Thousands at Mindil Beach

Though it may seem I’m on a “holiday” right now, I’m actually working quite hard. The days haven’t been necessarily overly long, but they’ve been fairly intense. After two years of working from home, face-to-face daily interactions can sometimes be quite exhausting. I’m also juggling aspects of my “regular job”. Nonetheless, there have been many moments of extreme pleasure.

Today, for example, we did an outside broadcast of ABC Darwin from Mindil Beach. During the dry season, the regular Thursday markets attract many hundreds of people. But today, there was an added attraction.

Darwin is currently playing home to a 17-country combined military operation. The massive fly-over attracted thousands of people. “I’ve lived in Darwin for 40 years and I’ve never seen crowds like this”, Nik, my Uber driver told me as we headed down to the beach. Nik seemed to know a lot about aircraft. He told me he had just spent five weeks in Greece, where his cousin in a fairly senior pilot.

“It’s bigger than Territory Day”, a colleague told me.

I was surprised by the size of the crowds too. And the noise of the aircraft during the flyover.

Thousands at Mindil Beach to watch a major international defence operation, and ABC Darwin was there.

Doing a “live outside broadcast” from a beach seems like it’s a pretty easy job, but from my own experience as a radio presenter over many years, I know it’s quite exhausting. “The hardest part is having to smile for two and half hours”, I told our presenter, Liz, with a laugh. Radio people aren’t used to being in public. Behind the scenes, there are concerns about practical things like how you get a broadcast signal from a beach, without power, and with thousands of people using their mobile phones at the same time.

Awesome job by the ABC team, inc Liz, Clarkie, Daleen, James, Maree, Nick, Saskia, Teghan and Rebecca, who was back in the studio.

In contrast to the very “modern” way of broadcasting, I’ve discovered some wonderful pieces of history in the Darwin office.

Spotted these on a shelf at the ABC Darwin office. It was like most of my career in technology in chronological order.
A bit of history in the @abcdarwin office. The flag that flew from the ABC building at the time of Cyclone Tracy is on the wall, not far from the radio studio.

The impetus for starting this blog (twenty years as ago) was as a travel record for a 6-week role working at ABC Radio Darwin (then named 105.7 ABC Darwin). In the last few days, I’ve been re-reading (with a smile) those earlier posts. It was my first management role at the ABC, and I’m so glad they trusted me not to mess it up. Twenty years later, I’m back for a short time while a couple of the local managers take a break, and I’m so pleased they’ve trusted me again.

Oh, and did I mention the military personnel were very cute> :)

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