1977 to now
A chronological history of 2RPH
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.
First test transmission conducted from 2RES studios in Paddington on 12 December.
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.
Radio Print Handicapped of NSW Co-operative Ltd. officially registered by the NSW Registrar of Co-operative Societies.
Second test transmission conducted from 2RES studios in Paddington on 29 August.
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.
Professor Ron Postle elected as Chairman.
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.
A licence granted to 2RPH under the Wireless and Telegraphy Act. Power outlet limited to 500 watts. Frequency allocated was 1629 kHz.
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.
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.
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.
Station run by a volunteer management committee comprising January Marchant, Norman Webb and Sylvia Glover.
A grant of $30,000 made by Frank Walker, NSW Minister for Youth & Community Services.
Second studio in Blues Point Road officially opened. Equipment installed with assistance received from Civil & Civic.
Volunteers' Log Book implemented to record number of hours worked. Over 2,500 hours recorded by April 1985.
January Marchant officially appointed as Station Manager.
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.
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.
Moved to new office and studios at 252 Illawarra Road, Marrickville.
First broadcast from Marrickville started on the stroke of midnight, 1 January 1992.
Tom Crozier appointed as Station Manager.
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.
Fundraising project proposed to enable provision of the 2RPH program to towns and cities throughout NSW.
In line with the national trend, the term 'information radio' was included as part of the station identity.
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.
Visit to station by 2RPH Patron, His Excellency the Hon. Gordon Samuels, Governor of NSW.
Radio Theatre, a fundraising event at the Belvoir Theatre, raised over $17,000.
Gradual change of station identity from 'Information Radio' to 'Sydney's Radio Reading Service'.
Leichhardt Council agreed to lease premises at 184 Glebe Point Road to 2RPH.
Broadcasting from Glebe studios, 184 Glebe Point Road, started at 7am on Saturday 20 May.
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.
2RPH had 198 Volunteers.
Professor Marie Bashir AC, Governor of NSW, appointed as 2RPH Patron.
Awareness of 2RPH among the general population of Sydney increased from two per cent in 1996 to 14 per cent in 2003 - McNair Survey.
Professor Ron McCallum elected as Chairman. Noel Castley appointed as Station Manager.
An Entirely Old-fashioned Radio Show, a fundraising evening held at the Belvoir Theatre, Surry Hills, raised over $18,000.
2RPH had 250 Volunteers. 2RPH changed from analogue to digital production. Transmitter signal boosted.
Reception, signal quality and coverage appreciably improved on 14 September by installation of a new signal processing unit on our main transmitter at Prospect.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nicci Lindemann appointed as Station Manager.
Long time 2RPH Manager and ex-2UE Executive, Tom Crozier, died.
2RPH has almost 200 volunteers.
Professor Ron McCallum steps down from Chair. Replaced by Colin Payne.
2RPH is available on Digital radio sets (2RPH Digital).
Simone Whetton is elected Chair of 2RPH.
Simone Whetton elected Chairperson.
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.
2RPH joined forces with the Exodus Foundation to give pocket-sized FM radios to Sydney's homeless.
2RPH joined Guide Dogs NSW/ACT for Wet Nose Day at Parramatta Park, 7 October.
2RPH took part in its second Glebe Street Fair on Sunday 18 November.
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.
Happy 30th birthday year, 2RPH! Many celebrations and fundraising events are planned throughout the year to mark this milestone. June Donovan elected Chairperson.
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.
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.
After 6 years, Nicci Lindemann steps down as Station Manager.
2RPH welcomed Their Excellencies Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove to the station. Listen to our interview with the Governor-General under Podcasts.
Sancha Donald is appointed Station Manager.
Long-serving volunteer and staunch 2RPH advocate Bonsall (Peter) Boone dies. Bonsall was with the station almost from its beginning, founding and presenting the Sunday program of Parish Pump.
2RPH Patron His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret”d) and Mrs Linda Hurley visit the station in Glebe for a morning tea with Board members, Life members and volunteers.
The inaugural Mid-Year Celebration recognises and celebrates 2RPH's volunteers with an awards presentation for volunteers who had been with the station for more than 20 years. As part of this event, 2RPH also launched its 2020 Strategic Plan, outlining the major strategies and tactics the organisation would focus on for the next few years. A copy of this plan can be found under Our Story.
2RPH reflects on a big year. Some of the key milestones of the last year include: $940,000 worth of volunteering hours donated; 108,000 weekly listeners; 10,000 live-to-air and pre-recorded programs; and, 208 programs; 117 readers; 69 presenters; 43 announcers.
Completed a Listener Survey, together with McNair and the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA). Received 189 completed surveys.
Held first professional development workshop for existing on-air volunteers. This workshop marks the first stage in a new strategic initiative for ongoing professional development and training for all volunteers.
Professor Neil Runcie
Blues Point Road studio, North Sydney
Professor Ron McCallum was Dean at the University Law School and a notable Australian, blind from birth.
The first Station Manager, Geoff Brown and former Station Manager, Nicci Lindemann
Station ambassador, Lindy Hou, with guide dog, Harper
Long-serving and much-loved volunteer, Vera Shaw
Chair, June Donovan
30th birthday party