AFTRS Grads take the next step

Staff Writer

AFTRS continues its great record of graduates securing employment with news that several outstanding 2015 graduates have been snapped up by the industry.

Kate Drinkwater is heading off to Radio 2BH and Hill FM in Broken Hill, one of the most remote locations in Australia, Rohan Edwards has secured a plum gig as part of the new line-up at KIIS in Melbourne while Luke Shepley begins his career at KISS in Sydney, Ben Lucas has joined Macquarie Media, Joel Brown is headed to Power FM at Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley and Cei Saunders has begun work at SnowFM in Jindabyne.

Rohan Edwards hails from Launceston in Tasmania. He first studied radio courses at TAFE, then came to AFTRS in 2015 where he’s just completed his Advanced Diploma in Radio.

“Rohan is motivated and hardworking. He was been employed casually at 2DayFM throughout 2015, doing everything from promotions to panelling. He was shocked and delighted when they offered him his first on-air shift before he’d even completed his studies,”says Lisa Sweeney, AFTRS Head of Radio.

Rohan has since been offered the position of Content Assistant at Melbourne’s KIIS 101.1, a dream come true for the small town Tassy lad who was just hoping for a small regional gig if he could get it.  Rohan’s position involves music directing and some on-air work.

“I now have my dream job. I came to Sydney in January last year hoping to get something half as good as this offer. It’s all thanks to AFTRS. I would never had realised my dream of a radio career in a metro station if it weren’t for the school,”he says


Kate Drinkwater from Adelaide is a community radio veteran and has realised her dream of a regional gig at 2BH and Hill FM in Broken Hill, NSW, after graduating from AFTRS in 2015. Her role as Regional News Reader and Co-Host of the 2BH Breakfast show is perfectly suited to Kate’s adaptability and interest in the big issues.

“Through the graveyard shifts, early starts and student wrangling, my love of radio has never waned. Whether talking politics or interviewing local musos, I love shootin’ the breeze and plan to be in the industry for a long time to come,” she says.

“My year at AFTRS has been an absolute pleasure and I am incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity.  After four long years of uni and AFTRS, I’m excited to finally get my professional start in the industry. I’m looking forward to the experience of being a complete all-rounder that only a regional market like Broken Hill can offer. I couldn’t have done it without the reputation and teaching of AFTRS”.

Kate was awarded AFTRS’ 2015 Selwyn Speight Scholarship for Radio Journalism.


Ben LucasBen Lucas has been appointed as Macquarie Media’s new Content Solutions Co-ordinator.

Content Solutions is a growth area of the industry and Ben will be involved in supporting the creation and seamless delivery of client campaigns – on air, online and on the street. The work placement program is one of the highlights of a year at AFTRS and in Ben’s case, he must have impressed as he’s been offered this full time role as a result.


Joel Brown will be spending 2016 in Muswellbrook as a Workday Announcer, Digital Content Producer and Production Assistant at PowerFM. Cei Saunders has begun work at SnowFM in Jindabyne as the new Production Guy/Workday Announcer.

A new national nights show has been announced for the KIIS Network in 2016, and 2015 graduate Luke Shepley has been offered a role in its production. Podcasting sensation the Thinkergirls will be on air from this month and Luke has secured the gig as their studio producer and panel operator.

“What a year it’s been, starting with studying at AFTRS and ending with a job at KIIS,” Luke says. “I’m so excited to work at Sydney’s #1 FM radio station KIIS1065 and to be broadcasting around the country. 2016 is going to be a massive year and I can’t wait for the show, and to start working with Kristie and Stacey!” 


Many other 2015 graduates have also been employed as casuals. Their jobs have included stints at ABC RN as breakfast producer, Australian Traffic network traffic reporters, producer shifts at ABC NewsRadio and 666 ABC Canberra, and on-air casual shifts forNovacastrian Megan Alexander at her favourite local station NXFM in Newcastle.

“These students are walking examples of the way AFTRS can springboard talented and passionate students into a career they can be proud of,”Lisa Sweeney said.


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