2BOB Radio, your local community radio, kicked off at a public meeting attended by over 100 people at Wingham Town Hall in December 1982. A Steering Committee was formed on the night from among those present to work towards applying for a license for a community radio station for the Manning Valley.
Andy Colvin, a member of the original committee and after almost 40 years still a presenter, recalls the first test broadcast from a roadside campervan parked at the side of the Tinonee Road at Brushy Cutting Lookout.
“None of the original broadcasters had experience at live broadcasting so most of our early content was preproduced in one of the lockup garages behind Wingham Town Hall where we learned to curse the sound of the roller door spoiling a ‘take’
We did however have to do live links, timecalls and station callsigns while at Brushy Cutting Lookout so we had quite a few impromptu interviews with passersby while on air.
All good fun.
One of our first tasks was to test for the best transmission site and we were lucky enough to attract retired broadcast engineer, David Bond and broadcast technician John Shackleton to our planning group.We eventually chose Carey Mountain, between Wingham and Taree – where we broadcast from on top of the mountain because we didn’t have a transmission link. If it was muddy we couldn’t drive to the top of the hill so we had to walk up there where we had a caravan and a tent . We did three test broadcasts from there, and then managed to get funding from the Community Broadcasting Foundation for atransmitter and STL link to our studios so we could start broadcasting from our new studios above Centrepoint Arcade in Victoria Street.
We successfully applied for a State Government Employment Grant and employed Phil Tilbrook an ex -ABC man as our first Station Manager. He along with Secretary Pam Eyb and Publicity Officer Kate Bartlett gave the radio station a real presence. We were here to stay.”
In 1985, those involved established the Manning Media Cooperative to hold the license and in that year 2BOB’s license was granted. Broadcasting began in 1986.
That year we bought the old Taree Pre-school building on the corner of Johnny Martin Oval and after a fitout moved there from Victoria Street. We are still happily located there today, but now with two broadcast and one production studio and as members of The Community Radio Network we are able to bring listeners programs from all over Australia as well as a credible and unbiased news service.
Programs cover every music style, current affairs, education, women’s and men’s issues, environmental matters, health, first nations music and issues, ethnic programming, disability advocacy programming, poetry, literature, comedy and drama.
The first ethnic language show was German, started in 1989, with Italian, Dutch, Croatian and others following. Filipino was the first Asian-language program reflecting the growth of that community, with several arriving after marrying local farmers. The program played an important role in helping them overcome isolation as new arrivals.
Ethnic programs have come and gone, but usually there are around five shows a week. The station currently broadcasts in Serbian, French, Filipino, Japanese, and Greek. The station also supports different ethnic group events, including national day celebrations of different communities, showcasing culture, film, dance, and cuisine.
Thousands of people have participated in the station over the years. Starting with only one member with radio experience – who worked at the ABC in Sydney – the station has now trained hundreds of presenters, many of whom moved on to permanent jobs in the broadcast industry. 2BOB FM has also trained many Indigenous broadcasters who now have their own local radio station Ngarralinyi, as well as broadcasters who established the local Christian radio station Rhema.
Guides to all our programs are available on our website 2bobradio.org.au where you can also stream our programs live.
Many thanks to the Community Broadcasting Foundation for their continued support, also to the Community Broadcasting Association who draws its membership from over 200 community broadcasters from all around Australia. The CBAA represent and advocate for the sector.
2BOB also broadcasts MidCoast Council Meetings, Meet The Candidates Nights as well as outside broadcasts from local music festivals and shows.
Have a listen, you’ll be plesantly surprised.
2BOB 104.7 FM
Meet The Ethnic Presenters –
KEIKO ISHIYAMA, JAPAN
My name is Keiko and I came from Yokohama Japan. Yokohama is a very big and beautiful city in Japan. It attracts many visitors as there are lots of things to do including visits to parks, temples, traditional Japanese restaurants and of course.. . shopping.
I came to Australia in 2001 to study English. On my visit I met a lot of lovely people in Taree that’s why my family decided to move to the Manning Valley from Sydney.
