ACRAs Finalists Fever – #1

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 ACRAs.

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

The ACRAs Finalists Fever – counting down the days to the big event on October 10 by profiling the finalists across all categories. You can get involved by emailing us here.

Today we feature, Taylee Jones, Darren Collins,  Chris Gates and Samantha Sergiacomi.  Let’s Roll Out the Red Carpet….


Taylee Jones, Magic 931, Riverland SA, Grant Broadcasters C 

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background…

I used to be one of those kids calling ‘Hot 30’ on school nights to win CD’s when I was about 12 years old and always wanted to be on there.

Then it was just a few years ago (after completing a media degree) that I decided to take a course with the Australian Radio School and was itching to be a part of the industry after.

Started volunteering at a community station, joined the SAFM street crew, started networking…then found myself at Magic93.1 as a newsreader and breakie co-host.

I’m now super excited to be heading back to Adelaide as a news reader for FIVEaa.


Tell us about your Entry…

In the short 18 months I’ve been with Magic and 5RM, I’ve come across some pretty sad stories, but there is also so much good happening in the community all the time. I wanted to include a bit of everything.

Your speech, if you were able to make one…
No one can top the speech Carrie Bickmore did at the Logies last year, so I’d just go along the lines of “Something…something…something….world peace.”

What’s the best part of your job…
As painful as the early rise can be, I love being the first to know what’s going on…and anticipating the public reaction that will blow up when they eventually wake up and listen in/check their FB and Twitter.
Doing regional news has also been really satisfying to give a voice to small groups and individuals in the local community.




Darren Collins & Chris Gates, Triple M Melbourne, Southern Cross Austereo M


About you.. what’s the go…

Gatesy – Worked at TTFM early to mid 90’s……studied under the great Mark Jennings and Garry Cranston…then went on to do Jingles/sonics for networks around the country before joining SCA in 2008.

Darren – Started in traffic at ARN 2003, moved into creative 2005. Joined SCA in 2010

Tell us about your Entries…

Our first nomination is for Best Station Produced Commercial (single) for EGO Outdoor Power Equipment. This is one of the first branding ads we did for the client back in late 2013, it’s a bit of fun with loads of POWER. Since this campaign they have become a long term, fairly big spending direct client.



Our second nomination is for Best Station Produced Commercial (Campaign) for Saint Johns Real Estate. This one was another that was a long time in the making, a second attempt to get the client on air. Our chances didn’t look good when the account manager left and we lost contact with the client but thanks to the hard work of another AM Amy Hastwell, we were able to get it on air.


Your speech, if you were able to make one…

The biggest thanks needs to go to Amy Hastwell, without her belief in good creative this would never have had the chance to go to air. And a brilliant performance by voiceover Mark Brady brought the campaign to life beautifully.



Samantha Sergiacomi; 4BU, Bundaberg QLD, Grant Broadcasters C 


How did you get your break..

I have been in radio for just a year now; in this year I have learnt so many things. I couldn’t imagine working in any other industry now. Every day is different and since we are a regional station my work mates have quickly become a family to me.


Tell us about your Entry…

My entry was a mix off all the things I have done this year, like when I jumped in to do the mid till dawn shift on air as a part of the Cyclone Marcia coverage we were doing as a station.


Your Speech to the crowd…

If I was to make a speech I would thank my mother Tracey Sergiacomi who actually was an ACRA winner for 2014, She has always been my biggest inspiration, I would thank my Dad for always believing in me, and everyone in my station for being the encouraging people they are.


Are You an ACRAs Finalist?

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 Blair  here.



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