“This address by Brian Nankervis is most entertaining. What a great choice of guest speaker.”
That comment from Facebook where the Keynote address at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s conference given by the Rockwiz Producer, was being streamed live.
And delegates in the Plenary Hall at Melbourne’s Pullman Hotel would agree.
Nankervis wears many hats including comedian so it was no surprise he kicked his speech off with some audience participation, encouraging those in the room to “…acknowledge the history of this, beautiful, beautiful room. I am not sure how many people realise but it was originally constructed in a tiny fishing Village in Kent in 1412, it was a meeting place for community groups, for conferences for hundreds and hundreds of years before it was dismantled and moved to Australia brick by brick.”
Before leading them in a ceremonial chant while all holding hands.
Nankervis fell in love with radio as a young lad, listening in front of the kerosene heater on a rainy day.
He began presenting shows on Melbourne’s Triple R in 1979 and currently co hosts The Friday Revue on 774 ABC.
Brian began his career as a primary school teacher and taught for six years, “…until a kid came to school with a dead bird for show and tell, there was a period of a couple of months between the bringing of the bird and the final realization that the bird was in his school bag.
“I then took a year off and my ambition was to try and get work in radio, I was madly in love with the power, used wisely, the reach, the broadcast, the connection and ultimately I think, with the community.
“Once I dipped my toes into the waters it soon became very clear that the freedom, the sense of challenge and the sense of excitement at Triple R was not going to be repeated.
“ I knocked on doors in commercial radio, including the ABC but it wasn’t to be…however last year I got a call from 774 ABC, would you like to come in and do a once a week show.
“So it took 30 years but Triple R gave me my start.”
An Australian radio, theatre, television and comedy stalwart, Brian’s list of credits since he fled his life as a primary school teacher is extensive and his storytelling reflects that.
As he swung from anecdote to anecdote it was this that had conference delegates roaring with laughter.
“My entry into radio was largely music based, I think that is one of the wonders of the sector that it is for the music nerd, the music fanatic.”
It was at this point he led the room in a quick game of Rockwiz, creating two teams, men vs. women.
There was plenty of music knowledge in the room but the girls took out the title 24 points to 20 from the guys.
Brian then wrapped up his keynote address with a poem beginning;
“I wrote this to honour what I think is an incredible broadcasting station the great 3RRR, a potent force in my life a constant companion and I suppose an example of just how great community radio can be.”