1944 - ABC - Radio Australia - Looking Back

Project Overview
1800s - Land Telegraphy
1874 - Guglielmo Marconi - a Tribute
1895 - Wireless Telegraphy
1901 - Wireless Telegraphy
1902 - Wireless Telegraphy in Australia
1904 - Australian Coastal Radio
1906 - Wireless Telephony
1912 - Melbourne Radio - VIM
1914 - Shortwave Wireless Telephony
1920s - Commercial Shortwave Telephony Development
1920s - Receivers
1920 - The huge RCA Longwave Station in New York
1920 - Wireless broadcasting in Australia
1920s - First shortwave stations in Victoria
1921 - Discovery of Shortwave Propagation
1921 - Koo Wee Rup (Victoria) Experimental Wireless Receiving Station
1923- Longwave Broadcasting in Australia
1923 - Evolution of Australian Domestic Radio
1924 - 3LO - Melbourne's Second Broadcaster
1924 - 3AR - Melbourne's first broadcaster
1924 - The Braybrook (Melbourne) Transmitting Site
1925 - First Shortwave Stations in Western Australia
1926 - First Shortwave Stations in New South Wales
1926 - RAAF Communications - Laverton (Vic)
1927 - Beam Wireless Worldwide
1927 - Beam Wireless from Australia
1928 - ABC Lyndhurst (Victoria)
1930 - AWA Receiving Station at La Perouse (Sydney)
1930 - AWA Radio Centre at Pennant Hills
1933 (to 1969) - Shortwave Radio Clubs in Australia
1936 - Ship Broadcaster - the MS Kanimbla
1939 - Belconnen Communications Station (Canberra)
1940 - RAAF Receiving Station at Werribee (Victoria)
1941 - RAAF Frognall (Melbourne)
1941 - ABC Brisbane
1942 - Army Wireless Chain - west of Melbourne
1942 - Dutch Stations in Australia
1943 - ABC Radio Australia - Shepparton (Victoria)
1943 - Army Shortwave HF Stations in Melbourne
1944 - ABC - Radio Australia - Looking Back
1945 - PMG Receiving Station - Highpark (Victoria)
1945 - Radio Australia - DXers Calling
1946 - Radio Australia - Communications Programs
1946 - VNG Time Signal Station
1948 - Radio Australia QSL Cards
1948 - ABC Sydney
1966 - ABC Cox Peninsula (Darwin)
1970 (to 2012) - Shortwave Radio Clubs in Australia
1975 - ABC Gnangara (Western Australia)
1975 - ABC Carnarvon (Western Australia)
1978 - Omega Navigation Station - Woodside (Victoria)
1985 - ABC Northern Territory
1989 - ABC Brandon (Queensland)
2003 - Private Shortwave Broadcasters
Timeline - Part One - 1839 to 1927
Timeline - Part Two - 1928 to 2012
SPECIAL - Licencing of Shortwave Broadcasters
SPECIAL - Radio Receivers for Shortwave
SPECIAL - Radio Monitoring as a Hobby
Bibliography, References and Resources
Links to the author's personal websites
2011 - ABC and Radio Australia, Southbank


1975 Radio Australia Listeners' Club Certificate

Click below to hear the Radio Australia Tuning Signal and Opening Announcements, recorded December 1964

1964-Radio Australia Tuning Signal


1973 Main control room at Shepparton

The Author's Involvement with Radio Australia

Since the beginning time, I have always had a keen interest in Radio Australia and had provided a lot of voluntary assistance to its Program Production department in the years 1964 to 1980.

From 1964, I had established and maintained personal contacts with many Radio Australia people, and had visited the studios on many occasions in Melbourne's CBD. I did many interviews with Keith Glover.

In 1982, I travelled to Europe on a four-week trip, with a colleague from Melbourne. This was a combined radio club/sightseeing adventure, and our journey took us through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands.

In Italy we stayed for a couple of days with my relatives in Livorno.

Radio Australia had expressed interest in our trip. and surprisingly loaned us one their state-of-the-art Byer professional tape recorders, normally used by ABC reporters for outside broadcast work.

We attended meetings of some of the major radio monitoring Clubs in various countries, where I made many interviews with leaders of those groups, which were subsequently included as special features in RA's "Spectrum" programs.

Here are some details of Radio Australia's evolution....

