40 years of 4ZZZ poster

3 ideas for making community radio history

enadmin, 8th February 2017

Community owned and run radio stations weave a rich history throughout their years on air.

Broadcasting milestones are a fantastic opportunity to reflect on this, to recognise how the station contributes to its community and celebrate who has been involved along the way. Here, we have a quick look at how three stations celebrated reaching 40 years on air.

1. An exhibition Triple R exhibition content

In celebration of the broadcasters, volunteers, subscribers, listeners and wider community who have made it possible for the station to be on air for 40 years, Melbourne’s Triple R has put together archived materials for an exhibition at the State Library of Victoria. On Air: 40 years of 3RRR will be on display from 18 November 2016 – 29 January 2017 to showcase the station and its achievements, past and present. Materials unearthed from the station’s storeroom, including posters, photos, video, and, of course, audio will be on display. Together, they tell the story of an organisation that has carved out a unique place in Melbourne’s cultural landscape. Following station flooding in early 2016, the State Library of Victoria will host the station’s archives permanently, keeping safe this valuable record and gift to the city from which Triple R emerged and which it continues to serve.

2. A book

Melbourne’s 3CR has captured some of the station’s 40 year history in a book – Radical Radio: Celebrating 40 Years of 3CR. The project began back in 2013 and was facilitated by the station’s Projects Coordinator, Juliet Fox. Over three years, a team of nine people brought together skills in writing, editing, book design and production, and worked together to cover all four decades. Five chapter coordinators were appointed to pull together written content and images and work with the book’s designer, Rachel Kirby. Another 40 people joined the process as the project’s Brains Trust, offering the team their knowledge on specific shows, campaigns and highlights in the station’s history. The station held a launch event for the 300-page, 56,000-word and 180 image-strong book, which is now available for sale at the station and online through www.3cr.org.au. Radical Radio is dedicated to all the 3CR volunteers who have contributed to the station.

3CR Radical Radio
3. A concert 

In late 2015, Brisbane’s 4ZZZ celebrated 40 years on air through a variety of initiatives aimed at showcasing the diversity, interest and resilience of Brisbane’s local talent and the ongoing relevance of community broadcasting in Brisbane. In the midst of ten days of special programming, which included a special news and current affairs retrospective showcase with a re-broadcast of the station’s first ever broadcast from 1975, 4ZZZ partnered with a major cultural arts festival, Brisbane Festival, to present and broadcast a live showcase of artists integral to the local music scene over the last four decades. The lineup included Ed Kuepper (The Saints), Ups and Downs, Screamfeeder and Jeremy Neale (Velociraptor, Teen Sensations). The event itself sold out quickly, but others were able to witness and get involved in the live broadcast taking place outside the venue, where they were welcome to share their memories of 4ZZZ over the years.

This article was first published in CBX Magazine in November 2016.

Facebook comments



Half a room of community broadcasters are about to celebrate a significant milestone. So how best to prepare and make the most of a station's archive and history?


To celebrate the station's anniversary this year, 3CR will be be holding an exhibition - 'If People Powered Radio: 40 years of 3CR'.


Triple R will be hosting a series of special events, celebrations and projects to mark the station’s 40th birthday from November 2016 - January 2017.