by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
On Friday 3rd October, Celebrate Seniors Week featured an Open Day at 5THE FM, winner of Community Broadcasting Australia Association (CBAA) National Award for Most Outstanding Small Station in Australia 2012-13. The Open Day proved to be of great interest to people from Millicent and surrounding districts with people travelling from Glencoe and Furner to experience a tour of the station and afternoon tea.
Over 30 people visited the station which celebrates 21 years of local broadcasting through out the Wattle Range Region this year. Renovations carried out over the past 7-8 years have seen a total rebuild of the facility which now includes 3 studios, a new administration area and staff room, two new bathrooms, CD Library and resource centre, a new kitchen and an archive loft
The main rebuild was completed earlier this year but more funds still need to be raised to install new studio broadcasting panels and transmitting equipment among ongoing work.
“It’s been like building a whole new radio station,” said Rebekah Lowe from 5THE FM.
Much of the re-build has been made possible through the stations fundraising efforts and community support, CBF grant funding, with a Wattle Range Council grant funding the recently built CD library shelving. The Department of Transport also contributed to the building of the kitchen and bathrooms in recognition of the station’s value to the community and the positive use of their building.
5THE FM’s management is hoping to install Solar Power as soon as possible to save on daily running costs.
Visitors were keen to see the station; many saying they recall collecting parcels when it was a railway station and also being covered in soot while they waited to board the train.
Maria Seidl, presenter of the 5TWattle Range Councillors Barry Stoddardt and Gwenda Lawlor dropped in and Councillor nominee Martin Sullivan also enjoyed a tour of the facility.
5THE FM was a finalist in Most Outstanding Contribution to Community Radio 2013-13; were finalists in the National Awards 2013-14 in two categories and are finalists in two categories 2014-15.
Winners will be announced early in November at the National Conference.
5THE FM is a sponsor of Seniors Week.