4 July 2009

Chris Deacon, OAM

Chris Deacon won a gong at the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours: the Medal of the Order of Australia ”for service to community radio through the ArtSound organisation”. It’s a wonderful surprise and well due to someone who has worked long and hard for community radio and for jazz in Canberra. Chris has been a common sight at concerts around town for many years, and the archive of recordings is ArtSound is just proof of this. There’s a wealth of audio for some researcher to trawl through one day, from first recordings of now renowned players to visiting celebrity performers. Congrats to Chris from CJ; you deserve it. Here’s the ArtSound press release.

Chris Deacon, Vice President of Canberra’s lively arts radio station ArtSound FM, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Announced by the Governor- General yesterday in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, the award is “for service to community radio through the ArtSound organisation”.

Mr Deacon’s passion for radio broadcasting commenced in primary school, and he played a major role in establishing some of the earliest licensed non-profit community radio stations in the early 1970s. However, his most significant contribution began as co-founder of ArtSound FM in the early 1980s, through licensing in 2000, to expansion of coverage, design and construction of its new studios, fundraising, training and present development of new digital media services. He has personally recorded and broadcast hundreds of concerts featuring mostly local musicians, for which ArtSound has received a number of national broadcasting industry awards.

“ArtSound FM is a prime example of what can be achieved by dedicated volunteerism – it has an enviable reputation for its broadcasting service in the ACT region, involving thousands of members and supporters in its local music, arts and cultural service, mirroring happenings in the local community. It provides an important training ground for other media and has forged program affiliations with respected broadcasting organisations in Europe and North America. It’s a unique station of which Canberra citizens should rightfully be proud” Mr Deacon commented.

“I’m delighted to be recognised by the nation for helping to create one of the fastest growing and most vibrant community broadcasting sectors in the world. It’s been a very satisfying experience to see community radio grow from such small beginnings in the early 1970s to the 350-station network it is today” said Mr Deacon.

Community radio boasts an average monthly listenership of over 9 million Australians, and 20,000 volunteers are now regularly involved in towns and cities throughout Australia.

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