JOY Media’s Radiothon fundraising for LGBTQIA+ voices on air

JOY radio team with ABC's Nate Byrne at Radiothon 2024
Image: Triana Butler

JOY Media is holding its annual Radiothon, celebrating 30 years of helping our communities flourish as an Australian LGBTQIA+ community media organisation. They’re asking for your support to help them remain out, loud and proud.

Proudly self-funded, JOY is one of only four such organisations around the world that broadcast 24 hours a day on FM, DAB+, online and on apps including the JOY app, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.

“Radiothon is our most important event for the year,” JOY’s CEO Isabelle James said.

“I’s a time where everyone gets together to try and raise as much money as we can for our community to keep JOY on our airwaves.

“There’s a bit of a misconceived idea that we have all this money. We’re a not-for-profit charity. But Radiothon is a time where people can feel and be involved with JOY and contribute to make a real difference within their own community by keeping us around.”

Image: Triana Butler

Images by Triana Butler

Fundraising with flare and pride

Starting on Saturday, JOY Weekend Breakfast hosts Paul Horwell and Ando McDonald were joined by everyone’s favourite weatherman Nate Byrne to kick off a big seven days of fundraising.

“It’s such a huge responsibility, I had mixed emotions about it,” Ando said.

“Sure I was excited, but what if we didn’t get a donation? Or what if we didn’t deliver the dollars that we need to stay on air?

Paul said, “Having Nate here gave us an extra bit of frisson in the studio for Radiothon. People don’t understand that a lot of our income comes from this particular time of year and this fundraising event.

“We are very fortunate to be in the space to be able to make content for our queer community, and we want to carry on doing it.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who’s donated or rejoined their memberships or renewed their memberships so far, because we really do need your support and we really love being here for you.”

Every dollar TOTES counts

While calling out for donations and memberships, this year JOY has also launched a Merch store with tote, bags, fans and more for you to purchase. So if money is tough, those who want to show their pride for the station can do so in other ways.

Founded in 1993 as a response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, JOY has evolved to reflect the growth, diversity and intersectionality of our stories and issues.

The latest season of the grid saw the addition of ‘The I in US’ to JOYs roster, by the Intersex community for the intersex community – a first of its kind.

While some shows have been doing crazy challenges to raise funds or live music acts and celebrities in the studio, ‘The I in Us’ team found that the importance of their show has others stepping up to show their support, with The Snow Foundation matching dollar-for-dollar any donations up to $20,000 during their show at 7pm Wednesday night.

“I am honestly so excited that The Snow Foundation are supporting us and JOY in this way,” ‘The I in Us’ cohost Jason Turner said.

“We recently had a listener in Zambia message us which made Paul and myself so happy. Knowing that our local content about and for the intersex community is going global and reaching so many people is so special.”

But there’s no time to get comfortable

At this morning’s count, the station had raised $131,098 for Radiothon. This is a great start, but the team don’t have time to get complacent. There’s only two and a half days left as they build towards a Mega Friday of fundraising.

“The community has been championing for JOY and getting around us, putting their hands in their pockets and really advocating for their community,” CEO Isabelle James said.

“But we absolutely still need for you to dig deep, contact your friends, family, and reach out and help us. We’re doing our bit for the community, and we’re asking others to do it too.”

JOY Radiothon is running until the June 7, 2024. You can help support JOY by singing to become a member or renewing your membership, donate, or buy JOY merch at

Image: Triana Butler

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Dean Arcuri

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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