Hi, my name is Angie Vaughan and I am the Station Manager at 104.1 CHY FM in Coffs Harbour. Looking back, it’s been an amazing trajectory to get here with countless experiences, meeting people, discovering mentors and getting some excellent training along the way.Media and broadcasting fascinated me from a young age. My high school years saw me frequenting radio stations so much that one of them decided to give me some training and a school holiday job.
Upon finishing school, I studied Technical Production at NIDA. But theatre wasn’t really my thing, but it showed me that I had to find an occupation where I could work in a creative environment and be with other positive, creative people, making a difference.
While volunteering at a telethon, I came across a crew from a new children’s current affairs program - Simon Townsend’s Wonder World! I casually asked “How does someone get a job on that show?”. Their response was “Contact the producer, Alan Lowery and ask him.” So I did. And at our meeting, he said – “I think you’d make a good Researcher – here’s a research report, do one or two and bring them back to me next week and we’ll see.”
Two weeks later, I was working in TV as a Researcher Journalist. Wonder World! was a great training ground - everything that happened to make a TV program, happened in that office. Over my years with the program, I also gained experience in a variety of production in other roles.
Simon Townsend and myself - 1985
After Wonder World!, I went on to location producing and researching for The Great Outdoors, production managing Burke’s Backyard and Better Homes & Gardens and producing shows, taking mid-dawns shifts and voicing traffic reports from the helicopter on 2UE.
Although I had lots of experience, in the back of my mind, I thought I’d get found out – working amongst others that had qualifications and that I was just getting by with what I learned on the job and from observing others.
About to turn 40, I began thinking seriously about where my career was going and ways of consolidating the skills I gathered and the skills and qualifications I need to enable me to obtain and maintain work in this field.
A friend suggested I do the one year Associate Diploma in Journalism at Macleay College. And I’m so glad I did. Being able to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, get training from industry professionals in their fields and a recognised qualification – this was the perfect course for me. It confirmed that what I had “fallen into” was exactly where I should be. Not only did I gain an Associate Diploma in Journalism, I also received the College’s award for Outstanding Achievement in Journalism (1995).
In 2000, I took on the opportunity of a lifetime – to manage the International Media Centre for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. WOW! What a huge four months that was. Working on the athlete bio program, writing press releases, assisting foreign and local journalists, filing reports and updates for the official Olympic News Service and ending most days with Roy & HG and The Dream.
Prince Albert of Monaco and myself in the International Media Centre of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games
Over the last 20+ years I have worked in a variety of roles on TV shows such as Hey Hey It’s Saturday and Healthy Wealthy & Wise. I also worked in varying roles at commercial and community radios stations. I did tours with The Wiggles and project coordinated events including the Powderfinger/Silverchair “Across the Great Divide” Tour.
Hey Hey It’s Saturday Crew – I’m second from the right in the front row
In March of 2019, I received a call from my cousin Eric. The local community radio station where he is a volunteer announcer, needed someone with my background, qualifications and experience to manage it. That previous management had left months ago and the station was in real dire straits. I emailed my CV to him and he presented it to the Board. After a few phone calls, emails and a Skype meeting – they offered me the job.
And yes, the station is in terrible shape but after six months of hard work, long hours and calling on former work colleagues and friends I have in the media, this fabulous radio station is getting back up on its feet. I have rewritten training modules and created speciality workshops, devised programming strategies, developed mentoring programs, improved administration and support all the kids that volunteer and want to learn. 104.1 CHY FM is getting back to being the voice of the youth in the Coffs community.
What I learned at Macleay College, and throughout my career, has been invaluable and has offered me many opportunities and given me the courage to try others.
It’s exciting times for 104.1 CHY FM – it’s also exciting times for those starting out on this Journalistic career journey. Take on opportunities, accept challenges, be fearless, ask questions – it may be a bumpy ride but you’ll enjoy every minute of it and you’ll never know where you’ll land!
Station Manager, CHYFM 104.1
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