Half My Life

A few months ago, you might recall, I made a post here about my twenty-five years of continuous service with the ABC.

The official employment offer letter states it was twenty five years today that I was offered a job at the ABC. I’d previously been employed at the community radio station at Bourke in Western NSW. I’d applied for a few ABC jobs during the previous six months. When the call came through from Don Bensted offering me the position, I actually had to ask him “for which job”. In reality, it didn’t matter much to me, as I’d long wanted to work for ABC Radio. I have a vague memory of finishing work in Bourke on a Wednesday or a Thursday, driving overnight via Broken Hill, and of arriving in Renmark on a Thursday or Friday afternoon. I’m pretty sure I went to air the following Monday, though it’s possible I had a few days to settle in. Twenty five years later and I’m still working for the ABC. Along the way, I’ve been the Morning Presenter in Wagga Wagga, the Statewide Afternoon and Drive presenter in NSW, and have acted in other jobs in Darwin, Perth, Canberra and Lismore. Ten years ago I made the switch from on-air presenter to Manager which wasn’t as traumatic as I thought it might be ego-wise. In a lovely piece of symmetry, I’m currently back in Regional Radio, working as the National Manager of our regional stations. I’ve had many great opportunities over the last twenty five years, and I continue to love working for a really terrific organisation. Win.

Today I received a medal which commemorates this moment in time.

At today’s “ceremony” I told the story of how I’d once dated a guy at work. A few years later, having broken up with him, I caught up with him and he asked if I still worked for the ABC. When I told him I did, he said, in a very negative tone “I always knew you’d be a lifer”. I told those attending I didn’t see it as a negative, even though in this modern world, it’s generally regarded as odd that you should work for the same organisation for such a long time. I told everyone I’d had so many wonderful opportunities to do so many different things, to live in many different parts of the country, and genuinely love my current job and the people I work with. Receiving the medal was a very proud moment for me, and something I’ll really treasure for many years to come. “It’s my Matthew Mitcham moment”, I joked.

Interesting fact: the medal was designed by Andor Meszaros who also designed the Olympic Commemoration Medallion for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

I received some lovely comments on social media and via email.

Sweet! Congrats to a great fella!

It’s when I are that gold I know I should have stayed on for a few years. (It is good, right?) well done Jimmi

Wow. 25 years. Congratulations James. You going for 50?

Late to this but nonetheless congrats. on your award. Segue to a sporting achievement, to wit the marathon, Minister O’Brien.

Fantastic! Do you get 25 weeks bonus leave as well?

Congrats James. The medal looks good!

I know you’re in another meeting otherwise I’d call but congratulations on your 25 years. I can’t imagine making that kind of milestone. It’s a tribute to your commitment not just to the ABC but also to the medium. The passion shows. Congratulations and enjoy the celebration. Tea and cake I presume.

Welcome to the club x

Congratulations on the medal of service to the Abc. Simon showed me the photo! Thanks for staying with the abc and enriching the lives of your audiences in NSW and beyond. I remember listening to you on NSW regs whilst visiting Byron Bay one year! Thanks for your hard work and support through the years – it really is appreciated! I hope the accompanying champas was delish!!

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