Later today, I will have to do one of the hardest things I’ve ever attempted. I’ll be saying goodbye to the wonderful folk who listen to ABC Far North. Today is my last day. I’ve accepted an offer from the ABC to manage its station in Broome and do the breakfast show. I start over there on September 17th.
It is a tremendous opportunity for me – but the decision to leave far north Queensland was a tough one. Cairns and FNQ have been my home, my patch, since early 2002, and I’ve been coming here since 1997. I’ve come to know and love the place, and it will stay with me long after I set up camp over in the Kimberley. I’m really excited about the move, and about working with the great ABC Kimberley team. But saying goodbye to my ABC Far North colleagues and our amazing listeners is going to be tough – and I’ve brought a clean hanky to mop up the inevitable tears when the time comes at six o’clock.
It’s been almost 13 years since I started in Cairns, introducing a local afternoon show for the first time. Its success is a tribute to the talent and determination of all my ABC Far North colleagues since then, and to our audience, who have been generous in their support and a constant source of inspiration. We’ve shared thousands of stories in my years here, and we’ve shared many happy times. And when things got tough, when cyclones and floods threatened our place, we worked with our listeners to help each other get through the worst and get going again. It has been an honour, a privilege to be of service to you. My experiences here will stay with me as long as I draw breath.
Last days are a bugger. There’s bound to be tears, but I am determined to make my final two hours on the radio at ABC Far North a celebration of the people – my colleagues and you, the listeners – who, together, make it a great radio station. So – we’ve opened up the rarely used Malcolm Turnbull room here at ABC Far North for what will be a memorable radio show, including a long overdue return of our long running local radio play – Bluey Hills.
And yes, thank you for asking. Our mascot C 1 Cassowary is coming with me. He loves to travel. See you on the radio at 4.
LISTEN to Phil Staley and I talking about the move, and some of the stuff we’ve done here at ABC Far North.[audio https://rdontheroad.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/phl-rchrd.mp3|bg=0x0000ff|righticon=0xff0000]
And listen to our final episode of the ABC Far North long running radio play Bluey Hills[audio https://rdontheroad.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/bh-master-ref.mp3|bg=0x0000ff|righticon=0xff0000]