Back to where it all began: Former staff reminisce as 3NE celebrates 70 years on air


Wangaratta’s 1566 3NE has wrapped up a huge day of celebrations, with staff from across the decades reuniting yesterday for the station’s 70th birthday.

To mark the occasion, the station in Victoria’s north east hosted nine-and-a-half-hour outside broadcast on the steps of its Templeton Street headquarters.

Announcer Matt Hobbs chatted to a huge array of guests, many of whom got their start at 3NE and have since gone on to to carve hugely successful radio careers.

One such person is ACRA award winning news presenter Patrina Jones – part of Gold 104.3’s top rating Christian O’Connell Show – who reminisced with Matt about her 3NE days, and how that experience fostered her love of radio.

Joining Matt on air, Patrina – who grew up in the local area – explained that her dad was a member of the Wangaratta Aero Club.

Kevin Gleeson – who was of course the wonderful GM at 3NE – was his instructor. I wasn’t interested in radio at the age of seven or eight, but he said to my mum and I ‘Hey, would you like to have a look at the station?’”

“It looked very, very different then. Lots of wood grain. Lots of men. Not a lot of women, I’ll say.”

Patrina went on to do work experience at 3NE, working at that time with Nikole Gunn, now Breakfast news presenter at Melbourne’s Smooth FM.

“As soon as I walked into 3NE in year 10, I thought ‘Wow, this feels like home,’” Patrina says.

“It started this 34 year love affair.”

Patrina says it’s regional training grounds like 3NE where radio people cut their teeth and start to refine their craft.

Some of the guests joining yesterday’s OB were around when 3NE made its debut broadcast from St. Patrick’s Cathedral back in 1954.

Yesterday’s celebrations saw the station decked out in the ACE Radio colours of red, white and blue, and included celebratory cupcakes, and a big feed laid on by the Wangaratta Lions Club.

ACE Radio’s Chief Marketing Officer Grant Johnstone and former 3NE Content Director Lui Zacher were among those to head back to their old stomping ground and partake in the celebrations.

In a LinkedIn post, Lui said “Had a blast today (and) a great chat with past and current icons like Matt Hobbs and Paul Konik, who I worked with during my short stint as Content Director.”

“Great to see some young faces working hard to shape the future of 3NE, under the stewardship of Owen Godenzi who was also my boss all those years ago.”

The day concluded with a special dinner, where staff – past and present – enjoyed swapping yarns.

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Mat Cummins
28 Mar 2024 - 10:43 am

Well done and congratulations to Matt Hobbs who displayed incredible passion to bring together so many former staff and celebrate a wonderful 70 years of broadcasting.

Supported by the current GM Owen Godenzi, Matt created something really special that has reconnected colleagues and shown just how much the local audience appreciate the local station.

Matt you should be super proud of your efforts.

Jason, Andrew Toppin from Mubarek Victoria
28 Mar 2024 - 6:48 pm

Happy Birthdatmy 3NE and have many more birthdays.

Local radio fan
29 Mar 2024 - 12:53 pm

Well done to Grant Johnstone and the team at ace radio. Grant knows what it is like to be local in our communities. Great to see. We need more of this.


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