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The 2017 Winter Magic Festival saw a small but enthusiastic group represent ABC Friends in the parade and ran our stall. The parade was a success with lots of cheers and encouragement from a large animated crowd. Unfortunately, once again, the music box transport wheel proved a problem and much effort was required to nurse it along but it continued to pump out ABC program themes till the wheel fell off just passed the finish line.

Our stall position this year proved to be fantastic for our volunteers, beautiful sunshine for most of the day. The response from the public (except for a couple of anti ABCers) was terrific, taking bumper stickers and discussing ABC issues.

This year we used the ‘I 💜ABC’ postcards addressed to the Prime Minister as our petition and it was a great success with many filling in their details – they will be delivered on their behalf. Our ABC survey also proved very popular, however some of us were surprised at the number of the ABC media platforms they rated as ‘Excellent’ despite all the ongoing cuts and changes!

Thanks to Ron for setting up and packing up again this year, to the media coordinator for all his work and to our parade participants and stall volunteers.

Go to the Gallery for more pictures.

On June 6, the Meeting Hall at the HUB was full of ABC Friends and other ABC supporters to come close up and personal with Michelle Guthrie. She came across as a very friendly, open person providing answers to all the many questions fired at her from the group.

Overall the immediate audience seemed to be favourable although her defence of the dwindling standard of the ABC News bulletin seemed to be in comparison to the commercial networks, rather than acknowledging that the standard had noticeably slipped in recent years. It was observed her chatty manner whilst very amiable meant she could be conceived more like someone from a PR unit rather than a Managing Director. She spoke about audience numbers and her ideal to reach 100% of Australians every week with the ABC’s increasing diverse offerings. Something for everyone but not a lot for anyone?

Many thanks to local MP Susan Templeman for organising this event and for Michelle Guthrie to make a special trip to Springwood to talk to ABC supporters. 

If you would like to add your comments about the meeting please email media_coordinator@fabcnswbm.org.au and they will be put up on this website.

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A healthy representation of members from our local branch attended last Thursday’s protest of around 70 people outside the Ultimo office of the ABC to protest about recent cuts including music and shortwave radio.

ABC Friends NSW and ACT President, Mal Hewitt addressed the rally to talk about several issues including the impact of cutting ABC Shortwave radio on the Pacific Islanders. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bPkq_GcaWk&feature=youtu.be

View other photos of the rally here

1-th4The 2016 AGM was over quickly and we welcomed a new President, Lachlan Garland. Our thanks to retiring President, Barry Redshaw for his leadership and commitment over the past two years and to retiring committee members for their support and we wish them well. Of course we must also thank those who stood for the 2017 committee (old and new faces).

Members and guests who joined us to hear Guest speaker and head of ABC News 24, Tony Hill, were given an incredible insight into the story of the ABC’s remarkable first War Correspondents during WW2.

1-picture1Drawing from his book ‘Voices from the Air’ which involved years of research of the ABC archives, interviews with families, and complimented by extraordinary front line recordings, historical photographs and correspondent’s notes, Tony spoke of the tenacity of these men, their recording equipment, the risks and hardships they faced alongside our troops. Unfortunately some recordings were lost in transit but much of the gut wrenching sounds and stories of war arrived back in Australia to be broadcast with those at home. It was an amazing hour or so.

Thanks to Megalong Books for attending giving those wishing to purchase the book the opportunity and Tony was happy to sign their copies. A special mention to the Grand View Hotel for their ongoing support of ABC Friends Blue Mountains.

More photos here

calendar_2017Printed in Australia on high-quality paper, the ABC Friends’ 2017 Calendar is a beautiful addition to any wall. With a series of stunning photographs, we bring you a subtler vision of our great country, with pictures that highlight Australia’s everyday beauty. It would make a great Christmas gift!

The Calendar is large-format, with plenty of space for you to write-in appointments and events, and includes useful and entertaining information about Our ABC. All profits from the calendar will be spent on defending the ABC’s funding and independence. More details [here]