Valley Veterans | Bringing music to our ears

The Mid North Coast village of Tewinga would not be familiar to many people unless you a regular on the road between Nambucca Heads and Bowraville.

Other than the Tewinga sign on the side of the road the only other obvious landmark is the Tewinga Community Centre and adjoining tennis court. A closer look at the Tewinga Community Centre will reveal one of the Nambucca Valley’s most valuable community assets as it houses the studios of Nambucca Valley Radio, 2NVR. 

2NVR's Gary Biden has 'caught the broadcasting bug'. Photo: Mick Birtles

2NVR's Gary Biden has 'caught the broadcasting bug'. Photo: Mick Birtles

2NVR 105.9 FM is a true community radio station. It is a fact that community radio is Australia’s largest independent media sector. Each week around six million Australian’s tune into over 450 community radio stations. Community radio stations are owned and operated by the community and play a major role in providing a diverse range of viewpoints and media diversity to the regions where they broadcast. They are able to keep it local and provide communities with the opportunity to participate in free-to-air public broadcasting. 

All of the team at 2NVR are volunteers who work behind the microphone, behind the scenes, or both. The station boasts a broad  range of content from a diverse group of presenters and has, on several occasions, been awarder the title ‘The Best Little Station in the Nation’. Some of the volunteer presenters on 2NVR are from the veterans community and I caught up with two of them plying their newly learned trade over the airwaves last week. 

Two years ago former artillery soldier turned truckie, Gary Biden, and his wife Wendy, relocated to Nambucca Heads from South East Queensland. Like many of us who find ourselves moving here, it was the wonderful moderate climate that attracted them to the Mid North Coast.

Gary considered through joining 2NVR he could delve further into his love of music while getting to meet others in the community they have chosen as a home base. Gary and Wendy have not been disappointed as they love living in Nambucca Heads and Gary has a ball broadcasting his very own show ‘In the Mood’ every Saturday morning from 6am to 8am. After some initial training and some time on air Gary considers that he has ‘caught the bug’ when it comes to being a community radio announcer.

Another Valley Veteran who has found a home at 2NVR is Sean Norman. Sean, who served as an infantry soldier in the Australian Army and deployed on Operation Solace to Somalia in 1992, finds that 2NVR also enables him to pursue his love for music and comedy. Sean’s laid back and cheerful personality comes through over the airwaves and he is building up a following of loyal listeners.

2NVR'S Sean Norman gets a 'buzz' from broadcasting. Photo: Mick Birtles

2NVR'S Sean Norman gets a 'buzz' from broadcasting. Photo: Mick Birtles

Sean says that he gets a ‘buzz’ from broadcasting. Sean added that volunteering at the station is a great social outlet and he has also enjoyed enhancing his computer and technical skills through his work as an announcer. Sean Norman now hosts three radio shows on 2NVR; ‘Where there’s Smoke there’s Fire’ Sunday afternoons 3pm to 5pm, ‘Let it Be’ Tuesday 6-9 am, and ‘Fallen Angel’ Thursdays 2pm to 4pm.  

If involvement in community radio is something that might appeal to you, 2NVR welcomes everyone to visit and get involved. Volunteers are always needed and appreciated. The team at 2NVR provide all of the training and technical advice you will need however you can join the station and be involved in other aspects if announcing is not for you.

Pop in to 834 Rodeo Drive, Tewinga, say g’day and, like Gary and Sean, you may find yourself joining the ‘Best Little Station in the Nation’. Find out more by going to www.2NVR.org.au.

About the author:About the author: Mick Birtles is a recently retired Army Officer now living in Nambucca Heads. During his 36-year career, Birtles served in Bougainville, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for command and leadership. Here he shares his interest in the well-being of veterans on the Mid North Coast.

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