Free Radio 100 Symposium in Canberra

As part of the National Film and Sound Archives Radio 100 celebrations, the NFSA has partnered with the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University for three presentations on Australian commercial radio’s golden days’ from 10am to 2:30pm on Wednesday February 14, 2024 at the Canberra Archives’ Theatrette. Attendance is free.

10am        Introduction, Patrick McIntyre CEO National Film and Sound Archive
10.15am     John Potts, ‘The Commercial in Australian Commercial Radio: The Power of the Sponsor, 1930s – 1950s’
11.15am      Virginia Madsen, ‘Sounding dramas and legacies of amnesia in commercial radio audio fiction, from broadcast nostalgia to podcast new wave’
12.15pm     Lunch Sandwiches, pastries and Red Brick Coffee available for sale in the NFSA Cafe
1.15pm      Bridget Griffen-Foley, ‘From Cupid’s Conquests to Midnight Matchmaker: Romance on Australian Commercial Radio’
2.15         Concluding remarks
2.30         Close – Stay and relax, chat and reflect in the NFSA’s courtyard, Library or Mediatheque and enjoy the Radio 100 exhibition.


John Potts is a Professor of Media in the Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language, and Literature (MCCALL) at Macquarie University. He has published numerous books and articles on media history, including radio history, as well as works of cultural history, art history and intellectual history incorporating elements of media history. He is the author of Radio in Australia (1989), A History of Charisma (2009), The New Time and Space (2015), Ideas In Time (2019), The Near-Death of the Author: Creativity in the Internet Age (2023), as well as Culture and Technology (co-authored with Andrew Murphie, 2003) and Science Meets Art (co-authored with Nigel Helyer, 2022). Edited books relating to media history include Use and Reuse of the Digital Archive (2021) and After the Event: New Perspectives on Art History (co-edited with Charles Merewether, 2010).

Bridget Griffen-Foley FAHA is a Professor of Media at Macquarie University. She is the author of several books about the media, including Changing Stations: The Story of Australian Commercial Radio (2009) and Australian Radio Listeners and Television Viewers: Historical Perspectives (2020). She also edited the field-defining reference work, A Companion to the Australian Media (2014), and was historical consultant to the Power Games: The Packer Murdoch War (2013) miniseries. Bridget is now leading a project on ‘The ABC, its Archives and its Audiences’.

Virginia Madsen is a senior academic in media, Convenor of Radio, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Media History at Macquarie University. She has published widely on all areas of sound culture, with specialist expertise in ABC, public broadcasting radio and its specialist forms, expression and history, including podcasting. Her critical imagination is currently focused on radio’s feature, performance and documentary traditions, and the media outlets that continue to host and disseminate these rich forms. She has a strong interest in radio history spanning public and commercial and worked with the support of the NFSA in its early years to create a two-part radio feature series, ‘Catching The Ether’ (ABC Radio National) exploring Australian commercial radio and its development into the ‘golden years’. She has a large body of audio works, broadcast internationally and continues to create for new audio media platforms such as Soundtrails (2022 -).

Attendance is free for this symposium but bookings are essential. You can book here.

Tags: | | |