Beating loneliness, one broadcast at a time

A new report from the Community Broadcasting Foundation, shows that participation in community radio can significantly reduce social isolation and loneliness.

The Joy of Social Connection, researched by Murdoch University on behalf of the CBF, states that three groups are more likely to be lonely in Australia; men, isolated parents with young children and people living alone. The report further highlights that community broadcasting can support the reduction of loneliness in three key ways: by reducing the stigma of being lonely, connecting people across communities and increasing volunteering.

More than five million Australians listen to community radio each week, and 23,000 people volunteer at community stations.

“With around a third of Australians experiencing loneliness at some time, it is a growing issue with a serious social cost,” said Jo Curtin, Executive Officer of the Community Broadcasting Foundation. “The research found that with such a big reach, community broadcasting is perfectly placed to tackle the far-reaching social issue of loneliness.

“With more than 450 stations in metro, rural and remote locations covering all types of demographics, community radio has a special ability to socially connect and support listeners and volunteers alike.”

“Two million Australians live alone and research shows they are twice as likely to experience loneliness as those in multiple person households.

“Community radio can provide company to isolated listeners, helping maintain a connection to the outside world. It also helps reduce isolation associated with ethnicity and minority groups.”

For volunteer Catherine Chadwick, ten years struggling with a severe health issue and numerous surgeries led her to resign from her job and a long struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

“Even though my parents were incredibly patient and supportive I felt that no-one understood what I was going through,” Catherine said. “I felt really alone… and lonely.”

A chance meeting with Bill Livingston, from 3WBC community radio station in Melbourne changed everything. Bill convinced her to do an interview about a guitar instruction book she’d written, eventually encouraging her to co-host a music show with him. Catherine trained as a radio host, and has presented Community Corner, a two-hour program of local events and activities for the past ten years.

“If other people knew how much my life has changed since becoming involved in community radio they would jump at the chance of joining,” she said. “I feel so blessed that 3WBC came in to my life.”

Research shows loneliness has severe health effects, with lonely people experiencing higher levels of depression, drug abuse, alcoholism and suicide. It is also linked to a 30 per cent increase in the risk of heart disease and stroke.

This article was originally published at on the 10th March 2017.

Vale Peter McArthur

3WBC is saddened to learn of the death of Peter McArthur, a stalwart of community broadcasting.

Peter was one of the founders of 3ECB (Eastern FM Croydon) and of 3WBC. In 1994, before regular community television transmission occurred, Peter became involved in ERA TV (Eastern Regional Access), one of the 8 original founder groups of Channel 31 (Melbourne Community Television Consortium). He had been President at 3WBC and also spent four years as President at Channel 31.

Peter had worked for the ABC as a television newsreader and on Radio Australia until retirement. In between he represented the seat of Ringwood as a Liberal Party parliamentarian, having been a Croydon councillor, including as Mayor.

Peter spent many years on the Board of Channel 31 as a Director and played a very active role in its development and restructuring. At a time of uncertainty for Channel 31 (digital and then moving to the internet), Peter engaged politicians of all persuasions, state and federal, including with Malcolm Turnbull as Communications Minister.

To the end, Peter remained active at Eastern FM and with ERA TV, especially its weekly program Eastern News Beat which Peter founded in 1995. He was in the process of more political lobbying to try to keep Channel 31 on “free-to-air” beyond the end of June 2017.

Peter spent several years as a Committee Member of the Community Broadcasting Association of Victoria and also remained active in the retired Victorian Parliamentarians’ organisation.

Peter McArthur died on Thursday 2nd February, aged 79. His health had deteriorated in December and he spent some weeks in hospital with a recurring chest infection.

The funeral is to be held on Thursday 9th February at 3.30pm at Lilydale Memorial Park Chapel. There will be a gathering in Peter’s memory afterwards at the Wyreena Community Centre, at its conservatorium venue.

A New Look For 3WBC

If you’ve visited our website, Facebook or Twitter pages today you may have noticed something different – our new logo!

Late last year the 3WBC Committee of Management resolved to introduce a new look for our station. The new logo has been rolled out across our online presence from today. This design was chosen from multiple options and aims to simplify our identity whilst projecting an updated and modern look.

Physical re-branding will take place over the coming months. This includes stationery, marketing materials and apparel.

Congratulations Max Chadwick

Max Chadwick, presenter and member of the Technical sub-committee, was awarded life membership at the 3WBC annual general meeting held on the 31st of August.

Due to personal reasons Max was unable to attend the meeting, however the award was accepted on his behalf by daughter Catherine (herself awarded life membership in 2015).

The Committee of Management and members congratulate Max on this well-deserved achievement.

Meet Ken Lyons

On Tuesday 26th July the Meet Ken Lyons event took place at Goodwin Close Retirement Village in Blackburn South.

During the afternoon, Ken, who was introduced by Goodwin Close Manager, Rob Taylor, spoke of his early days with radio stations 3DB and 3AK, the connections he made with many well-remembered radio personalities of a past era, followed by 25 years with community radio stations Yarra FM and 3WBC.

He outlined the history of community radio and how important it has become for the community at large. He spoke of the great variety of programs including the many ethnic programs heard on 3WBC.

Ken was then joined by 3WBC personalities Babs Wheelton, Michelle Saccardo and Sherrin McWilliam. Ken and Babs performed a short play reading to demonstrate how radio plays were done, followed by Ken and Michelle with a song and reading. All were very well received by an appreciative audience.

This was followed by an excellent afternoon tea provided by the management of Goodwin Close giving Ken, Babs, Michelle and Sherrin an opportunity to mix and chat with the audience.

Ken presents Here’s Health every Monday from 1pm and is joined by Babs every Thursday from 1pm for Anything Goes. Michelle presents Afternoon Delight every Tuesday from 12pm, and Sherrin presents Modern Vintage every Thursday from 10am.