1977 to now

A chronological history of 2RPH

October 1977

First Public Meeting held at Paddington Town Hall, 23 October. Sydney Radio Foundation for the Print-Handicapped formed. Professor Neil Runcie, Chairman of 2MBS-FM, elected as Chairman of the Foundation. Mrs Barbara Blackman, Mrs Joan Ledermann and Dr Sam Gillis elected Vice-chairpersons.

December 1977

First test transmission conducted from 2RES studios in Paddington on 12 December.

July 1979

Radio for the Print-Handicapped of New South Wales Co-operative Limited formed at a meeting in Paddington Town Hall, 29 July. The Foundation Chairman was Professor Neil Runcie.

September 1979

Radio Print Handicapped of NSW Co-operative Ltd. officially registered by the NSW Registrar of Co-operative Societies.

August 1980

Second test transmission conducted from 2RES studios in Paddington on 29 August.

1981

International Year of the Disabled Persons. Federal Government allocated an establishment grant to RPH groups throughout Australia. This meant that 2RPH would be able to purchase its own transmitter.

February 1982

Professor Ron Postle elected as Chairman.

September 1982

Transmitter purchased using the establishment grant and delivered in September 1982. An agreement concluded with University of NSW radio station 2UV and 2RPH to share the University's radio hut and transmitter aerial at Concord West.

October 1982

A licence granted to 2RPH under the Wireless and Telegraphy Act. Power outlet limited to 500 watts. Frequency allocated was 1629 kHz.

February 1983

2RPH commenced regular daily test transmissions on 11 February. For the first six weeks, these involved 1½ hours of recorded material, mostly supplied by the Royal Blind Society. Broadcasts were from the 2UV studios at the University of NSW.

March 1983

Geoff Brown appointed as Station Manager. A studio in the 2SM Building at 186 Blues Point Road made available through the generous assistance of 2SM.

April 1983

First program from the borrowed 2SM studio, on 18 April. Within four months, in a borrowed studio and no pre-production facilities, 2RPH was broadcasting for about 51 hours each week.

May 1984

Station run by a volunteer management committee comprising January Marchant, Norman Webb and Sylvia Glover.

June 1984

A grant of $30,000 made by Frank Walker, NSW Minister for Youth & Community Services.

November 1984

Second studio in Blues Point Road officially opened. Equipment installed with assistance received from Civil & Civic.

February 1985

Volunteers' Log Book implemented to record number of hours worked. Over 2,500 hours recorded by April 1985.

January 1986

January Marchant officially appointed as Station Manager.

February 1991

Frequency changed from 1629 (just off the main broadcasting band) to the old JJ frequency, 1539. Together with an increase to 1,000 watts, this made the service available to many more listeners.

June 1991

Alex McNish elected as Chairman. On air 24 hours each day. 200-250 volunteers available for staffing five shifts each day. The RPH network now the largest in Australia and all stations exchange programmes regularly under the auspices of the Australian Council for Radio for the Print Handicapped.

December 1991

Moved to new office and studios at 252 Illawarra Road, Marrickville.

January 1992

First broadcast from Marrickville started on the stroke of midnight, 1 January 1992.

June 1993

Tom Crozier appointed as Station Manager.

September 1993

Change to broadcast power of 5 kilowatts and better position on dial, from 1539 to 1224kHtz (the old 2WS frequency). Given use of $3.5 million worth of equipment and facilities at the old WS site at Prospect.

January 1994

Fundraising project proposed to enable provision of the 2RPH program to towns and cities throughout NSW.

July 1994

In line with the national trend, the term 'information radio' was included as part of the station identity.

May 1995

A survey conducted by Quadrant Research showed that 80 per cent of print handicapped people contacted listen to 2RPH. Only two per cent of the general population sample said they knew of the station.

April 1997

Visit to station by 2RPH Patron, His Excellency the Hon. Gordon Samuels, Governor of NSW.

October 1997

Radio Theatre, a fundraising event at the Belvoir Theatre, raised over $17,000.

1997–2000

Gradual change of station identity from 'Information Radio' to 'Sydney's Radio Reading Service'.

February 1999

Leichhardt Council agreed to lease premises at 184 Glebe Point Road to 2RPH.

May 2000

Broadcasting from Glebe studios, 184 Glebe Point Road, started at 7am on Saturday 20 May.

August 2000

Official opening at Glebe on 19 August by 2RPH Patron, His Excellency the Hon Gordon Samuels, Governor of NSW. Launch of 2RPH website. www.2rph.org.au.

January 2001

2RPH had 198 Volunteers.

February 2001

Professor Marie Bashir AC, Governor of NSW, appointed as 2RPH Patron.

March 2003

Awareness of 2RPH among the general population of Sydney increased from two per cent in 1996 to 14 per cent in 2003 - McNair Survey.

September 2003

Professor Ron McCallum elected as Chairman. Noel Castley appointed as Station Manager.

