Vision Radio Network
|Branding||Vision Christian Radio|
|Slogan||Connecting Faith to Life|
|First air date||1 February 1999|
|Owner||Vision Christian Media (United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd.)|
Vision Christian Radio (formerly Vision Radio Network and Vision FM) is a Christian media ministry of Vision Christian Media (United Christian Broadcasters Australia Ltd.). Vision's motto is "Connecting Faith to Life" and the radio network is a means to that end. It aims to make Christian media easily accessible for every Australian. As of 2015, Vision operates on 600+ licences, the majority being low powered FM services reaching into suburban areas of large cities plus many small country towns. It also broadcasts on almost 30 higher powered services including Western Sydney, Western Melbourne and Adelaide on 1611 AM.
Vision began broadcasting from small studios in Springwood, Brisbane on 1 February 1999. In 2001 Vision moved into larger premises in nearby Underwood to better provide a 24-hour 7-day broadcast to relay stations across the nation, plus listeners on the Internet and via satellite.
UCB Australia (as it was then known) was able to acquire around 500 high and low powered open narrowcast licences and quickly set up a national network of relay stations to meet the needs of listeners all over the country. Vision Christian Radio reaches listeners in places ranging from Australia's larger cities to regional centres and tiny isolated towns in The Bush. Many small to medium-sized country towns in Australia have benefited from the cost-effective approach of using low powered FM transmitters. Although typically only one to ten watts, they usually give quite adequate residential coverage in small towns, depending on the antenna height above local terrain. The setup cost is achievable for most communities. The ongoing cost is minimal due to low maintenance equipment with low power consumption – some stations in remote areas even use solar power.
In the twelve months following March 2001 a rapid expansion began, seeing the number of on-air relay stations triple from around 30 to 90. Also in April 2001, Vision introduced Australia's first nationwide news service from a Christian perspective. Originally called UCB News, it was later rebranded to fall under the unified "Vision" brand. Vision's News is heard across all of the 600+ Vision Christian Radio stations as well as being accessed by a growing number of community stations who don't have the resources to produce their own news content.
During 2003 Vision had opportunity to secure its first high powered open narrowcast licences.
The network quickly reached 150 relay stations by the end of 2003. In the following year its first foray into AM radio sites in Shepparton, Bunbury and Kalgoorlie began. Just prior to Christmas 2004 a further 17 High Powered licences were secured to be on air the following year.
Vision's 200th relay station was powered up on Australia Day 2005 at the Central Australian town of Yulara – right next to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Yarrawonga in Victoria had the honour of station number 300 in late 2007 and a significant development occurred in late 2008 with the acquisition of a medium powered AM service in Melbourne (1611AM). Throughout 2009 and 2010 Vision has continued to expand its reach with, on average, a new station every week. Station number 400 went to air late in 2009 at Lockhart in NSW. In August 2011, Vision's 500th station was installed in the Queensland community of Murphy's Creek.
Vision's catchcry is "Connecting Faith to Life" and does this through talk and music based programming aimed at "unpacking" what it means to follow Jesus Christ in an understandable way.
Vision has several sister ministry arms (all operated by Vision Christian Media), including Australia's most popular daily devotionals "The Word for Today" and "word4U2day" as well as a prayer ministry "Vision Christian Prayer", and the teaching resources ministry of "Vision Christian Store".