4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2013 #11

Staff Writer

There are thousands of hard-working, dedicated and amazingly creative people throughout the radio industry – and every year a small fraction of those people make the short list as a finalist in the ACRA’s.

4 weeks of ACRA's Finalists Fever – where we count down the days to the big event on October 12 by profiling the finalists across all categories. You can get involved by emailing us here.

In #11 we feature a community service project from Brisbane, an EP from Hobart, and Fitzy & Wippa's imaging guru who is up for 3 ACRA's. Will he be able to beat Sideshow this year ?


Nova 96.9, Sydney NSW, dmg radio australia

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

After getting a Bachelors Degree in broadcasting communication and bit of work slinging hotdogs for MoreFM in Christchurch, I accepted an internship as a creative writer in Palmerston North, moving from there to Auckland Great Northern Creative – TRN's Creative Hub, where I started working on more programming content – parodies, sketches and tactic promos.

I ended up back across the road at The Edge as the Executive Producer for The Edge Breakfast Show for a couple of years, which is where i jumped the ditch to be Image Producer for Nova919, jumped BACK across the ditch to follow my wife's career, and then back AGAIN to the job I have now – Writer/Producer for Fitzy & Wippa on Nova Sydney Breakfast.

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

I have three nominations this year: Best Achievement in Production, Best Comedy Segment and Best Multimedia Execution.

Here's Richie's audio for Best Achievement in Production …
or hear it here

Here's the Best Comedy Segment entry for Cookie Jars song parody (see more here)

What’s the best part of your job?

Working hard to really make a comedic piece sing. Invoking emotion through my work.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Working with the boys, being part of getting the show on a good forward momentum (ratings-wise), winning a couple of NZ radio awards and being nominated for the ACRAs this year.



Nick & Woody, Sea FM, Hobart TAS, Southern Cross Austereo

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

It’ll be 10 years in Commercial Radio in December, the typical “community radio” thing before that. It’s hard to imagine now but my first interview was for the role as Commercial Production Assistant aka Cart Tart. The first question JC and Bruce (McDonald) asked me, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. My response “not working in production”. I got the gig, and I will be forever grateful to Bruce for giving me my start and being my first boss, mentor and radio friend. However I do blame him for the start of my caffeine addiction (but not sorry for it).

From there in an Austin Power’s nutshell way – Albury I was Southern Hub Commercial Production Coordinator then STAR FM Promotions Manager, to Launceston to be Promotions Manager and SEA FM Workday Announcer, headed north to be a jack of all HOT/ ZINC Sunshine Coast music scheduling/ promotions/ on air/ panelling trades to which they sent me to Townsville as Promotions Manager launching ZINC and 1063. Back to Sunshine Coast for Promotions Manager. Back south to co-host and produce STAR FM Gippsland where I was up to a year ago this month when I moved to Hobart. And that’s the nutshell!

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

I was apart of a team in Gippsland where we worked long and hard building up the content from interviewing Bob the Butcher to the biggest international stars and being a dominant force in the market. I brought that passion, ideas and determination to Hobart however didn’t expect it to be needed so quickly with RadioThon (after the devastating Tassie Bushfires). I’m humbled to be nominated in BEST SHOW PRODUCER – ENTERTAINMENT/MUSIC, that in itself after 10 years in the industry is the reward. I’m up against amazing competition from the Gold Coast and Canberra, and truly believe everyone should be rewarded for the hours we commit to the art! The easy part was bringing the daily ideas to life… editing our best to a minute is bloody difficult – both for time and our retro Adobe editing program (sorry techs, no hard feelings – pure operator errors).

What’s the best part of your job ?

The best part… I’m a female Gemini in the radio industry, so I’m not short of words! The people, the opportunity to make a real difference in the community in an amazing quick turn around with passionate staff and community support. The chance to laugh every day and be entertained. I went to a high school that limited eccentricity so a workplace that encourages my loud bright hair, only overshadowed my loud laugh gets two thumbs up.

Oh and as I demonstrated just the other day, we are “cool” enough as a workplace for me to pretend to be a Spanish Bull and charge at a fit ball used as a red cape. I only have one coffee a day, promise!

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

There were many I have been blessed to be a part of however one stands out the most. In the two weeks following the Tassie bushfires we took an idea, never attempted on this station and turned it into a $55K donation. In a community that had already lost so much, Hobart as a non metro market really proved they rally together to help a mate. We coordinated 26 high profile identities (celebs, singers, pollies etc) for interviews in support and ran an all-day tally room for the RADIOTHON. This will stay with me forever.

