FAMILY FUN: Fraser Coast FM 107.5 celebrates 25 years
FROM broadcasting with borrowed equipment in a Urangan garage 25 years ago, Fraser Coast FM 107.5 community radio has come a long way.
Now with some of the latest and greatest in technology and about 100 dedicated volunteers, the much-loved station is tuned into by thousands of Fraser Coast residents for the music, news and local information.
That's an achievement well worth celebrating, says long-time member Lin Nemeth.
On Saturday, August 4, the volunteers will host a Radiofest Family Fun Day to celebrate the 25-year milestone and highlight the station's rich history.
Ms Nemeth said the Halcro St station had been an integral part of the Fraser Coast community and had been involved in many important, and for some, life-changing events.
This includes raising funds for a young resident to get a cochlear implant, collecting donations for the people of Vanuatu after their island was devastated by cyclone Pam, and helping a young man to achieve his dream of participating in the 2016 Paralympics.
"The station has been there for Australia Day celebrations, Relay-for Life events and a diversity of other occasions along the way.
"Fraser Coast FM 107.5 has been, and continues to be, a significant part of the social fabric of the Hervey Bay region," Ms Nemeth said. "It has been here for 25 years and plans to be around for many years to come."
After delving through the station's history, Ms Nemeth said it was a group of persistent residents who started the community radio station in 1991.
One year later, they started test transmissions from Hedley Hollingsworth's garage in Urangan, using any basic equipment they could get their hands on.
Mr Hedley was the station's first president and a driving force behind its establishment.
By 1993, the station started broadcasting weekend programs that ran from 6am to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays until 1998 when they were granted a temporary full-time licence, which was shared with Community Radio Sandy Straits.
After being granted its own full-time licence on September 9, 1999, Ms Nemeth said Fraser Coast FM 107.5 went from strength to strength.
The station eventually found a home at 30 Halcro St in Point Vernon, where it now boasts a modern broadcasting studio as well as a production studio, and state-of-the-art outside broadcast equipment.
The station is run solely by volunteers, with trained presenters delivering about 100 hours of entertainment each week.
"The whole operation is run by volunteers, both on and off air, who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and bring with them a great variety of skills and experience, and the number of people involved in the operations of the station has grown significantly since the early days."
"Now there are around 100 members, approximately 30 of whom are presenters, while another 18 off-air volunteers ensure the smooth running of administrative, technological and financial functions.
"The station also has 96 associate members. These are other non-profit organisations and groups that support Fraser Coast FM 107.5, and the station promotes these groups and their activities on-air."
Funding for the not-for- profit organisation is derived from sponsorship fees, membership fees, sausage sizzles and community grants.
"Another important source of income is generated by special fund-raising events such as the forthcoming Radiofest," Ms Nemeth said.
The family fun day will include a car boot sale, sausage sizzle, raffles and prizes, market stalls, live music and a climbing frame and jumping castle for children.
Meet the station's volunteers and request your favourite song.
Radiofest Family Fun Day
- When: Saturday, August 4, from 8am - 4pm
- Where: City Park, Main St, Pialba (next to the Cultural Centre)
- Cost: Free