Cairns radio legend honoured with OAM


846 4CA Cairns’ John MacKenzie – affectionally known as Macca – is among those to join the Australia Day Honours List this week, awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to broadcast media.

With a successful morning talkback radio career spanning more than 50 years, 2023 marks John’s 40th year with 846 4CA Cairns, with his current program now having clocked over 9,300 shows.

Not only has John been a dedicated presenter and advocate for local radio, throughout his career he has been an unwavering spokesperson for the Far North Queensland region, and is aptly referred to as ‘Voice of the North.’

Examples of this commitment to Cairns and beyond include being instrumental in the conceptualisation and lobbying for the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, as well as upgrades to the local healthcare facilities including the opening of The Liz Plummer Cancer Centre.

John is also passionate about shining a spotlight on the growing crime rate in the area, lobbying for effective management of crocodiles in populated areas, ensuring local residents were informed during extreme weather events through live broadcasts during the likes of Cyclone Larry, Yasi and Joy, and supporting tourism to the region.

On receiving such an honour, John says “To hear that my name was to appear on the Australia Day Honours list took me completely by surprise, but I am extremely honoured by this award.”

“The fact that it has coincided with the 50th anniversary of my first ever radio show in 1973, and my 40th year of broadcasting on 4CA in Cairns, makes it even more special.”

John MacKenzie (OAM) can be heard on weekdays from 9am during his show Mornings with John Mackenzie on 846 4CA Cairns.

The list of media people receiving Orders of Australia is available here.

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