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by Program Director- Chris Tait

To begin with, I want to send a shoutout to a couple of shows that have moved on from JOY after many years of dedicated service and fun. The first one is Women on Waves presented by our beloved Anita, who has been with JOY for 23 years. WoW went through to its 650th show before Anita hung up her hat. She will be sorely missed.

The other show that decided to go out with a bang was the very popular Murphys Law, with Dean and Anna leaving after six years on air. They stuck around long enough to do one last Radiothon Hour of Power, though, and helped to rake in over $67.000 in donations for that hour alone.

This was the culmination of our Radiothon Power Week, and, although Radiothon is still going gangbusters, the 2017 Power Week effort delivered the most successful Hour of Power in its decade-long history.

I believe this is due to a couple of reasons: the departure of a long-running program, and the amazing effort put in by our on-air team. This year the team really came together to create a brilliant week of radio that had light and shade, colour and movement.

There were some real highlights, with presenters talking to wonderful Australian and international A-listers such as Jinkx Monsoon, Virginia Gay, the Village People and Bill Shorten. Other highlights included Tim Campbell and Anthony Callea donating $1000 to JOY, and the Brekkie Bears shaving off my beard live on air! (I’m happy to say that we raised $2000 for the beard, and it is growing back well.)

But what really drove the #WeStillNeedJOY message home was the stories that came from our presenters, who wore their hearts on their sleeves and asked and answered the question ‘Why do we still need JOY?’ We got dozens of messages throughout the week from listeners who were extremely grateful for JOY sharing people’s stories and being a mouthpiece for our communities.

Some highlights for me during the week were: Tad Lombardo speaking publicly for the first time about being discriminated against as a gay man by an insurance company; Hunter Smith from the Tag Team describing how he used to listen to JOY under his bedcovers as a teenager to feel part of the community when he felt he couldn’t have a voice; and Suri Bin Saad talking about the meeting of his two worlds – being both a gay man and an Indigenous man – and the role he plays in the community to make it easier for other young men coming through the ranks.

It was a fabulous week of radio, and this is why I believe so many of our listeners responded so generously.


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