Photograph of people at summit of Mt Kilimanjaro

Creative Male Ageing - radio series

CBAA News, 27th August 2014

If at age 73, you were to be invited to climb Mount Kilmanjaro in Africa, what would be your response? For many of us around that age, it would possibly be a very firm “No way!”.

Yet for eight members of a Port Lincoln group with an average age of 73, this is what they have done. In August 2014, and following 18 months of hard training, six women and two men climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. One of the female members of the team was 78! This Port Lincoln group now holds the world record as the oldest group of climbers to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

“When I found that there were limited if any real exercise options for older men and women around Port Lincoln, I decided to start a group” says Team Coordinator Christine Jettner.

“I needed a carrot to get people involved. And then, I had this brainwave – we will climb Mount Kilimanjaro”, Christine said.

In early interviews for a new radio series called Aspects of Ageing – Creative Male Ageing, Tony Ryan (Project Manager at PBA FM in Salisbury) heard about the proposed climb, and some months ago, caught up in Port Lincoln with John and Wayne, the only two males in this group of intrepid adventurers, to find out about the project and ho preparations were going.

John, a very fit man of 73, works part time, regularly plays squash and in his earlier life, had jumped over 1000 times from small aircraft. Although Wayne was also fit, he’s had recent surgery, including a knee construction.

So why, being members of this group with an average age of 73, did these two men take on this challenge? The answers will be found in Aspects of Ageing – Creative Male Ageing, commencing on PBA FM (89.7 on the FM band in Adelaide, and available through live-streaming) on Monday evening 29 September.

Creative Male Ageing challenges the ‘decrepitude and debilitation’ view of ageing, and seeks to determine whether, in reasonable circumstances, ageing men can actually seize the day and make ageing not only less distressing, but a time that is satisfyingly meaningful, healthy, creative, and yes, good.

In an endeavour to bring into focus some of the more important themes of male ageing, this project has sought to draw together and to give voice to, a broad range of both expert commentary and the lived experience of individual ageing men.

Available to any station

Supported by the Office for the Ageing, SA Health, Government of South Australia, this project will be offered nationally to any community radio station wishing to take the programs. Creative Male Ageing will continue on PBA FM for twelve weeks through to just before Christmas. Full details will be added to the project website in the coming weeks –

Enquiries and feedback on this lifelong learning radio and website project are always welcome. Contact Tony Ryan, PBA FM Salisbury. Email For distribution through the Community Radio Network contact Martin Walters on 02 9310 2999 or email

Creative Male Ageing (12 x 27'50 mins) will play live on the Community Radio Network satellite channel on Fridays at 13:32 EST, commencing 3 October 2014.

Project Coordinator Christine Jettner, with team members John (left) and Wayne, in interview with PBA FM’s Tony Ryan, and photographed in August 2014 at Adelaide Airport on their way home from Tanzania to Port Lincoln.

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Coming to CRN in September 2014 is a series of four documentary/feature programs from the archives of Learning Works, produced and presented by Tony Ryan of PBA-FM.


PBA FM's Tony Ryan has won the Archbishop of Adelaide's citation for Radio - Best Series Of Interviews for his Living Outback and In Search of a Good Death programs.


Producer/Presenter Tony Ryan has travelled widely for this 15-part series, building on an original outline by Series Consultant Dr John Ashfield. Over thirty interviewees from four states speak on some of the realities of life in rural and remote communities that in recent times have experienced devastating floods ands fires, but which are also experiencing declining populations and services. But in spite of difficult times on the land and families affected by natural disasters, and fewer young people to take over from ageing farming men and women, rural communities are resilient.