4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2013 #16

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've been counting down the days to the big event by profiling the finalists across all categories.

Tonight is the big night, so today we'll feature a bunch more finalists. Below, we feature an agency salesperson, a presenter who is up for 3 awards in his 3rd year in radio, and we start with 1 of the 5 people up for the Brian White Memorial.


2Day FM, Sydney NSW, Southern Cross Austereo

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

I started out at Radio 2KY, reading the weekend news. I also worked at 2SM before making the move into television at Sky News Australia, where I produced rolling coverage of major news events, including the Iraq war, and presented for “Health News” and “Book Show”. In 2006 I returned to radio, this time on the FM band, before joining Southern Cross Austereo (2 and a half years ago) as the Sydney News Director for 2Day FM and Triple M.

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

The entry consists of breaking news reports for three major stories; the violent protests in the Sydney CBD, the Mosman collar-bomb hoax and the ASADA investigation into drugs in sport.

The protests occurred on the weekend and no on-air time had been allocated for news breaks, so Content facilitated me to file every 30 minutes. The situation was volatile – changing minute by minute. Protestors were throwing projectiles and clashing with police; then making impassioned speeches calling for peace, before the group ran through Hyde Park going their separate ways.

The Mosman collar-bomb hoax struck a chord with our listeners so we followed the case closely. My report was filed from court as Paul Peters was sentenced. Maddie Pulver and her parents were there for the final chapter in what was clearly a harrowing experience for them.

What’s the best part of your job?

  • The team. We have a cohesive, diverse team of journalists who are passionate about what they do.
  • There is impressive depth of experience with Sasha Tannock, Geoff Field, Hugh Finnane and Chris Urquhart. Tim Davies is an outstanding talent and is thriving as Kyle and Jackie O’s news guy, while Alexandra Bryant and Desiree Savage are outstanding readers.
  • I also obtain a great deal of satisfaction in mentoring cub journalists. Michael Lorigan commenced with the Sydney team on a casual basis fresh from graduating at Charles Sturt University and recently landed a full-time role within the SCA network at Port Macquarie. He is one to watch.


What are your key achievements over the past 12 months?

Introducing news across the workday on 2Day FM, as well as online news. In my first week in the role I walked into the Content Director’s office and said “We need more news on 2Day FM”! We only had half-hourly news from 6am-8.30am and then nothing until 4pm. While I didn’t get the reception I’d hoped for that day, I did get my wish. The workday news 11am-2pm is intended to reflect what’s happening across Sydney “now”.

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

[Insert embarrassing Gwyneth Paltrow Oscars moment, followed by a dignified recovery].

“A big thanks to ACRA, the SCA news team, my husband (who I’m convinced was a saint in a former life) and my boss, SCA General Manager Jeremy Simpson, whose 360 degree approach has provided a steady support at all times“.



2NM, Hunter Valley NSW, Grant Broadcasters

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

After 10 years of community radio and a bit of unpaid work experience at a commercial station, I decided to make the jump to proper radio and applied to study at AFTRS in 2010. After graduation, I began my first commercial gig doing afternoons at 2HC Coffs Harbour following John Laws on-air each day. I picked up the ACRA for Best Newcomer On –Air in 2011 (pictured) based on my work at 2HC and was a finalist the following year for Best Talk Presenter.

In July 2012 I was coaxed into leaving the sunny Coffs Coast to take up a position as news director and mornings announcer at 2NM in the Hunter Valley and that’s where I am today.

Please outline your ACRA’s entries

I am a finalist in three categories this year; Best Talk Presenter- Country, Best News Presenter – Country and Best Current Affairs Presenter – Non Metropolitan.

Here's the audio from his Current Affairs Presenter entry:-
or hear it here

Here's the audio from his Talk Presenter entry:-
or hear it here

Here's the audio from his News Presenter entry:-
or hear it here

What’s the best part of your job ?

I get paid to talk to people about things that they’re passionate about. I get to be an advocate for average Australians and I get to share stories and experiences with them. I love pretty much every part of the job whether it be ranting about politics and interviewing errant politicians or speaking to music artists and entertainers.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Being nominated for three ACRAs in only my third year in the business is pretty high on the list but my biggest achievement has been becoming an important part of the Hunter community.

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

I’m not one for making speeches so I’ll keep this brief. Firstly, I’d like to thank the person who lets me share a few hours of their life every day – the listener. The person who lets me be me in a candid and frank discussion about subjects that are important to both of us and especially those that call the program and tell me what they’re thinking.

I’d also like to thank the musicians, entertainers, politicians, experts and characters who make themselves available to be a part of the program and who help me make it into a rich tapestry that’s both informative and entertaining. Finally a special thank you to those that have come before me and have been so generous with their time and experience helping me become a better broadcaster.



Nova 106.9, Brisbane QLD, dmg radio australia

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

Came from TV to radio in late 2009 and have been at Nova ever since!

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

It’s based on performance to budget, client growth etc, so it’s all numbers and they are detailed within the entry.

What’s the best part of your job?

Definitely the Nova 106.9FM team and our culture/working environment.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months?

Together as an agency team we have broken revenue records and shares and it’s a privilege to work within such a successful and talent team.

Another stand out would include being the first rep in Brisbane to receive the UM Salesperson of the month award! I was pretty chuffed at that!

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

I would thank the incredible Nova 106.9 team. It’s our “whole station” approach that everyone has which is crucial to our success – you couldn’t do it without them!


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

Good luck for tonight !!!

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