4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2013 #7

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 #7 we feature a best music presenter finalist from Nova Sydney, and we have 2 best newcomers – one on-air and one off-air.


Nova 96.9, Sydney NSW, dmg radio australia

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background.

Been in radio for 23 years (Yes, I started when I was 3).

Started in NZ at Classic Hits and worked at a few stations over there before jumping on a plane to the Gold Coast with a backpack, a mullet and an unemployment benefit application. I joined dmg in '97 and spent the next 10 years with them doing brekky in Griffith and Cairns, nights for the launch of Nova 96.9, then moving into Drive on Nova for 4 years before heading over to Adelaide to wake up at stupid o'clock for the next 6 years!

Now back doing mornings in my old studio at Nova. And loving it!!!

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

My ACRA entry is from my first 8 weeks back on air with Nova. It's basically a snapshot of the features, parodies, sketches and callers I use in the show. It's really fast paced – probably too much so. And it has my name at the start.
or hear it here

What’s the best part of your job ?

Best part of my job is not waking up at 3am! 
No, wait…
The best part is the freedom on-air. The guys are happy for me to just do what I do – so long as it fits in the guidelines.
(I have no idea what the guidelines are)

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Getting employed…..  Staying employed…..

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

"Bahahahahahaha!!  Really?"
(And then I'd walk off stage crying*)
(*fake crying)



97.3fm, Brisbane Qld, Australian Radio Network

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

Working at 973fm is my first full time radio gig.

Before that I was hassling every Brisbane station to let me do as much work experience as I possibly could – everything from news, producing nights and afternoons and audio production and imaging. I also worked at a community radio station (shout out to Switch1197am), doing everything I could get my hands on – setting up a newsroom at the station which required writing and reading the news, as well as doing a current affairs program at night.

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

After trawling through audio for other team entries it was refreshing to get to my personal entry and find it only required the humble pen and paper. I had to explain my day to day duties as well as a nominee statement about why I got into radio.

I told the panel how Steve Irwin’s death was (bizarrely) what motivated me to get into the media industry and radio. I was sitting in a chemistry class and my teacher got a text and turned on the radio where we all heard the tragic news. Everyone was shocked (obviously) but in the back of my head all I could think was “how immediate is this? They are literally reporting on air as the story is unfolding. I have to be a part of that industry”.

I also had to submit a supporting letter from my Content Director- which included a personal recommendation and a nice survey results plug to support my entry. It was very humbling to read and great to see on paper how supported I was by the station and ARN.

What’s the best part of your job ?

The best part of my job, without a shadow of a doubt, is the feeling you get when you receive direct feedback from listeners telling you that our content has made a difference to them. Whether this be through helping kids overcome bullying with our annual ‘Say No To Bullying’ campaign or raising child safety awareness with our ‘Day for Daniel’ campaign. It is great to know that you are cutting through to your audience and making an impact.

On a lighter note though, it’s great just to hear that you’re a part of listeners lives. I have people ringing me in the morning just to tell me that their child aced their maths test they were worried about or their daughter finally got their license. We invite them into our lives and in return they share so much of their lives with us which makes great content. A close second to listener satisfaction has to be #1 survey days… Who doesn’t love hearing that result and getting that satisfaction of a job well done at 9am on survey day!

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

My key achievements over the past 12 months have been being involved in our community service projects like Say No To Bullying and Day for Daniel. It is during those weeks that you realise how powerful radio can be and the difference it can make to people.

Furthermore, I project managed the station’s first major story arc this year which delivered amazing job satisfaction. Being across all elements and processes of putting content to air really gave me a newfound appreciation for the job. We set out to help a listener find her true love and it was something that we had a lot of fun with!

And without sounding too naff, my key achievement has to be getting to be a part of our breakfast show in general. We deliver great content on a daily basis and have a genuinely good time together, and I know in many years to come when my newcomer days are long behind me, working with this team will go down as a career highlight.

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

A big thanks to Barry Drinkwater and Ruth De Glas for plucking me out of obscurity and giving me a break in an industry that I was dying to be a part of. Also a massive shout out to our breakfast team for making the early starts bearable and being able to have a laugh. You’ve taught me everything I know and I couldn’t have learnt the ropes from better mentors.

On a sappy note I’d have to thank my boyfriend for putting up with the light going on every morning at 3.30am and me falling asleep in restaurants due to the odd hours we breakfast folk keep. And to my parents for not having a breakdown when I decided at the last minute to enrol in journalism and communications at university instead of the psychological science degree I had always planned on doing – hey it looks like the gamble has paid off!



Triple M, Sydney NSW, Southern Cross Austereo


Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

I started in 2012 on a Rugby League based program called 'The Offload' with Anthony Maroon and Gordon Tallis on Triple M. The show focuses on current issues in Rugby League from an Ex-Players perspective. It is fun, informative and allows us to connect with listeners on a personal level with stories from the past and of today.

In 2013 I was fortunate enough to be part of the Triple NRL call team. Broadcasting live NRL games for the first time.

This was an amazing opportunity and something I have always wondered if I could do. We also continued with 'The Offload' program from the year before but extended it to both weekend days.

Listen to Ryan's ACRA’s entry here….
or hear it here

What’s the best part of your job ?

Without doubt working with the team I am part of and the fact that I get to talk about something I am truely passionate about. What more can I say?

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

  • Broadcasting the 2013 State of Origin Series
  • Really knowing and understanding our audience
  • Being part of what really feels like a successful team
  • Giving my coffee (Girdler's Grind) a fair few plugs (it is available in all good Coles stores)


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 firstly thank Triple M for the opportunity to work at this iconic network. I am really just one member of a hard working dedicted group of people who have a real love for Rugby League.

From our fearless leader NRL executive producer Ned Green to the guy who wipes Gordie's chin on a weekend when he starts to dribble. Thank You.


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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