JOY 94.9 Anita Gibbons Interview

JOY 94.9 Anita Gibbons Interview

JOY 94.9 Anita Gibbons Interview

One of Melbourne's most-loved community stations, JOY 94.9 will launch its annual week-long membership drive in June, kicking off its 2013 Radiothon theme, 'JOY To The World" on air from Friday, May 31st.

And this year, the rewards for becoming a JOY member are more exciting than ever, with every Radiothon membership being eligible to win fantastic prizes including a 2012 complied Suzuki SWIFT GLX Manual in Boost Blue, valued at $21,465, including on road costs*!

The benefits continue throughout the year, with exclusive events and giveaways, available only to JOY members.

Imagine a world without JOY. Australia's own Gay and Lesbian community radio station, and one of only three of its kind in the world, JOY is 100% reliant upon public contributions to stay on air, and with an encouraging 5% increase on memberships in 2012, the station hopes to exceed its numbers this year.

Powered by approximately 250 volunteers each year (including 130 presenters, 40 news readers, 30 producers and podcasters and a 50+ behind-the-scenes program support and administration team), the money raised during JOY's annual Radiothon determines its operations for the ensuing twelve months.

Celebrating Melbourne's diversity, JOY 94.9 reaches audiences across Australia and the world, with 24 hour on line streaming and podcasts.

By supporting JOY, members not only keep this vibrant community station on air, but by ensuring JOY exists, memberships contribute to a crucial training ground for many JOY volunteers, who have garnered enough experience to pursue professional careers in radio.

The dedicated JOY news team includes people from all walks of life – from students to lawyers to retirees, with many JOY newsroom trainees going on to land jobs in the media.

Channel 9 newsreader Peter Hitchener is a supporter, and late last year set aside time to visit the studio for an inspirational talk with the JOY news team.

Now in its 19th year, JOY's programming includes a diverse mix of shows covering everything from current affairs, comedy, sport, indie music, women's issues, horror & sci-fi', jazz, classical, food, travel, technology, film, electronica, pop and dance music, and JOY presenters have interviewed the likes of kd lang, Tony Abbott, Kylie Minogue, Adam Lambert, Ruby Wax, Tanya Plibersek, Beccy Cole, David Campbell, Magda Szubankski, Groove Armada, Marcia Hines, the cast of Glee, Penny Wong, Julian Clary, Ricki Lee and so much more.

While JOY is internationally-renowned as a dedicated Gay and Lesbian community broadcaster, there is no discrimination, with a sizable chunk of 'straights" also enjoying the station as presenters, on air guests and listeners. Indeed, Paul Grabowsky's wife, Margot, recently revealed that JOY is her favourite radio station. 'It's true," the music legend proclaimed, 'She only listens to JOY."

For more details on becoming a JOY member during the JOY To The World Radiothon (May 31 – June 7), tune in to JOY 94.9 on the Melbourne metropolitan FM band, or listen from anywhere in the world at

This year, for the first time, JOY memberships may be purchased on line.

JOY 94.9 is a Gay and Lesbian community radio station committed to providing a voice for the diverse lesbian and gay communities, enabling freedom of expression, the breaking down of isolation and the celebration of gay and lesbian culture, achievements and pride.

Interview with Anita Gibbons

Question: Can you tell us about what makes JOY 94.9 different?

Anita Gibbons: JOY is a volunteer-based community radio station providing a voice for the diverse lesbian and gay communities It is Australia's only (and one of the very few world-wide) full-time radio stations dedicated to supporting the needs of the LGBTI community by uplifting, informing and empowering community members to share in a celebration of our culture, achievements and pride. Finally it gives people like me an opportunity to SHINE – enabling me (for so many years) to introduce our audience to the oft unsung talent that exists in our community!

Question: Tell us about the upcoming Radiothon:

Anita Gibbons: As a community based station JOY relies upon its membership to provide a main source of the funding necessary to continue to bring this vital support to a still marginalised group throughout Melbourne (and thanks to the internet – the world). Apart from the many wonderful prizes and rewards for membership loyalty throughout the year it also enables you to play a role in supporting wider family of JOY listeners!

