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SBS Radio

Language Services Review

For Community Organisations

Suggested responses and information to help Community Representatives respond to the Review survey

Providing your feedback to SBS is an important way to help ensure the Maltese services they provide not only remain, but can be improved and increased.

As community leaders and representatives, we have an important role to make our voices heard and provide informed information and feedback that best represents our community.

The SBS Review survey can be found here

You have until 26 November to answer the survey

Follow the information and suggested responses below to help you answer the survey questions.

About You

The first few questions ask for some information about you. These include

  • Your First Name and Surname
  • Your Email Address
  • The State or Territory that you live in

This information is necessary for any official consultation or review. This way they can contact you if you have any questions, or if your provide important feedback for which they would like further information.

Questions for Community Representatives about what SBS Services you and your community use

What SBS Radio services you and your community use

Next, ‘Please select your category’ where you can choose Community Representative.


The next question is ‘Please select which SBS Radio services you currently access‘. Select as many of the following that you and your members are likely to use to listen to or engage with SBS Radio:


For the next question ‘Please select the language your feedback mainly relates to‘, use the drop-down box to choose Maltese

Please provide your feedback on the Large Language Criteria

The following is a suggestion for you to give feedback for this question:

The Maltese community meets this criteria but caution should be had if relying on Census result because, for several social, political and historical reasons, first-, second-, third- and fourth-generation Maltese who access SBS services may not reflect they speak Maltese.

We suggest you also look at questions related to ancestry as they will provide a more accurate reflection of language and culture.

Maltese rely on SBS for Maltese content. Unlike other communities we do not have access to commercial stations that offer 24 hour services. We get 2 hours per week which is insignificant.

Please provide your feedback on the High Needs Language Criteria

The following is a suggestion for you to give feedback for this question. The question relates to how much weighting (or emphasis) should be given to each of the four criteria listed. We are recommending that the weightings of certain criteria be reduced and that of ageing increased, with reasons why in the following suggested responses. You are welcome to amend or add your own points to these responses.

English proficiency should be reduced to 35%. Most recent arrivals must meet English proficiency requirements before settlement in Australia. Concurrently however, many people nonetheless require services in their first language for accurate and trusted information.

Recentness of arrival should be maintained 30%. Recent arrivals in 2021 have significantly more access to overseas content that those who arrived earlier but need ready access to information related to Australia. At the same time, many people require connection and important information through their first language regardless of how long ago they arrived in Australia. In fact, for people who have been in Australia for a considerable time, they are likely to require services and programming in their first language even more. For some this is due to second language attrition and first language reversion among older people (see below). For many others, it is because news, information and entertainment continues to be more easily accessible in their first language, regardless of capacity to speak or understand English.

Ageing is an issue in Australia and this needs to be increased to 30%. It is important to note that people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities often revert back to their native language as they age. They are often isolated and their only connection to language and culture comes from SBS services. The Maltese community have very limited services to 2 radio programs per week. TV provides 1 hour per week of news from Malta. No films or Maltese series are shown on SBS which is unacceptable given the Maltese population in this country.

Household income should be reduced to 5%. People should have access to free radio and TV services at a minimum. Often, household income does not correlate to capacity to access information and services in English, particularly for migrant communities whose majority arrived in Australia under vastly different contexts than many of those who immigrate to Australia now.

Please provide your feedback on the other factors SBS may take into account in the final selection criteria

The following is a suggestion for you to give feedback for this question:

SBS should not rely solely on Census data to understand the composition, language use and English proficiency of migrant communities, particularly the Maltese community. For several historical, political and social reasons, many Maltese prefer to indicate they speak English (only) and understand English well, even though they speak and use Maltese, and utilise many Maltese language services. Relying on Census data would mean relying on information that may not truly reflect our community.

Further to this, people who lose English language proficiency as they age and turn back to their native tongue, need to obtain information in that language.

Our community is having a surge in learning Maltese to protect the language and 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations are looking for outlets such as SBS to embrace the language.

The Maltese community is spread across the country and SBS services provide the community with a connection and identity.

SBS services are – and should focus on being – about supporting and fostering living and thriving cultural communities across generations. SBS must recognise that by limiting or further reducing services, it is contributing to a cycle where communities fragment, lose connections across generations and lose other vital services.

If you have any additional comments on the Draft Selection Criteria, please provide here

The following is a suggestion for you to give feedback for this question:

If SBS are interested in getting individual responses this survey is very difficult to understand. Perhaps SBS should be asking constituents about the content they use and what other content they would be interested in.

As stated earlier, the Maltese community is offered very little by SBS. Going from 10 hours per week to 2 hours per week has meant we have limited access to our language and culture through a well serviced resource. If anything the times should be increased and not further reduced. It is essential because SBS plays a very important role in maintaining our language.

The SBS Review survey can be found here

You have until 12 November to answer the survey

Thank you for supporting the Maltese community!

Back to main SBS Radio review page