"We're in this Sector for the Love of It!"

CBAA News, 24th September 2010

Having been granted a Public Radio License in 1977, Hobart Fm 96.1 is one of Australia’s oldest community radio stations. Central to its long-term success is the commitment of its volunteers and a strong ethos that supports minority groups and promotes local content.

Terry Mather has been heavily involved with Hobart Fm for over 15 years - primarily as their treasurer as well as a radio presenter with a passion for Aussie rock music from the sixties. 

During his time at Hobart Fm, Terry has interviewed a number of sixties stalwarts like Ross Wilson from Daddy Cool and Smoky Dawson. “Bands like those have been around for thirty, forty years - but they’re like a good bottle of red wine,” he says. “...they get better with age!”

However it was his involvement with Tasmanian Harness Racing that first brought Terry Mather to Hobart Fm. He was interviewed about the races there in 1994. With a background in ABC television production, the on-air community radio experience was fresh for Terry. He enjoyed the interview so much he decided to get involved with the station himself.

Having been treasurer of the Tasmanian and New Norfolk Pacing Clubs, Terry's experience helped guide the station out of financial troubles in 1995. He has been treasurer of the station ever since. “We’re really very lucky. And also very prudent with our money,” says Terry. “I think creativity is the key when it comes to fundraising. We have two annual raffles, a weekly open mic night, fundraiser BBQs and vintage car exhibitions that all generate income for the station.”

Following his appointment as Treasurer, Terry was sent to his first CBAA Conference in 1995. “I remember it was at Monash University that year. It was the Conference that really enlightened me as to what community broadcasting is all about,” he says. “I’ve been to every Conference since!”

This year, the annual CBAA Conference is taking place in Terry’s hometown and Hobart Fm have decided to fund the Welcome BBQ to show their support.“I like to think of community broadcasting as a family,” he says. “We’re so unique in that we really connect with our community.”

This sentiment was really brought to light during the bushfires in Hobart last year. “During that time we were able to be there for people. We are always here and we’re live to air,” he says. Since then, Terry often receives over thirty phone calls a night during his programs. Needless to say, community broadcasting’s airwaves really bring people together.

“We’re in this sector for the love of it,” he says. “At the end of the day it’s about the people, the hype and energy of being involved and the connection we have to our community.”

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