I started to volunteer for 2bob community radio in 2015 and enjoy it very much.
Our Japanese program is on air every Tuesday at 3pm.
TESS SPINKS, PHILIPPINES
The attraction was immediate the very first time I sat foot in this beautiful country from the Philippines. I realised that even people from an entirely different culture and upbringing can be so similar in a lot of ways.
I never imagined I’d be part of the broadcast industry in Australia. But I saw an invitation to do a Certificate III course in Media which normally cost a lot to study, but which 2BOB was offering for free. I took the plunge and now I host the FILIPINO PROGRAM bringing joy in reliving fond memories left behind in the Philippines through music, traditions and culture.
This culturally motivated one hour program which airs every Wednesday from 2-3pm on 2BOB and is a perfect way of showcasing the uniqueness of the different cultures we have in our region.
Josy Mathis, France
I was Born in Lyon, France, in a small village 30km from Lyon. I grew up during the war and life was difficult and dangerous because of the German occupation.
The region of Lyon is well known for its great, great, great food that comes from the butter and the cream and the wine.
I came to Australia in 1988 and followed my children who were already living in Sydney. I came to the Manning Valley 6 years ago after I retired as a clothes designer and because all my life I wanted to live in the country.
The French program is on every Monday between 3-4pm. It features different genres and style of French Music, a topic of the day both local and international. Interviews are both live in the studio and on the phone. I welcome people to join me and express their point of view. I am also open to any suggestions for the program as I really would like you to enjoy the French language!
SOPH DONOVAN – GREEK
I was born in Sydney. My parents migrated to Australia in the early 1960’s from Greece in search of a better life and work opportunities. Greece was experiencing a difficult economic downturn leaving few options other than to migrate to the USA or Australia. My father was a shoe-maker and repairer and was able to work for Mr. Minute in Sydney city department store, Farmers, followed by managing his own shoe repairs business. My mother found work with different businesses as a seamstress, at the glass factory, ice cream factory, Dandy Smallgoods and Basco the nut and flour factory.
My husband and I moved from Sydney to the Manning Valley in 1989 because we were attracted to the vast native forests in this region and the presence of rainforests and pristine creeks. The tranquility and peaceful surroundings made it an attractive option to live in this diverse area. We are both horticulturists and were keen to plant and grow organic vegetables, fruit and nut trees.
My business interest is Greenpatch Organic Seeds, growing and selling certified organic seeds and plants. I like the fact that what we do here in the Manning Valley, is empowering many people via mail distribution, to grow their own food and be self-reliant. Our seeds and plants are GMO and chemical free!
My hobbies/ pursuits range from gardening, cooking, walking, reading, Landcare and the environment, listening to music and the radio, folk dancing, good health, yoga and Bowen Therapy.
The Greek Program ‘Yousto Elliniko’ is broadcast Wednesdays from 3pm -4pm. The program includes a broad music genre which ranges from traditional – folk, rebetika, laika, popular to modern – indi, rock. Also a news segment, weather forecast, poetry, name days and special festivities, and what’s on locally.
NIKOLA STEFANOVIC . . . Serbian
Nikola came to Australia 25 years ago and moved to Mid North Coast 10 years ago. He is Microsoft Engineer by profession.
Nikola presents ‘The Serbian Hour between 2 and 3pm Mondays on 2BOB Radio
2BOB’s Serbian Show tackles everything from technology news to alternative health, herbs, spices, exercises, sport, yoga, healthy foods, relationships, the environment, home appliances and more.
Presented each week by Nikola Stevanovic the show is a music and information feast for the ears sharing Serbian folk music, Dance music, Rock, Traditional music, (Newly Composed), Classical music, Turbo-folk, Pop-folk, Pop music, Jazz, Ethno music, Brass bands (the Trumpeters), Old folk, music from former Yugoslavia, Balkan music.
Nikola will also do his best to give you a taste of the tradition of home with a great selection of Serbian folk music, both rural and urban music.