TR18: The Technorama Awards

At the TR18 gala dinner (and trivia quiz night!) we presented the Technorama Awards for 2018.   This year four awards were given, and here are the winners.

Outstanding Technical Innovation

Anthony Eden and Stephen Wilkinson from Hope Media for the ‘Livewire Simple Delegation Switcher’.

The award recognises some very clever thinking in development of the ‘Livewire Simple Delegation Switcher’. It’s an open-source application designed for small stations with Axia Livewire equipment. The switcher allows people to create simple software push buttons to switch audio sources and destinations.

The Switcher is a terrific piece of innovation, that has been shared – and so far downloaded more than 230 times, is available free, and has saved many community stations money, as well as allowing more efficient workflows.

Rising Technical Star

Sibylle Reisch, Noosa FM.

The Rising Technical Star Award is to recognise someone who may be new to technology but has shown outstanding dedication and a willingness to learn. The Award this year goes to Sibylle Reisch of Noosa FM.

Whilst the station is about to celebrate 21 years of broadcasting, Sibylle has only recently become involved, when Noosa FM’s IT and technical person stepped down. Having previously run her own aviation company, she had some relevant skills and experience which no doubt helped her tackle the challenges of a community radio station’s inevitable malfunctions and the many challenges in improving and upgrading station equipment.

Sibylle has now also taken on far more responsibilities as the new President of Noosa FM, but here we want to applaud her for her contributions in the technology area – the vast amount of time and energy she has put into the station, as well as her initiative and encouragement of others in participating in the station.

Lifetime Technical Contribution to a Community Radio or TV station

David Miller, 3MDR

This is a category where there were a number of outstanding nominations this year, reflecting again how the successes and achievements of community media are largely due to the outstanding efforts of so many extraordinary people in cities and towns right around Australia. And remarkably, for so many, their involvement becomes a lifetime commitment.

This year, we want to recognise the huge contributions made by David Miller to 3MDR and its community. David Miller is an institution at 3MDR; the station wouldn’t be on air if it wasn’t for him! Dave fixes, maintains and improves every aspect of 3MDR’s technical operations. From studio panels, transmitter site equipment, OB gear and live music gear through to office, studio and production computers and everything else in between!

David also coordinates all the technical requirements and equipment needed for the OBs and then volunteers at every single one, often for many, many hours. 3MDR has also just relocated premises and Dave coordinated all removal and installation work of the technical facilities, which took about six weeks, pretty much seven days a week.

Dave has been part of the 3MDR family for about twenty-five years, presenting a number of shows in that time, and has always had the head technician role.

David is a calm blue ocean! He is incredibly patient and nurturing with 3MDR’s tech volunteers.

Over such a lengthy period of time, it’s been an astonishing level of commitment and support within a community organisation.

Lifetime Technical Contribution to the Community Broadcasting Sector

Chris Deacon, Artsound FM.

This year’s winner is someone we all know, who has been an active, leading participant throughout the entire history of community media and continues making vital contributions both at station and sector level.

Chris Deacon has been involved in technology throughout virtually all of his life. It began when Chris was only about 10, and started operating a PA system to entertain a captive audience of patients awaiting treatment in his father’s dental surgery. Chris had found his vocation. At university in Canberra, Chris became one of the pioneers of community broadcasting, being involved in most aspects of setting up an early campus radio station, Radio ANU, particularly by rolling out the closed loop low-power cable transmission system. Radio ANU evolved into 2XX, one of the first community radio stations licensed in 1976, with Chris as its Chief Engineer and Vice President.

Even at that stage Chris was keen to collaborate with colleagues around the country, helping to organise the first community radio technical conference in 1974, and going on to actively participate within the CBAA and become a founding member of Technorama.

Chris is a former General Manager of Canberra’s ArtSound FM, and is currently the station’s Manager of Technology, as well as technology advisor to Canberra’s Multicultural Radio. Chris’ involvement certainly isn’t limited to the technical side of community broadcasting – being himself a jazz pianist of note, Chris has always been active in the recording, live broadcasting and promotion of local music, and continues to present weekly music programs at ArtSound.

Chris deacon has made an extraordinary contribution to many aspects of community broadcasting, both in Canberra and on a national basis, for well over forty years.

He has been deservedly recognised through very many awards, not least being the Order of Australia in 2009 for his contribution to the development of community radio.

2017 Presentation

We also took the opportunity to present to Tim Borgas the plaque for the well deserved 2017 Lifetime Technical Contribution to the Sector award


Full citations, pictures, and rundown of the ceremony will be posted in the coming week.