By Ewen McRae

What is your connection to Melton?

I have lived in Melton for over 10 years. I joined 979FM in October, 2016, and trained to be an announcer and now I am president of the 3RIM Incorporated/979FM radio station.

What do you like best about the area?

I love the diversity and how different each part of our City of Melton is different. The City of Melton has a great community spirit with has a wide range of events.

What could make the area better?

I believe having our own local hospital and access to tertiary education facilities, such as having a University or TAFE college, would be a great advance for our area.

Where is your favourite place to go for a feed in the area?

I couldn’t go past our wonderful food places especially Melton Chicken Stop and Melton Noodle Cuisine. I have a bias towards these two places as they are proud sponsors on 979FM.

How did you become involved with 979FM? Tell me about the station.

The station provides a true community radio service across the City of Melton. For almost 40 years, our valued volunteers have provided continuous programming 24 hours per day from our local studio complex in Melton.

Our variety of programming is produced for and by members of the local community. Our programming includes specialist and general music programs, local community news and talkback, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) programming, youth oriented, religious and local sports including coverage of Ballarat Football League games.

We have ethnic programs such as Maltese, Spanish, Indian, Samoan, Chinese and Croatian, music programs from Jazz and the ’60s to today.

We are lucky to have youth presenters who mainly had their start on a show called the Homework Club (Thursdays from 4pm) which is presented by DJ Will and students from Staughton College in Melton South. DJ Will is a great advocate for the youth and does an amazing job training them.

I have a community radio program called

MCR: Melton Community Radioshow which is on every Tuesday night from 8pm.

On it, groups or individuals promote their organisations and the listeners benefit from hearing and knowing about things happening in our great city.

Why do you think the station is so important to the local community?

We give our local organisations and groups a voice. We have very dedicated local members/volunteers who provide entertainment and information to the City of Melton.

We offer companionship and support to people who live alone, working in their shed and garages or driving in their cars.

What has been some of the highlights from your time at 979FM?

There are many highlights, especially when you work as a team. I love being connected to the community and involved in events like Somersault in Caroline Springs, Djerriwarrh Festival, school fetes, carols by candlelight and cultural festivals.

Another highlight was interviewing the candidates for the seat of Melton for the state election and the seat of Gorton for the federal election. It was a great insight to politics and seeing the passion the candidates had.

This is what I love being a part a community organisation … getting a chance to do things for the community and build skills. I was privileged to take on the presidency role at the station in November last year.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I have been in the entertainment industry for 20 years as an actor. I have travelled to Hollywood and Bali to work with teachers from the Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre – the same acting school that Mark Ruffalo went to. I have worked on many pilots, TV shows and commercials in various roles from an extra to speaking parts.