Some history about 3mFM, told via a Community Achievement Award presented by Rotary Club of Wonthaggi on Australia Day 2017
This special award acknowledges the significant milestone of 30 Years service to the community.
From a very humble beginning 3mFM has survived its share of challenges over the years. This is a terrific story of the wonderful dedication, leadership and support from over four hundred volunteers in this time who have secured the radio station’s future and continue to entertain, inform and engage with its many listeners across South Gippsland and the region. It provides a popular service to visitors and residents alike and is important to the social fabric of the community.
3mFM were very fortunate to have among this group of volunteers Alan Hyslop, a very knowledgeable technician and passionate radio enthusiast who did a lot of important work building and maintaining the transmitters and transmission equipment. He still remains an important part of the team as a volunteer at Radio 3mFM
So where did it all begin? A public meeting was held in Leongatha in 1984 with the aim of establishing a community radio station and a short eight months later, in a converted disused dairy atop Mr Misery, situated in the Outtrim area, everything was ready for the first test transmission run. It went Ok, but there was still a lot to be done, licence to be granted, studio to be equipped and then there was the matter of staff. In May 1987 3mFM commenced full time operation at Mt Misery. I don’t know if you know this area well or not, but on a summer’s day Mt Misery was quite spectacular with its views, but come the cold miserable South Gippsland Winters the site really lived up to its name. It was, let me say, an awkward start for the station with the presenters facing an immediate challenge as they wound their way up the narrow dirt track in the dark to reach the station studio having to play dodgems with the cows and many times the presenters got bogged in the parking area. It was an isolated site, but things were to get better.
Max Annard, well known Inverloch chemist at that time and an enthusiastic radio presenter himself, offered a place above his shop (in Inverloch), which was an offer just too good to believe. Mt Misery remains the main transmission site, but there are now also other sites at Bass and Foster, which means the station can cover an even larger area, some 41,000 square kilometers in fact. This equates to over 70,000 permanent listeners and many more during the influx of the summer visitors and includes the Bass Coast, South Gippsland Shires and parts of Cardinia, Wellington and Baw Baw Shires. The station has adapted its diverse programs to meet the needs of its listeners.
3mFM is pleased to have the support of local businesses, Bass Coast Shire, Service Clubs like Rotary and Lions and donations from members, while it works hard with its own fund raising efforts, such as weekly Bingo, another element of the volunteer support. It is still run by a Committee of Management, three part time staff and all 30 of the current presenters are enthusiastic volunteers who also do their bit with cleaning and maintaining the building and equipment. They obviously enjoy what they do and certainly they are making a great contribution to the community which we applaud.
As we continue listening to 3mFM, we look forward to the celebration of their 30″ anniversary in May this year.
Congratulations and best wishes for the future.
T.R. Duscher, Rotary Club of Wonthaggi 26 January 2017