December 20, 1939
The first regular Government-controlled overseas radio service from Australia commenced on December 20, 1939, and was known as "Australia Calling", the genesis of Radio Australia. It was also kniown as "The Voice of Australia".

The name Radio Australia came into being in 1945.

The service operated in various languages, from existing transmitters located at Lyndhurst (near Melbourne) in Victoria ( 2 kW) and from AWA facilities in Sydney.

Listen to the introduction to the first broadcast of Australia Calling, December 20, 1939

Post Office built a 10 kW SW transmitter in Perth, and in 1941 added a second transmitter of 10 kW at Lyndhurst, complementing the older 2 kW unit which had operated there from 1928.

As the War extended and the Battle for Britain incresed in intensity, the British and Australian Governments, fearing damage to the BBC's transmitters
, decided that an alternative high-powered station had become urgent.

The site chosen was an Shepparton, 200 km NE of Melbourne.

Before the war ended, three transmitters were built at Shepparton, two of 100 kW, one of 50 kW.

During the War and immediate postwar period program control alternated between the ABC and the Department of Infomation, and in 1950 it reverted solely
to the ABC.

Facilities at Shepparton have been extended over the years, and there are now seven 100 kW transmitters there..

A switching system enables any transmittter to be connected to the appropriate aerials to suit the frequency and direction desired.

In 1970, the Australian Government commissioned a new facility at the Cox Peninsula, near Darwin, NT. This was sold to a religious organization in 2005, which subsequently closed down the station in 2010 and some of the equipment transferred to Broadcast Australia, for use at Shepparton and Brandon. Other equipment was sold to HCJB-International for use at its Kununurrra site, in Western Australia

The land has now been handed over to the local Aboriginal people.

Radio Australia does not own or operate any transmitters - its infrastr
ucture is leased from the private company Broadcast Australia.

June 12, 1987
he Lyndhurst station closed down. The station had five transmitters in operation at the closedown. The admin building was used until 1990 by Telstra as a technical service centre for radio communications maintenance. After that, the land was sold and is now a high-density residential area. No trace remains of the former Radio Lyndhurst!

Another site is at Brandon, North Queensland, where there are three 10 kW tranmsittters, DRM-capable. This site commenced in 1989, using transmitters transferred from Lyndhurst.

Radio Australia had also broadcast from other sites:

Carnarvon WA 1975-1996. On closure, the transmitters were transferred to Darwin.
Perth 1971
Gnangara WA 1975 (propagation tests)

In 1983, as part of a national policy, the ABC had decided to relocate many of its capital city production and administration areas to the suburbs.

In Melbourne, a new, large, modern grandiose multi-story facility was built in 1984 at the outer eastern suburb of East Burwood, on open farmland which had previously been the Tally Ho correction centre. This was intended to be the new admion centre for all of the ABC's operations which had previously been managed from the CBD.

Strong and sustained opposition to this move emerged from the Staff Associations, which resulted in only the Radio Australia people being relocated there.

The East Burwood centre was abandoned and Radio Australia and all other ABC departments moved to a new building on the perimeter of the CBD, at the Southbank precinct, where it continues to operate to the present

The Australian Radio DX Club held its 1985 Annual Convention at the East Burwood complex, and its 1995 Annual General Meeting took place at Southbank in December.

Spectrum Program
In 1981, a series of meetings weere held in Melbourne between the ARDXC and RA management about the possibility of reintroducing a DX orientated program. It was agreed that this would be under the title"Spectrum" and was broadcast monthly, changed later to weekly, compered by Dick Speekman, resident in Melbourne and well known internationally for his earlier work in presenting "DX Jukebox" over Radio Netherlands.

Sadly, Dick passed way in 2009.

Talkback Program
In 1983, Spectrum was closed down and a new weekly communications type program appeared, known as "Talkback"

This only survived for 12 months when it was suddenly terminated.

It is also noted that RA's Indonesian Service had also been using the DXers Calling scripts, translated into that language!

Talkback was hosted by RA staffers, including Barry Seeber, and I presented "Shortwave Listening Tips" for each weekly episode. I recorded these shows at Radio Austraia's new studios at East Burwood.

Here is a recording of "Club Forum" ,made by my colleague Rob Wagner, Melbourne, following the Australian Radio DX Club natiional Convention in 1973.

Radio Australia - Club Forum 1973

This is a YouTube video of the audio of the final edition of Keith Glover's Mailbag program, of December 28, 1980


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