SapphireFM Community Radio: 97.5FM

Some of the members of SapphireFM Community Radio committee John Drakopoulos, left, Tommy Lee, Geoff Cambell, Betty Mannah, Chris Oyrer and Greg Bordas.

Some of the members of SapphireFM Community Radio committee John Drakopoulos, left, Tommy Lee, Geoff Cambell, Betty Mannah, Chris Oyrer and Greg Bordas.

The Merimbula, Pambula and Tura Beach community will soon have a community radio station it can call its own.

It will be be named SapphireFM Community Radio and will broadcast from Arthur Kaine Drive, Pambula.The proposed frequency is 97.5FM.

The construction of the broadcasting studio is under way after receiving development application approval from the Bega Valley Shire Council.

The idea to establish a community radio station is the brainchild of John Drakopoulos, who many in the community will know as the the former restaurateur of  Merimbula’s Cantina.

John shared the concept with friends, was buoyed by the positive feedback and enthusiasm to be involved. “It all grew from there,” he said.  A committee was formed and the project advanced.

With a background in recording and audio, John is well equipped to make a success of the venture. He had his own recording studio (Core Recording studios), in Melbourne for 15 years where he produced and recorded albums for bands, wrote commercials for radio and television. He also ran an audio department when as part-owner of a hotel he was a doing live shows for channel 31 community TV. John notched up further experience as a member of the committee at 3CR community radio Melbourne. 

Committee members also bring  skill sets with them. Tommy Lee is a website designer, Greg Bordas, technical engineer, Geoff Campbell, a sales manager, Betty Mannah, Early Learning teacher and Paula McPherson administration.

Sapphire FM's aim is  to develop community and school participation in the provision of local content such as news, live music, tourist info, and events. 

“We also have members who can provide training in broadcasting and recording as we plan to do live to air shows,” John said.

The project has won the support of Bendigo Bank with a donation of $1000.

The  Merimbula Chamber of Commerce wants to learn more and has asked the committee to make a  presentation  outlining the project.

With that in mind there will be a public meeting on Tuesday, September 9 at the Merimbula RSL Club at 7.30pm and  the community is invited.

If you are  thinking of attending please phone John on 0425 757 813 or go to the website www.sapphirefm.org.au and send a message of attendance.

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