Setbacks to success: Alison Hall’s Spencer Gulf journey 

Thanks to a tip from a teacher, Alison Hall (pictured) landed a job with 7 Spencer Gulf News as a news reporter straight out of university, so she packed her bags and moved to Port Lincoln in South Australia, receiving a crash course as a journalist in the scenic location.

Days on the job were spent sailing in a regatta and riding grape harvesters – the dream scenario.

However, the bulletin was unexpectedly discontinued two months later, leaving Ally high and dry just as she settled in.

Fortunately, before she had to look elsewhere, ARN offered Ally a job at Magic 89.9 in Port Lincoln, where a new regional news expansion was being launched.

“I fell in love with Port Lincoln, it was a great job, but the place really made it for me, so I was really relieved when ARN reached out to me and they had a job available here and I desperately wanted to stay,” Ally said.  

Finding herself in the right place at the right time, Ally now reads the morning news on Magic and collaborates on the curation of weekly in-depth bulletins for iHeart Spencer Gulf as part of the new regional expansion.

“It’s basically a 20-minute news bulletin that looks at all the big stories within the Spencer Gulf, so if you can’t listen to the news throughout the week on the bulletins then you can just head onto iHeart and check them out,” Ally said.

Ally and other ARN journalists from the region work together on the new initiative that allows residents to access in-depth local news coverage on the Spencer Gulf and Eyre Peninsula at their convenience. 

The iHeart Spencer Gulf and iHeart Eyre Peninsula bulletins receive contributions from 104.4 5CS97.9 5AU5CCMagic 105.9 and Magic 89.9. 

“I’d always loved the idea of both TV and radio. I think I like the idea of having my voice heard,” Ally said.

And Ally’s voice is now indeed heard, as is her face seen, as she contributes to news updates throughout breakfast when she isn’t out in the community with Magic 89.9.

“From 6 to 9AM I do half-hourly bulletins. It’s good fun, I’m working on my voice still. I do get to go out into the community a fair bit. We do a lot of outside broadcasts where we just go out to business when they’re having a sale or what have you and get to have a chat,” Ally said.

“That’s one of the massive differences actually between my role at SCA versus my role here is they’re a lot more community-minded here.”


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The transition to ARN’s Magic 89.9 is providing Ally with professional opportunities and a supportive environment as she works her way up to her goal of announcing Mornings.

“Here I’m definitely getting a lot more support. [Jacquline Cowan] has been fantastic. Whenever I’ve been like, I don’t know if that sounded right or I don’t know what button to press, she’s right there,” Ally said.

“I’m still working my way up to morning announcing and getting my head around the news, which has been really fun actually – getting back into radio because I did a lot of radio at uni and I had had since forgotten how all the little doo-dads on the board work, but I’m back into it now.”

Ally is having fun with the team in the meantime:


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Hear Alison’s news bulletins on Magic 89.9 and iHeart’s Spencer Gulf coverage here and here

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