High profile guests reminisce as ABC Radio Sydney celebrates 100 years


There were smiles aplenty when a host of high profile guests shared their earliest radio memories, as ABC Radio Sydney celebrated it’s 100th anniversary with a special live broadcast from the New South Wales State Library yesterday morning.

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose revealed to host Sarah Macdonald that as a child, she and her brothers would listen to The Lone Ranger, always heralded by the William Tell Oveture.

“The other strong memory I have is ABC News, because my father was a journalist, like I am,” she said.

“We always listened to the news at seven o’clock, when we were sitting around the dinner table, and we kids were not allowed to speak for the fifteen minutes that the news was on.”

Ita also recalls fighting over which radio play to listen to on a Sunday night.

ABC Radio Sydney Manager Steve Ahern (pictured above with Ita Buttrose) detailed the very first broadcast in 1923.

“Our honour is being the first continuously operating licenced radio station.”

He says ABC Radio’s connection has remained the same. Listeners feel they know the people behind the mic.

“There was a caller to James Valentine this morning who talked about the bushfires, and how radio was important.”

“But she said it wasn’t so much the information … she said ‘I was comforted by the fact that there was someone I knew amidst all the panic.’”

“You don’t need the pictures. You don’t need to be looking at a screen. You can bring the voices of those friends with you, wherever you are.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shared his own childhood memories of radio, revealing he would listen with his mum, and there was ALWAYS a radio on in the house.

“I went to school not far from where we are now, so this is very much my ‘hood, growing up.”

“ABC Radio has played such a critical role, right around the country.”

“Something I’m really conscious of in recent years is the role that ABC plays in giving emergency advice during the bushfires.”

“Whenever there’s a crisis, it’s a national asset.”

Other guests included Richard Glover, Angela Catterns, Simon Marnie and Robbie Buck.

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