AGM – Chairman’s Report 2023

1. Introduction

This is my final report as the Chairman of Coastal FM Inc. It has been a 10 year journey to guide the station to hopefully a better place. Since the first day I entered this building in 2013 and had a bit of a chat with Mal it has been a great experience to look back on. It has been similar to my previous radio involvement at Hawkesbury Radio which was amazing. I found at Coast FM, many volunteers that had a passion to serve their listeners with a variety of programs. I have appreciated the confidence that the boards of management since 2013 have placed in me and I thank them for their trust in my abilities

2. New Board Structures – The sub-committees

This year’s board has experienced a new structure with the introduction of four sub-committees to focus on Programming, Fund Raising, Promotions and Music. Each of the non-executive board meetings was given the job to coordinate their committee and report their findings at the next board meetings. It is an attempted to delegate some of the many tasks handle by only one or two people.  This arrangement has proven beneficial except for some communications issues. It has allowed more involvement of board members in station tasks and avoids the ordinary members of the board to have a purpose and not just a title

3. Grant Updates – Our station has been blessed to be successful in a number of grants recently. Following on from the Round 1 CBF grant in 2022 to replace the Studio#1 mixer we received $14146, which was approximately $6000 short to cover the actual costs of the equipment – this amount was covered by the station funds. The Round 2 CBF grant achieved $12000 to complete the funding required to complete the Studio #1 upgrade. It has funded the desk, monitors and the electronics need to complete the project. Round 1 of the 2023 CBF grant of $20000 was also successful to cover the costs of a new transmitter for Table Cape. There have also been applications made to  the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) for $100000 to upgrade the Wynyard building. Australia Post grant for $8000 to purchase a computer server.  A Telstra Community Grant of $6000 to replace the UPS but these were all unsuccessful. There is another current grant with the TCF to upgrade this hall to replace the chairs, install a stage, PA system and lightning

4. Outside Broadcasts – The OB vehicle will be taking up residence next to this hall following the construction of the Goldie Street Gates. The vehicle has been in constant use, clocking up many kilometers covering the coast to raise the station’s profile. I would like to encourage our volunteers to join in with these OB events to meet the many listeners who love to see the faces that match the voices they hear on the radio. It is an uplifting experience to know that Coast FM has so many supporters

5. Programming Update The number of new volunteers has produced some new interesting programs. What’s my Theme with Ricky (Mon 8pm), Spirit Wave with Kelly (Tues 6pm), Friday Night Rock with Jett (Fri 9pm), Crossing the 50s and 60s with Denise (Tues 8pm). Also Tassie Talent with Little Dave (Fri 6pm) and Saturday Night Request (6 – 10pm)

6. New Web Page – The station’s web page is becoming a major tool in the station’s operations. It’s constantly been updated with some great new features. The ability for community groups to submit the details of their own events is proven very popular. The music (or gig guide) is also filling up as well. The major advantage of these pages is they will delete the event automatically after the event date. Other features of our web page are to host our stream and provide podcasting with a new feature call radio on demand. This feature records all programs for a month and a selected program can be automatically copied onto individually streamed program that can be replayed at the listener’s convenience.

7. Training and Education – Life is one continuous learning experience. Working in the media requires a particular skill set that is always changing. To keep ahead of the game, training is a necessary requirement. As an ex-teacher I was always encouraging my students to keep on learning to maintain my skill levels. During the course in 2022 I completed a 6 month CMTO Market Skills Course covering the basics of Community Radio Operations, History, Sponsorship and work shopping the aspects of running an event. Not only this – but it covers many aspects of station operations but also many aspects of station operations and network with other stations and their operations. I have been encouraging our volunteers to take up similar learning activities. I also have taken part in numerous webinars for station management, sponsorship, working with volunteers etc. Many of these sessions have been recorded and available on the CBAA web site   

8. Volunteering – We are blessed to have so many people that volunteer their time to support Coast FM. In recent times many organisations have suffered from a drop in volunteer numbers. The station has been reversing this trend. It has allowed some expansion in areas of our productions. And even in some cases encouraging volunteering in other organisations. Retention of our volunteer staff is important issue especially with obtain younger members of the community. Many of the councils in our transmission area have been working with their community groups to encouraging volunteering. I have been attending an ongoing workshops at the Kentish council recently who are completing a framework for organisations to attract and maintain their volunteers. It has been an interesting experience to see the volunteering issues within other community organisations. I would like to recognise the contributions of our volunteers to the many tasks

9. The Wynyard Studio Building Upgrades

You may have notice some changes to our building as walked in today. Following the construction of the disabled ramp out the front, the next logical step was to convert one of the toilet facilities to disable/unisex status. Along with this construction was to fix the roof leaks in the tech room so all the sky lights have been sealed to avoid future leaks as they were progressively rusting. Another upgrade to the building was to erect a gate in the Goldie Street entrance to have a secure place to park the Outside Broadcast vehicle. Also the gutters have been cleared to remove the crop that had been growing A major upgrade has been made to Studio #1 with the financial assistance of the Community Broadcasting Fund and the technical skills of Mat and Little Dave. There have been many hours of work to produce the changes with the walls of studio#1.

10. Station Manager Position and my chairmanship retirement – In the re-shuffle of the “deck chairs on the Titanic” – the sub-committees now in place – I have put forward the proposal of a contract for the Station Manager of Coast FM. As I have made contacts across Australia with the other 450 community stations which nearly all have a Station Manager who act as a central point of contact and deals with day to day operational issues it is a natural addition to the management structure of Coast FM. My experiences as the Station Manager at Hawkesbury Radio have added to this proposal. While the chairman tasks are to coordinate the Board of Management and is not usually involved directly in the operational aspects of a radio station. I am seeking a contract as the Station Manager to work with the board to maintain the operations of Coast FM into the future. I have decided to end my Chairmanship after my 10 year contribution to Coastal FM Inc. so that I can re-focus on the Operational side of our station as the Station Manager. I would like to thank all of those who have been apart the management teams across those years for their support.

Brian Shearston

Chairman – Station Manager – Technician – Presenter

19th August 2023