2SER celebrates four groundbreaking decades on the airwaves

30 October 2019

This month marks 40 years of thriving community broadcasting from 2SER, celebrating the station’s ongoing local impact and role in launching the careers of some of Australia’s best-known radio talent.

Macquarie University and the University of Technology Sydney jointly launched 2SER as an educational radio station during the burgeoning community broadcasting movement of the 1970s, and across the decades 2SER has cemented itself as a hub for learning and innovation.

The station has pioneered dozens of music shows, award-winning documentaries, Sydney’s first queer radio program Gaywaves, and prison program Jailbreak.  2SER continues to attract local audiences with its news, talk and specialist music programming, and award-winning podcasts.

2SER has also trained thousands of students for careers in journalism, and has been the launch pad of many careers of those in media. Notable past presenters, staff and volunteers including Tanya Plibersek (Shadow Minister for Education and Training), Robbie Buck (ABC Sydney/Triple J) and Richard Kingsmill (ABC/Triple J), recently returned to the station for a 40th anniversary Family Reunion Broadcast.

Professor Martina Möllering, Executive Dean of Macquarie University’s Faculty of Arts, said the station plays a vital role in training future radio journalists at Macquarie.

“Over the years our close partnership with 2SER has given many of our students the opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience in radio and to be involved with a broadcaster with real cultural impact and deep ties to the community in Sydney,” said Professor Möllering.

An exhibition 40 Years of 2SER uncovered a plethora of stories and events using images, audio, and artefacts from 2SER’s eccentric archives, offering a glimpse into music scenes and social movements the station helped shape and propel. The exhibition will be on display in the UTS Library in 2020.

A magazine Listening Post published by 2SER up until 1998, covering news, interviews and programming, is also being digitised through a project with the National Library of Australia (Trove), ensuring the station’s rich history is preserved and searchable.

Glenn Wightwick, UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Innovation & Enterprise) said 2SER has been and continues to be a valued space for innovation in broadcasting and media.

“UTS students, staff and the broader community benefit from the station’s groundbreaking programming that encourages interaction between educators and audiences,” said Mr Wightwick.

“The vast 2SER alumni who have gone on to successful careers right across the media and journalism sector demonstrate the value of hands on, practical learning.”

Current station manager Martin Walters said, “After 40 years it’s safe to say 2SER is a cultural institution, a gem in Sydney’s media landscape.

“This milestone could not have been reached without the ongoing support of loyal supporters and listeners, and the thousands of volunteers who have worked to create hundreds of programs for millions of listeners.”

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