CTV1 25th Anniversary Reunion & Book Launch

Souths on Chalmers Street, 4 September 2012.

Hello, everyone, welcome to this reunion. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nationalities who call our City home.

I also welcome especially Darren Gray, the former CTV1 producer and presenter, who's flown back from England for this event, as well as Doug Moody, another well-remembered producer and prolific author, and Karen Petersen, known to many of you from her roles in The Young Doctors, Number 96.

And of course, the other person we must recognise is Royce Sutcliffe, who pioneered CTV1 as Australia's first cable TV station after seeing similar operations in England. And we need to remember those who supported him - local heroes like Marg Barry and Betty Makin, as well as the then Housing Commission.

It's now 25 years since Royce was given the basement of the McKell Building - admittedly nothing more than a former storage room with a dirt floor. Doug Moody, Michael Teleshoff and Dion Wilton worked with Royce to convert this very basic space into a working television studio.

Its philosophy was straightforward: to give a voice to everyone and to inform, entertain and appeal to everyone in the Housing Department flats.

It fulfilled that goal admirably. Local people felt it was truly "their" station. Doug Moody remembers that people felt they could walk in off the street and put together a program or a performance.

The Community Billboard kept people informed, with information about medical screenings or cultural and social events, and Marg Barry's news program was a feisty as she was.

I remember using the channel as a direct way to communicate with residents, though Doug has reminded me that Vic Smithy tried to heavy them not to let me on air!

Happily, they were too fair-minded to go along with that.

It was an amazing, extraordinary institution, one which gave so many people a sense of having their voices heard. It also gave many people, including children, the chance to learn broadcasting and production skills, many of whom now have successful media careers, largely thanks to CTV1.

It was created by and for this community, and it is wonderful to see so many of you back here, on the very day of the first broadcast, back in 1987.

I congratulate all of you involved, and thank everyone who made this reunion possible. It's a great reminder of the value of community and what a community can achieve, for itself, under its own steam.

It's also a timely opportunity to launch Doug Moody's books. I'm not going to speak about all 45 of them, which he's published this year. But I am going to recommend you to One Nightmare Too Many.

As the only foundation member of CTV1 to remain with the station until its demise in 2002, Doug was ideally placed to tell the whole story. It's a tremendous record of an amazing time in this community, and I'm pleased to be able to officially launch it for him tonight. I'm sure many of you will want to get a copy, as a reminder of what was achieved by CTV1.

It's great to be here with you all to celebrate its amazing achievements.