Milly’s milestone: 35 years in radio


Geelong might be a city, but it has the vibe of a close-knit country town.

So when Lisa ‘Milly’ Millard was asked to be Leopold Footy Club’s No. 1 ticket holder earlier this year, it really drove home how much she loves being part of the local community.

And the local community loves her right back.

Milly, co-host of 93.9 Bay FM’s Morning Crew, is today celebrating 35 years in radio.

And what better place to mark the occasion than the city where she and her radio host hubby Dave Ferguson have truly been embraced by local listeners.

“The people in Geelong have been so welcoming to Ferg and I,” Milly tells Radio Today.

“Locals are generally very kind, very honest and a very giving community if anyone is in strife. They love where they live, their families, their footy, their town and hopefully our Brekky show,” she chuckles.

Ask some of her colleagues and they’ll tell you Milly is a genuinely nice human being – the kind of person who’s just got a knack of making everyone feel good.

Nowhere is that more apparent than on the Brekky show, where Milly loves the banter and laughter she shares with her co-host Mark Hyland.

“Good chemistry in any show is the single most important thing, not great giveaways or crazy stunts,” says Milly.

“All of those things have a place, but genuinely liking your on-air partner and being honest and having a healthy respect for one another will win over anything.”

“The fun banter and conversations that will evolve out of the right and great chemistry, I believe, can’t be replicated by anything else.”

Milly grew up in Victoria’s Western District, in the small country town of Heywood.

“It was a great place to grow up – riding bikes, playing outside, taping songs from (local station) 3HA on my cassette player in my bedroom that I shared with my older sister Tracy.”

“I often played music in the school radio station at lunchtime and volunteered at Portland community station 3RPC FM on a Sunday afternoon, playing songs from vinyl albums with plenty of air gaps,” she laughs.

When she was eighteen, Milly entered a talent quest on 3HA.

“I had to do a Saturday night request show with Carl Liebold.”

Milly won a scholarship to train at a radio school in Melbourne.

“But after a visit to Melbourne and the school, mum said ‘Nope … you’re not doing that by yourself.’ It seemed such a big thing for a young girl from the bush and I ended up doing my training in Adelaide with Vaughan Harvey and boarding with our neighbour’s daughter.”

She landed her first job at 8HA in Alice Springs in the late eighties.

They were interesting, if challenging, times.

“The record library used to leak when it rained so we would all have to run and pull the singles away from the walls,” she remembers.

Since then, Milly has worked in Melbourne, Brisbane Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin for Triple M, as well as SAFM and ARN in Adelaide, Bendigo, Shepparton and Wollongong.

Milly says working for Triple M in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics was an absolute buzz.

“I was asked to do reports for the BBC. Broadcasting live for 27 hours from the front foyer window of SAFM in 2005 with Lehmo and Dale Lewis in Adelaide got very loose in the wee small hours,” she recalls.

Milly’s radio career has seen her chat to countless celebs.

“I have interviewed almost every big entertainment star in Australia from Barry Humphries to Barnsey.”

“Last year on air I gave Ross Wilson my Disney Plus login so he could watch the Beatles documentary.”

In Ferg (pictured above with Milly), she has a partner who understands the rollercoaster that radio can sometimes be.

“Some of the great things about having a hubby in the industry are the conversations we can have about radio in general, or when we talk about our what has gone to air or happened in our day.”

“We will fully understand and appreciate what each other is talking about.”

“Sometimes on date night or when we are trying to watch an episode of something, we will just kind of loosely start brainstorming new ideas together or new ways to do things on air.”

“We talk about radio a fair bit but we both love radio, so it’s good.”

“Ferg is a very clever and talented broadcaster and I’m truly lucky to have my own radio consultant on hand 24/7,” Milly laughs.

Milly says there have been important mentors along the way, including Program Director David Talbot from her 3BO days in Bendigo.

“Also Craig Bruce – who I’m still to this day mentored by and I think is one of the best radio minds in the country – and more recently Dan Bradley, who is a brilliant  programmer and a great bloke to know.”

“I have worked with some AWESOME radio on air partners including Anthony Maroon, Lehmo and Hayden Miller, to name a few.”

As for what lies ahead, Milly intends to continue loving and enjoying radio for as long as she can.

“It is a truly exciting and immediate medium that can connect deeply with people.”

“I’m really very honoured to be still be doing it.”

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Jason Staveley
8 Nov 2023 - 8:29 am

What a great career.
I’ve never met Milly but always admired her work. From nights with Maroon to her being on SAFM breakfast as we were launching Nova Adelaide.
Congratulations on 35 years

Andrew Pogue
8 Nov 2023 - 9:30 am

Congratulations Milly, a brilliant achievement! Fond memories of our 3BO days and then bringing you to the Gong to team you up with Maroon. All the best and regards to Ferg.

Dan Hill
8 Nov 2023 - 12:13 pm

One of the greatest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside. Good on you Mildred! Big love to you and Ferg!

Chris Cotton
9 Nov 2023 - 9:59 am

Milly is the real deal. Great broadcaster!


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