was inspired by listening to the hosts of a local commercial station. This led her to seek out a volunteer position with Bordertown community radio station 5tcb.

Scad, while still at school, would take the 1 hour bus ride to and from 5tcb, so she could learn the ropes and immediately began hosting several of the station's programs.

It was just the start of what's become a successful and rewarding journey for Scad in radio.

Having left school, Scad found any work she could to support herself while volunteering all her free time at 5tcb, learning everything from sales, audio production, promotions, program development, and announcing.

Due to financial difficulties, 5tcb was forced into administration and closed its doors.

This wasn't good enough for Scad. She lobbied hard with a small band of passionate people and encouraged the community to see the value in the station and what it provided the region.

She set up a broadcasting van, using her own DJ equipment for transmission – pirate radio at its most grass roots level. In between announcements, Scad would walk the streets, seeking promissory donations from members of the public, to get the station up and running again. It worked. The station was saved, but it wasn't all plain sailing for 5tcb.

Twelve months on and the station suffered another blow – there was a fire that caused significant damage.

The fire claimed thousands of dollars worth of Scad's own resources, that she'd lent and donated, including her vast collection of CDs and memorabilia.

It was a tragic event – Scad then had to work in a shoe-box office with even less resources, for the two years that followed.

The simplest tasks now took twice as long, but this did not deter her passion for the station and its community.

Moving forward, Scad is now in the role of general manager – the youngest manager in the station's 32-year history.

While Scad was mentored largely through her vast network of contacts in the industry, most of her management skills are self-taught, drawing on her experience with 5tcb and Melomania. 

As a result, 5tcb continues to go from strength to strength, and Melomania is a testament to her immense energy and resourcefulness.

Due to Scad's rocky upbringing and the challenges she had to overcome at a young age, she is passionate about helping young people find their place in the world.

Scad understands the difficulties for kids in rural areas, where options are limited.

Often, if young people aren't sports oriented, there's very little for them – Scad believes however that radio offers many benefits to youth through personal development, increasing self-confidence and creating viable career options.

In fact Melomania's co-host, Hollie, got involved with the show during her last years at high school!

But 15 years in radio isn't the only milestone for Scad this year – Melomania turns 10 on August 23, and to celebrate, Scad and Hollie will host a 72 hour Lockdown on August 21-24. 

Scad's energy and enthusiasm is infectious – she is an inspiration to people from all walks of life, mixing it with everyone from school kids, volunteers, music celebrities and people in the industry.

Scad's a well-known face at industry conferences too, facilitating workshops on social media, programming, station culture, and sales and marketing.

Scad even manages to squeeze in volunteering with the Community Broadcasting Foundation, as a Grant Assessor. 

Plus on top of her management, audio engineering, music director, volunteer training, sales and marketing duties at 5tcb, she volunteers a huge number of hours per week at the station, keeping her presenter skills sharp by hosting the stations 'Brekky' show.

Her commitment to the community doesn't stop there. Scad also shares her knowledge and coaching skills with local business owners and budding entrepreneurs.