August 2004

An Entirely Old-fashioned Radio Show, a fundraising evening held at the Belvoir Theatre, Surry Hills, raised over $18,000.

August 2005

2RPH had 250 Volunteers. 2RPH changed from analogue to digital production. Transmitter signal boosted.

September 2005

Reception, signal quality and coverage appreciably improved on 14 September by installation of a new signal processing unit on our main transmitter at Prospect.

April 2008

2RPH celebrated 25 years of broadcasting with a luncheon at Parliament House, Macquarie Street on 8 April. The Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC AVO, was the Guest of Honour.

August 2008

2RPH officially commissioned its new transmitter at Mt Sugarloaf on the Central Coast on 4 August. Serving Newcastle and the Lower Hunter region on 100.5 FM. This increased 2RPH's potential audience enormously. Change of station identity from 'Sydney's Radio Reading Service' to 'Your Radio Reading Service' to accommodate listeners outside Sydney.

September 2008

2RPH officially started broadcasting on 25 September to the Newcastle area from an FM transmitter at Mt Sugarloaf on a frequency of 100.5 MHz.

October 2009

An additional transmitter in Kings Cross, commissioned to serve the Eastern Suburbs and greater Sydney on 100.5 FM, further enlarged 2RPH's potential audience to around 5 million. Therese Rein, wife of then PM Kevin Rudd, interviewed at 2RPH by The 7.30 Report's Kerry O'Brien. Ms Rein also graciously made a recording for later airing. 2RPH was overwhelmed with new volunteers as a result.

May 2010

Long time 2RPH Volunteer, ex-Station Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, January Marchant, died only a year after her retirement. Noel Castley, Station Manager from September 2003, resigned.

July 2010

Nicci Lindemann appointed as Station Manager.

September 2010

Long time 2RPH Manager and ex-2UE Executive, Tom Crozier, died.

November 2010

2RPH has almost 200 Volunteers.

February 2011

Professor Ron McCallum steps down from Chair. Replaced by Colin Payne.

May 2011

2RPH is available on Digital radio sets (2RPH Digital).

October 2011

Simone Whetton is elected Chair of 2RPH.

October 2011

Simone Whetton elected Chairperson.

March 2012

At the Extraordinary General Meeting on 25 March, Nic Svenson was elected Chairperson, and June Donovan was elected Vice-Chairperson. Former paralympian, Lindy Hou, OAM, was declared the first 2RPH Ambassador.

June 2012

2RPH joined forces with the Exodus Foundation to give pocket-sized FM radios to Sydney's homeless.

October 2012

2RPH joined Guide Dogs NSW/ACT for Wet Nose Day at Parramatta Park, 7 October.

November 2012

2RPH took part in its second Glebe Street Fair on Sunday 18 November.

December 2012

Nic Svenson stepped down as Chairperson. Much-loved volunteer receptionist, Vera Shaw, died 16 December, aged 90 years. Vera had retired from 2RPH in 2011.

January 2013

Happy 30th birthday year, 2RPH! Many celebrations and fundraising events are planned throughout the year to mark this milestone. June Donovan elected Chairperson.

February 2013

The inaugural 2RPH Fundraising BBQ held at Bunnings Mascot on 8 February.

April 2013 The thirtieth birthday of 2RPH – 18 April. An official function to mark the occasion was hosted by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir and Sir Nicholas Shehadie at Government House.

2013

2RPH reached a huge milestone in its thirtieth year of operation. On air celebrations carried on throughout the entire calendar year, and the station welcomed new ambassadors, Jonathan (Jono) Coleman, Ian (Dano) Rogerson, sight-impaired singer and inspirational speaker Krystel Keller, disability advocates Catherine Mahony and Mel Schlaeger, who join longtime ambassador Lindy Hou and her sidekick Harper the guide dog.

1977

black and white photo, young man in dinner jacket, glasses

Professor Neil Runcie

1983

modernistic eight storey building

Blues Point Road studio, North Sydney

1986

smiling woman

Jan Marchant

1991

older gentleman in suit, white moustache

Alex McNish

2003

professor, head and shoulders, in front of university emblem

Professor Ron McCallum was Dean at the University Law School and a notable Australian, blind from birth.

2003

smiling white haired and bearded man, turning from computer scrren

Noel Castley

2009

smiling woman, pink jacket, seated

Therese Rein

2010

smiling man (left) woman (right) at reception

The first Station Manager, Geoff Brown and current Station Manager, Nicci Lindemann

2012

woman in track pants, T-shirt, with black guide dog

Station ambassador, Lindy Hou, with guide dog, Harper

2012

older woman, felt hat, looks to her left

Long-serving and much-loved volunteer, Vera Shaw

2013

studio portrait, smiling woman

Chair, June Donovan

2013

about 12 people with Governor Marie Bashir in elegant surroundings of government house

30th birthday party

Listen to our history

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2RPH – A Brief History