Hundreds of Radio 4EB’s presenters, supporters, sponsors and listeners celebrated the station’s 40th birthday with a gala dinner and dancing last Saturday evening in the Brisbane Town Hall.
The first test broadcast of the Ethnic Broadcasting Association of Queensland (EBAQ), formed by a group of Brisbane residents interested in creating an ethnic radio station, took place from the top floor of the Ridge Motel, Spring Hill in 1977.
In August 1978, the EBAQ applied for an “S” class public broadcasting license. The license was granted, and on 1 December, 1979, Radio 4EB commenced broadcasting on AM 1053, above a bakery.
The studio, if it could be called that, was hardly bigger than a domestic pantry, but the members of 4EB were proud of it. At that stage there were around 20 language groups involved and approximately 800 members. Broadcasting took place after 4pm and before 11am, the rest of the time was spent training panel operators to keep up with the demand for on air programming.
Today, 4EB has over 4500 members and facilitates over 50 language groups. To many listeners, 4EB was the only source of information for new arrivals to Brisbane, it is the primary source of local community information and settlement advice.
On 1 December, 2001 Radio 4EB switched over to FM and is now heard on 98.1 and in May 2011, also launched a digital channel called Global. For more history of the station click here.
Station president Nick Dmyterko paid tribute to all the staff and volunteers of the station in a speech recounting the history of the station..
At the dinner, members of many of the station’s language broadcast groups mobilised their communities to provide entertainment, including a performance by a Rawandan dance troupe, Vietnamese line dancers, indigenous performers and a traditional Greek dances (pictured below).