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2 July 2008
RA in Cambodia
Phil Kafcaloudes: And we are broadcasting live from Phnom Penh. This is the Breakfast Club. Phil Kafcaloudes with you. Well, I've gotta tell you - this is a sensational scene here at Phnom Penh. We're on the banks of the Mekong River. It is Water Festival day. It is a big day in the calendar for Khmers. And it is our great honour here at Radio Australia to be broadcasting live, via satellite, through Melbourne to the world.
We've been broadcasting to Cambodia for two years now, and this has been where we've got most reaction. We've had so many people say that they want us to come here, they want to see what we look like, they want us to do our show from here, and just to be close to home. You know - we go into their homes every morning. At last, we're here - that's why we wanted to do it. And it's important - we wanna meet Cambodian people, we wanna feel as though we are part of their lives.
G'day, everyone. Hi.
What a vibe it is here at the moment. We're actually getting our photographs taken, Steve. Oh, hi.
Ha Som Suorsdey: The presenters from Radio Australia, they sent email to me and said, "Suorsdey, you have the honour to be the first ever of the Cambodian listener to email the Radio Australia." And it was one of my biggest days in my life.
Phil Kafcaloudes: Seda Douglas will be hosting the Khmer language program.
Seda Douglas: Thank you, Phil.
Sokhuoch Sim: She tell everything about Khmer culture. I am here today because I listen to Radio Australia every day in Khmer language.
Margaret Adamson: We want people to connect with each other, because it's really at the people-to-people level, obviously, that the popular understanding of what the other country and what the other region is about actually happens, and so it is really quite critical.
Phil Kafcaloudes: Margaret, welcome to the Breakfast Club.
Margaret Adamson: Thanks very much. Great to be here.
Phil Kafcaloudes: The voice of Australia in Cambodia. You're getting clapped - you've got a fan club.
Margaret Adamson: To get this very direct connection between the people is really a buzz.
Phil Kafcaloudes: Now, we have some T-shirts to give away, alright? Now, this is pandemonium. Pandemonium by the side of the Mekong River.
Margaret Adamson: It's a very active role in terms of connecting the Cambodian people with Australia's perspective on the region, but also, it's connecting actually the Cambodian people with their own region.
Voiceover: This is Radio Australia. It's time to join our Khmer language program.
Phil Kafcaloudes: We can offer insights from outside their own country. Not saying that our views are always right and views from within the country are wrong, but we can offer views that people sometimes don't get in their own country. It happens in Dili as well, where there is not such an open media, but we can offer stuff... We can tell people what's going on around the world. And, in some cases, we're their only news source and their only information source.
Sokhuoch Sim: It's good, because we can get independent information about Cambodia and about the world, especially about Australia.
Margaret Adamson: Given the past, they want the region, they want the rest of the world to recognise Cambodia as it is today, not simply to have Cambodia in the image of the past.
Seda Douglas: He is Preap Sovath. He's very, very popular - probably the most popular pop star in Cambodia.
Margaret Adamson: I think it's very important for a country like Cambodia to have these opportunities at a number of levels, and I think it's fantastic, as the Australian ambassador, that Radio Australia is actually contributing to those opportunities. Again, it helps with our own connection to the country, it helps with our connection to the local people, so that the local people understand more about Australia, what we are about, and it helps connect Australia, I think, to this part of the world.
Ha Som Suorsdey: It's very good to broadcast from this country. Small, beautiful country, I must say, and to the world, and to let everyone know about Cambodia, and I feel like I am grateful to Radio Australia to make a decision and then come to Cambodia.