You can’t make a speech on the night but you can here. So let’s pretend you won…. what would you say ? 

Radio Today, have you not heard? You can’t give this woman a mic!

“Drink up, it’s on the company! You can never escape the claws of this industry… that’s because it’s too addictive and I would be bored if I left! There are managers, mentors and teams I have worked with who all know how much they mean to me and who know how they have impacted my career. Phil Bradley, Paul Dowsley, Bruce McDonald, Daniel O’Carroll. Equally important are the day to day heroes who I chat to regularly, as stoogies, colleague or as a friend. You are the ones who make me laugh the most and inspire me constantly. Finally Mat Cummins… he’ll get it”.



97.3FM, Brisbane QLD, Australian Radio Network


Give us a quick snapshot of your radio backgrounds

ROBIN: I started in radio nearly 25 years ago at 2WEB in Bourke as a journalist, from there I moved to 2SM and 2WS Sydney in the news room. Programming beckoned and I joined the breakfast team in Hobart for Triple T. Since then I have worked in Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane as a Brekky announcer for Austereo and now ARN.

TERRY: 10 years this month at 97.3FM Breakfast. Plucked off the National Comedy & Corporate Circuit where you’ll still find me every other Friday and Saturday night.

BOB:  40 Years in commercial radio and counting. 21 years at ARN, 7 years on 97.3 Breakfast with Robin and Terry. Thrilled to be part of a high rating FM breakfast show on the Number 1 station in my hometown of Brisbane, I still look forward to talking to the folks and playing the hits every day. I have now rated #1 at every station I have ever worked at!

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

Conceptualised in the 97.3fm boardroom five years ago, the Say No To Bullying day is now a nationwide initiative, with schools, workplaces and communities coming together every year in March to participate in a national day of action to Say No To Bullying. The 97.3fm breakfast team are passionate about their work in the community and pride themselves on the Say No To Bullying initiative, as we hear from listeners year in and year out, who share their stories of bullying and how spreading awareness through the campaign is making a difference. 2013 was bigger and better than ever with our Say No To Bullying campaign broadcasting live from a school, receiving national attention in both the media and federal parliament.

or hear it here

What’s the best part of your job ?

ROBIN: I love the immediacy and the connection. You can turn on a microphone and talk to people in their most personal space like the bedroom or car. I also love that we can effect change and I hope that we not only entertain but make a positive difference to people's lives.

TERRY: Being first to the News and the Gag is awesome. Being first and funniest is everything. Nothing like listening to a Drive Time show covering a story you already nailed 12 hours earlier!

BOB: I love working with people and especially the female colleagues, on air Robin and Ruth and Louise and in News, Monique and the talented ladies in Promotions, Creative, Direct and Agency sales. The female focus of 97.3 and female friendly format, Pink, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry etc. help to maintain a young at heart attitude and lifestyle.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

The Say No To Bullying campaign is now in its 5th year and 2013 was the biggest and best yet, with several different elements of the campaign growing exponentially to take the Say No To Bullying initiative to great new heights. Our partnership with Channel Nine grew with the Today Show broadcasting live from our annual outdoor broadcast on the National Day of Action. Say No To Bullying Day spread to more schools and workplaces around the country and attracted an increased participation and endorsement from our politicians in Canberra.

Robin, Terry and Bob’s anti-bullying interview with Minister for School Education Peter Garrett resulted in Minister Garrett putting the anti-bullying message forward in Parliament during question time. 97.3FM, in conjunction with The Department of Education and Training developed ‘Bullying No Way! Take a Stand Together’ Wrist Bands that were available to schools around the country who registered as a participating school in the National Day of Action. Due to the high demand 97.3FM received from the community wanting to also take part Robin, Terry and Bob took to high traffic areas distributing the wrist bands to the community.

You can’t make a speech on the night but you can here. So let’s pretend you won…. what would you say?

ROBIN: Thank you, what started as an idea in our boardroom at 973 has now become a national day of action with total support from the federal and state governments and the Human Rights Commission. 

TERRY: Thanks to the teachers, the students , the friends and families who share their stories and place trust in us every day.

BOB: Thanks Dad, for all of your encouragement, thanks Peter V for giving me a job at 4KQ and Barry for taking me back to FM 97.3 and my soul mate, my rock and wife of more than 30 years, Suzi.


See all the ACRA's fever so far (and 2012's) here.

If you're a finalist in Metropolitan, Non-Metropolitan, Provincial or Country drop us a line and we'll shine the spotlight on you. Email Halesy here.

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