Looking Back - 1939 to 2011 - the Autobiography of Robert V. J. Padula, OAM

1964 - Project support for Radio Australia

1941 - Bikes and Cars
1943 - Hiking - Hills and Coasts
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 1
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 2
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 3
1945 - Auburn schooldays - Part One
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Two
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Three
1945 - Upwey and the Puffing Billy
1945 - Gramaphones and Record Players
1946 - Flinders St Station
1946 - Astronomy
1946 - Beach and Swimming Adventures
1946 - Going to the Pictures
1947 - Adventures at the Altona Bungalow
1947 -The Listener-In Magazine
1947 - Balwyn WIldlife Sanctuary
1948 - Fishermen's Bend Aerodrome
1948 - Radio Australia QSL cards
1948 - Excursions
1949 - Australian Rules Football
1949 - Radio Monitoring at Auburn
1950 -Trains and Ships
1950 - Radios for Communications
1950 - Radio Listening Clubs in Australia
1950 - World Radio TV Handbook
1950 - Shortwave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Medium Wave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Radio and Hobbies Magazines
1950 - Discovering shortwave radio at Auburn
1951 - Photography
1951 - Competitions on local radio stations
1952 - Camp Buxton - YMCA Shoreham
1952 Tennis and Ten Pin Bowling
1953 - Stamp Collectiong
1953 Camberwell High School
1954 - Royal Visit to Melbourne
1954 - Shortwave Radio reception at Auburn
1956 - Melbourne's Olympic Games
1956 - Trainee Telecommunications' Technician
1957 - Trainee Technician - field work
1957 - National Service Registration
1958 - Laverton Air Show
1958 - MOOMBA Parade
1958 - Trainee Technician - field work
1959 - The move to Mont Albert
1960 - Working at Deepdene Telephone Exchange
1963 - Trade Unions, Staff Associations, Industrial Relations
1964 - Senior Technician work in the Melbourne CBD
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Amateur Radio
1964 - Media Writing
1964 -Travels
1964 - Engineering Support for International Broadcasters
1965 - Professional Employment with PMG/Telstra
1967 - Professional Qualifications - Institution of Engineers Australia
1967 - Australian Radio DX Club Photo Gallery (to 1979)
1972 - Wireless Institute of Australia
1972 - Natural disasters in Melbourne
1980 - Australian Radio DX Club Gallery (to 1995)
1981 - Award of the Medal of the Order of Australia
1995 - Padula Books
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Oldtime Australian Radio Drama from the 1930s
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Radio Monitoring Clubs in Australia - 1920 to 1949
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Melbourne Picture Theatres - History - 1906 to 1970

1973 - Lyndhurst aerial switching system

2011 - ABC and Radio Australia, Southbank


1975 Radio Australia Listeners' Club Certificate

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

1964-Radio Australia Tuning Signal

1973 Main conrol room at Shepparton


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.

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 transittter 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 infrastructure 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.

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.

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


1969 - Peter Humfray recording DXers Calling

On July 9 1946, the first edition of Radiio Australai's "DXers Calling" went to air. It was hosted by well-known shortwave enthusiasts of the era, including Ern Suffiolk (SA) and Ted Tinning (Vic).

Later, it was managed bty Graham Hutchins (Melbourne) who had been the driving force behind the first Australian DX Club at the time.

Graham authored and hosted  the shows until his untimely passing in 1965, when the ABC's  DIrector of Overseas Services, Mt Peter Homfray, assumed hosting duties. At that time, Mr Gordon Cairns, Senior Administrator at RA, was writing the scripts. Later in 1965 I was then approached by Radio Australia to take over authoring of the programs, which I did until the shows were discontinued in October 1977. From 1965 until 1977, the programs were read byn Peter Humfrays.

In 1975, the programs were being written by various members of the Australian Radio DX Club, chosen, trained and coordinated by myself.

There were several releases of DXers Calling, for each main target area - Europe, Africa, the Pacific, North America, and Asia, broadcast from the Shepparton transmitters.

The programs were also broadcast over the ABC's Domestic SW services from Lyndhurst (Victoria) at 8am on Sundays, from VLR and VLH, using 6150 and 11880 Khz. These transmissions were primarly directed to listeners in the outback and the islands.

The 30th anniversary of DXers Calling in 1976 was marked by special commemorative QSLs issued by Radio Australia and the ARDXC. The RA QSL showed a view of the Carnavon transmitting site in WA. The ARDXC QSLs were issued for all correct reports received at RA for DXers Calling during 1976. These reports were forwarded to ARDXC by RA, processed by ARDXC Committee members in Melbourne, and the ARDXC QSLs were than sent to RA here they were sent out to listeners.

We received several hundred reports for the ARDXC QSL!

The final edition of DXers Calling was on October 30, 1977.

DXers Calling was also translated into Japanese and broadcast each Sunday night, under the title "DX Time", in the Japanese service.

When the English DXers Calling was terminated, the ARDXC, through myself as coordinator, continued to write the programs for the Japanese Section.

DX Time had a massive following of several million listeners, mainly Japanese children who had become involved in what was known at the time as "BCL" (meaning "Shortwave Listening".

We continued with these tasks until the closure of the Japanese service.

1969 - Radio Australia studio
1969 - Radio Australia studio

1969 - Radio Australia mail room!

1973 - Radio Australia antenna switching matrix, Shepparton

1973 - Lyndhurst control room

1973 - Lyndhurst transmitting towers

1973 - Lyndhurst transmitter building

1973 - Lyndhurst transmission lines

1984 - May - Carnarvon - opening of new 300 kW transmitter

1975 - Radio Australia patch

1928 - The First transmitting station at Lyndhurst

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