Much-loved community radio station saved from closure

A community radio station that paved the way for broadcasters Hamish Blake, Andy Lee and Zan Rowe has been saved after fears it would have to close its doors.

Melbourne's SYN, which also launched the careers of the Barefoot Investor Scott Pape and journalists across the country, celebrated its 20th anniversary in October but was facing the prospect of having to wind up after a tough few years.

It couldn't run training and other programs that make money during the pandemic and was dealing with higher costs due to inflation and unexpectedly lost government funding.

However, Youth Minister Natalie Suleyman on Tuesday announced the government was investing $100,000 in the station, which has broadcasters under the age of 26.

SYN managed to raise more than $60,000 through fundraising efforts that wrapped up on Sunday after news of the station's possible closure pushed the community into action.

"Together, you have managed to raise a whopping $60,000, enough to cover our expenses into the future," SYN general manager Ruby Smith said in a statement on Tuesday.

"SYN will be able to continue providing a platform for young people across Melbourne, uplifting their voices and creating spaces where they are celebrated for being themselves."

Up to 1500 people have volunteered at the youth-run station over the past 10 years.

Broadcasters Andy Lee and Hamish Blake
Andy Lee and Hamish Blake are among broadcasters who began their careers at SYN radio.

“We’re proud to be supporting this community radio station and their tireless volunteers, who work every day to ensure that the issues that are important to young people are heard across Victoria," Ms Suleyman said in a statement.

Andy Lee began broadcasting with Hamish Blake at SYN when the pair were university students and said it was instrumental to their careers.

"There's only so much you can talk to your own tape recorder in your bedroom - actually being out broadcasting is a really unique opportunity and it feels heaps different when you're doing it live and have that experience," he told AAP in October.

ABC national music correspondent Zan Rowe previously said SYN's impact over the past 20 years could not be underestimated.

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