2019 Festival storyteller Ian 

‘I love being able to communicate with people.  I have made so many friends.  Most of them I've never met.’ 

The tone of Ian’s voice is smooth and warm. When just nineteen, he trained at Vincent’s School of Broadcasting in Little Collins Street. Ian has had a passion for radio all of his life.

‘For as long as I can remember, since I was six or seven, I wanted to be on the wireless.’

Born in Daylesford into a very poor family, Ian and his brother were struck down with rheumatic fever when Ian was eight years old. His father died at that time too.

It was a difficult childhood, times were tough and listening to the radio transported Ian into another world.

‘It came to me so naturally-to talk on radio. However, in front of a crowd of people, I was terrified.’

Naturally shy and with little confidence Ian became a labourer when he was thirteen, working in a series of lonely farm jobs. At twenty Ian became a radio announcer in the Riverina, but there was little money in it. Becoming a father at twenty-one Ian returned to labouring knowing radio could not support his growing family.

Ian’s love of radio never left him, and he helped to establish community Radio KLFM in Bendigo, 3CCC in Harcourt and then with his wife Marilyn, community radio in Castlemaine. Now Ian helps run a seniors radio station. It broadcasts programs of interest and also plays music from the 50’s to the present day.

‘But no heavy metal,’ Ian chuckles.

Ian’s passion has extended into writing books and being engaged with a wide range of community projects.

He helped establish the Harcourt Apple Festival, the Harcourt Heritage Centre, and is involved with Mount Alexander’s Seniors Committee.

‘Radio gave me a voice and people listened to me. The spoken word is powerful.’

Having come from a deprived childhood Ian now lives a nourishing life, with his wife Marilyn.

‘Life is precious. Enjoy it. Do the things you love.’