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Life FM’s 20th Birthday Celebration: a night to remember

By April 3, 2024No Comments

More than 60 people, including current and former board members, sponsors, staff and volunteers, attended Life FM Gippsland’s 20th Birthday Celebration at the Traralgon Golf Club last month.

Plenty of memories were shared, fun was had, and food was enjoyed as the Christian community radio station celebrated two decades of broadcasting.

After president Yvonne Coffey welcomed guests, singer/songwriter David Eime began the night’s entertainment with a beautiful acoustic sound. Guests then enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by Lisha’s Kitchen.

Station manager David Braithwaite interviewed founding CEO Deb Bye, who spoke about the vision to establish a Christian radio station in Gippsland and the challenges the team faced. Deb described the four years of hard work by volunteers, along with the support of churches from different denominations, which led to Life FM’s first broadcast on October 29, 2003. The efforts of all who contributed to the station were recognised at the 20th birthday celebrations.

After hearing birthday messages from Christian radio identities from across Australia and New Zealand, David interviewed former production manager Randell Green.

Randell spoke about the many highlights of his time at Life FM, which was more than a decade, including interviews with international artists and the production of content which gained national recognition.

Randell’s daughter Natalie, who performs as Ambrose, then wooed the crowd with her music. Ambrose’s song “Breathe Again” spent 14 weeks on the Australian Christian music chart in 2021.

Life FM membership and production co-ordinator Emily Duncan presented the vision of Life FM to take the station into the future, which includes new programs, engaging a new generation of volunteers, and reaching out to local churches and community groups. Life FM prides itself on being part of the Gippsland community, and wants to work alongside local organisations to fulfil its overall vision to “deliver hope of a better life and future to every home in Gippsland”.

Producer and film maker Danielle McAlpine-Johnson then spoke about one of the exciting new programs Life FM has in production, “Youth On Beat”, which is being produced “by youth, for youth”. The program aims to amplify voices from youth of all backgrounds, tacking social, cultural and political issues relevant to the community.

Danielle’s husband, singer/songwriter Chico Johnson helped end the evening on a high note, with his music getting the room jumping.

Station manager David Braithwaite said the evening was a fitting way to celebrate 20 years of Life FM.

“It was encouraging to see so many people who have contributed to Life FM’s success. We had a great number of former staff members, volunteers, listeners and sponsors attend,” he said.

“There were many renewed connections, and many stories told, while the talented local musicians added to the fun of the night.

“It was wonderful to have Deb Bye attend. Without her vision and passion to see a Christian radio station in Gippsland, many people would have missed out on hearing positive music and powerful and encouraging messages.

“We wanted to honour those who came before us and did the hard work to get Life FM to air. They helped make the station what is it today, and our aim is to ensure their work continues.

“Here’s to another 20 years.”