Question: When do you present on JOY 94.9?

Anita Gibbons: Currently each Sunday morning from 9-11am!

Question: Are you a volunteer?

Anita Gibbons: Yes – many of us are -without volunteers, JOY as we know it, would not exist - every volunteer such as myself brings their own unique contribution to the sound of JOY!

Question: Can you tell us a little bit about your specific program featuring women in music?

Anita Gibbons: The program 'Women on Waves" is dedicated to furthering -women's music' and first came to life on JOY back in December 1993, and I was handed the mantle of presenting the show from the beginning of 1995 making it the longest running show of its kind in Australia. The program essentially consists of presenting music and information on key 'Out & Proud" female performers – some specialist segments and our unique 'Comedy Shot". Over the years I have often been asked to describe what -women's music' is all about and I am left to provide only the description offered by Laura Post: 'WOMEN'S MUSIC IS ACTUALLY A CULTURAL CONSTRUCT, ENCOMPASSING MUSIC AND OTHER ARTS, BUILT UPON THE FOUNDATION OF WORLD MUSIC, AND ULTIMATELY CONNECTED TO THE GAY AND FEMINIST MOVEMENTS." Whilst today what has come to be known internationally as -women's music' transcends all musical styles, its genesis in the early 70's emerged from a fusion between Folk music and the emerging second wave of the feminist movement via the likes of Meg Christian, Cris Williamson and our own Judy Small. Numerous talented -soul-sisters' have guided it over the years to leave its imprint on musical style as diverse as Country, Rock, Jazz, R&B, Classical, Dance, Techno, and even Reggae. The majority of the singer / songwriters working within this idiom have chosen to remain true to its roots in giving us music that speaks of the lives of women in positive and empowering ways!

Question: What research goes into your show?

Anita Gibbons: On average for each hour of broadcast there can be around 3-4 hours of dedicated research –gathering information about each particular artist and any of their upcoming events. As we also present interviews with both local and international female performers I am specifically required to do significant research in order to present worthwhile information to our listeners.

Question: What types of features do you have on the show?

Anita Gibbons: Since around 2000 I have introduced a very popular -comedy shot' into the weekly schedule featuring tracks from a range of international lesbian comediennes. I have also included a special feature on Jazz, enabling me to bring to my audience the talents of the likes of Suede, Pippa Wilson and Lisa Koch.

Question: Which artists frequent your playlist?

Anita Gibbons: As mentioned the focus is mainly out & proud female performers covering all genres of music – from the icons such as k d lang, Melissa Etheridge and Cris Williamson through to singer/songwriters such as Horse McDonald and Heather Peace along with local performers such as BlueHouse, Fruit, Marie Wilson, Jade Leonard, Jenny Biddle and Michelle Parsons.

Question: Have you always wanted to be a radio presenter?

Anita Gibbons: NO – indeed my normal career has been in the fields of writing, training and organisation development. However I must say that having survived being thrown into the role it has proven to be a rewarding and exciting one. It has given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful people, play the part of an 'Outmusic Awards" Judge, and be interviewed on BBC whilst I was in the UK!

Question: What inspired this career?

Anita Gibbons: I guess the initial inspiration came from my discovery that a radio station that was willing to provide an airing to those musicians I found truly inspirational was deserving of my support. Those artists along with so many others that I have met over the years are indeed a continuing inspiration. Finally I would have to add that I very much enjoy the opportunity to regularly interact with not only the performers but our incredibly supportive and inspirational listeners!

Question: What's next for you, in radio?

Anita Gibbons: I really cannot say. After recently celebrating my 500th edition of this incredible program at an awesome evening celebration I may very well be inspired to accede to the constantly voiced demand for me to aim for another 500 shows. In the meantime I hope to be able to continue mentoring others to meet their own aims in broadcasting!