4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2013 #4

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.

Just like we did last year, over the next month, Radio Today will shine a spotlight on the best of the best.

4 weeks of ACRA's Finalists Fever – counting 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 #4 we feature a finalist for Best News Presenter, we chat to K-Rock's MD in Geelong, and we start with a Best Music Special finalist from Star FM Orange.


Browny's Backstage Pass: All TIme Low
Star FM, Orange NSW, Southern Cross Austereo

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

I started out by doing work experience at 90.9 Sea FM on the Gold Coast back in 2007, volunteering my time for 3 years on The Hit List with Matty & Renee. From there I learnt hands on how to panel, produce, take part in outrageous stunts that really shaped my career and eventually started hosting Mid-Dawns on Red Eye Radio once a week. In 2010 I was offered my first Full Time Breakfast Radio gig at 105.9 Star FM in Orange where I co-hosted for 2 and a half years before recently moving up to host/anchor the Hot FM CQ Breakfast Show with EJ in April 2013.

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

Browny’s Backstage Pass: All Time Low was an interview I conducted backstage at the 2013 Soundwave Festival with the band All Time Low. It was a chance to show listeners what happens backstage at the festival and get them up close and personal with the band by having their questions asked by myself.

Here's the audio:-
or hear it here

What’s the best part of your job ?

There are so many different factors I love about the radio industry, as a massive fan of music I love the fact that we immerse our lives and jobs around musicians, bands and celebs and get the chance to come face to face with them over time. That’s what the fanboy inside of me loves. But on another note having the ability to connect with your audience in ways I never thought I could. Talking about something that happened in my personal life and having someone tell me after the show they have been through the same thing really gets me inside. As much as I love talking about myself and my life, I really enjoy hearing what others have to say and if I can make a difference in their lives, or make them laugh, cry, angry or relate to what I’m discussing then I feel I’m doing my job right.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

I’m always looking for new ways to challenge myself in my career and stepping up from a Regional Station to Provincial was something I’ve always wanted to do. I feel like I am pushing my boundaries further than before and trying new things I never thought I was game enough to try. In the past year I feel like I have progressed so much further with my career than previously imagined and the thing is I’m only just starting to chip away with where I see myself in the future. Bring on the next 12 months!

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

I have always joked that I would write Renee Peterson and Matty Acton into my speech if I was to ever win. I owe them for everything that happens in my radio career because if it wasn’t for them giving a fat, semi-bearded kid with no radio experience or education a chance, then I would probably still be an infamous Prize Pig.

I’d also like to give a shout out to guys in the industry like The Big K (Craig Collett), Higgo, Dangerous Dave, Eddie McGuire & Kyle Sandilands for being themselves, staying true to what they believe in and giving me something to aspire to achieve, a long and successful radio career.

And a word of advice for anyone doing work experience at the moment hoping to make it in the industry: Determination, Commitment and Persistence will eventually pay off no matter how long you have to work for free or however many times you have to bungee jump in a mankini, drink your own pee, or get a Justin Bieber tattoo on your hip for the rest of your life… FML.



K-ROCK, Geelong VIC, Grant Broadcasters

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

I did a show at the local community station while at uni, and found myself working on show ideas and prank calls more than my course work. After two years volunteering I decided this was for me and pushed my way into a paid spot as production manager and announcer at Muswellbrook Power FM.

After 5 months, I sent a life size cardboard cut out of myself, with my CV and demo in hand, to Power FM Ballarat and was quickly hired as the new breakfast host. Here I did breakfast on the ‘Jules and Aiden G’ show for almost a year and a half before K-Rock Geelong asked me to come down as the new Music Director and one half of the drive show ‘The Departure Lounge’. It’s been about a year and a half now and I love it!

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

A lot of hard work! Um some short essays about why I pick different songs to add to our rotation, what Australian music means to me and that sort of thing. Oh and graphs and charts, everyone loves a good pie chart!

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months?

I have organised several different great Aussie bands to come play for our listeners like Grinspoon and Eskimo Joe which have been really fun. Local music is really important to us so I organised a battle of the bands for local musicians. And also got Johnny Rotten to hang up on me too before Red Simons made it popular!

What’s the best part of your job ?

There are so many “best” parts! Sitting backstage at Soundwave 2013 chatting to Dexter and Noodles from The Offspring was incredible. Walking the ARIAs red carpet with screaming girls yelling for me to get out of Reece Mastins way was a lot of fun. But day to day, all the free CDs! I haven’t had to hand over a pineapple to JB HiFi for a very long time now. But my family are beginning to wonder why they keep getting Delta Goodrem albums each birthday.  

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

Wow this is so unexpected! I can’t believe I won! I feel so unprepared. *pulls out speech from jacket pocket* There are so many people to thank but I just want to single out two. Thank you to James Lake for hearing a TERRIBLE demo and seeing something in me. And most of all I want to thank my beautiful wife who has been the bud of plenty of on air jokes and stunts, put up with breakfast radio sleep patterns and always pretends to be excited and laughs at every radio skit and parody song I’ve created.



Star 104.5, Central Coast NSW, dmg radio australia


Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background.

I started doing Community Radio as a 13 year old and got my first job on the Central Coast before moving to Newcastle. From there I was off to the big smoke with 2GB where I gained invaluable experience covering all sorts of stories from police to politics, courts and sport alongside some of the best in the game. After a few years in TV, working in the UK and returning to a job in PR, the opportunity to return to radio with Star 104.5 came up, and being a Coastie it suited my lifestyle perfectly!

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

The best news presenter category calls for 60 seconds of an unedited bulletin, so I chose one which best showcased my writing and reading skills, as well as Star 104.5’s commitment to local stories.

What’s the best part of your job ?

I really enjoy having some editorial freedom in terms of stories covered, and the ability to get out on the road to cover stories which are important to the Coast.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Covering the 2012 Olympics in London for Star and being able to watch Tom Slingsby bring gold back the Coast was obviously a massive highlight. There’s also been an election campaign in between and I would like to think I have been on top of all the big local stories around that saga! I can only benchmark myself on a few variables, including the amount of local stories I’m able to break ahead of any opponents, and I’d like to think I have a pretty good track record.

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

Probably just to thank to all the people who have influenced my career – you have to be a sponge in this industry, and keep learning every day. And let the party begin!


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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