Welcome to Shane's Pages

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About Shane

 

Shane PictureBy way of background, I was born in Tasmania in 1959 (you do the maths) and grew up in the northwest coastal town of Ulverstone.

After completing high school I did an apprenticeship in Fitting and Machining at the now demolished Tioxide Australia. 

In 1980 I married my sweetheart, the child bride, and we embarked on an entertainment industry odyssey that took us first to Brisbane and finally to Sydney. Our three sons were born in Sydney and I swapped from being a drummer in a band (quick aside Ė How does the band tell when the stage is level? The drummer is drooling out of both sides of his mouth!) to becoming more involved in the production of concerts and shows.

In 1982 I moved from the stage into the production arena where I spent the next 20 years working and touring all over Australia and internationally. For the best part of the 80ís I was involved in large-scale corporate communication events as a technician and producer.

In the early 1990ís our family moved to Morwell in the Victorian region of Gippsland to take up positions as community development workers. I kept my involvement in event management by helping to organise community events and managed to fit in some touring as well.

I eventually got into Monash University to study Sociology, Mass Communications and Psychology, graduating in 2002 with first class honours.

In 1997 I took up the offer to become the Australian Producer and Distributor of Alternative Radio, the award winning, unembedded independent radio program heard throughout the US, Europe, Canada, South America and in over 100 countries on Radio for Peace International.

Iím a former chairperson of the Latrobe Valley, Uniting Care Foodbank, have been a past Chairperson of Gippsland Community Radio. I have been a director of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), serving as the chair of the Satellite Advisor Committee (overseeing our Community Radio Network), as Vice President, Radio and as Acting Chairperson. I currently serve on the Asia Pacific Board of AMARC in the role of Treasurer.

Iím a past Chairperson of the Baringa Special School Council in Moe. I have been the Assistant Secretary of the Gippsland Carers Association and had involvement in a raft of other community groups in each area we have lived.

I teach Radio, Broadcast and On Line Journalism at various Monash University Campuses and Radio Production and Criticism at Swinburne University's Glenferrie Campus.

I am the Australian Producer and Distributor of the internationally syndicated Alternative Radio program and for 15 years produced community radio programs in Gippsland (including the award winning "Public First Program"). I have been involved in all areas of the technical, management and broadcast of outside broadcasts for local, national and international events.

Now that you have some idea of who I am, I hope you will proceed to the Public First Program editorial page to access the ongoing editorials and podcasts.

Contact Shane

email Shane

+61-4-1359 7828

The

Public First Program

 

Go to the Public First Program Editorial Home page to access text, audio and Podcast links for recent editorials.

 

The Public First Program was an award winning current affairs program broadcast on Gippsland FM in the Victorian region of Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.

The program ended in December 2008.

In June 1995 the Public First Program was born. It grew out of the desire by the local Public First Campaign to fight for the right of public ownership of essential services.

The program spent the first two years of its life fighting for the right of the public to retain ownership of the assets they had paid for. However, in realising the power of radio and the fact that public support had swung behind the Kennett plan a new strategy for the Public First Program was developed.

This strategy was to begin a process of public education by taking a dissenting and critical view of the local situation as part of the wider process commonly, but erroneously known as "globalisation". The program broadened out its coverage of events and commentary to include a vast array of topics.

The events leading up to this began in late 1992 when the Liberal and National party coalition won government in Victoria. In the lead up to that election the then opposition leader, Jeff Kennett, declared that there was a fiscal crisis in Victoria. He promised to repay the 'debts' of the state by introducing a raft of policies designed to reshape the state's economy and therefore social structure.

This policy agenda led to the largest privatisations of public owned property in Australia. The State Electricity Commission (SEC), was sold off. Prior to Kennett's ascension to power, the then ruling Labor party had laid the ground work for these privatisations by 'restructuring' the SEC and beginning the process of 'downsizing' the workforce. This involved carving up the once single entity and creating 'business enterprises' that were to manage distinct areas such as generation, distribution and retailing.

Each of these 'enterprises' was to become 'competitive' and 'customer focused'. The absurdity of these proposals were, obviously, lost on the proponents of the sell offs. Nonetheless, the carve up and sale of the SEC proceeded almost unhindered, despite massive public opposition.

The Latrobe Valley in Gippsland was to bear the brunt of this 'restructuring' as it was home to the four major generating plants, three of which were up for sale. The fourth was already privately controlled with contracts to protect that company's profits for the next 30 years. Not only were the generators sold off, so to were the poles and wires that feed electricity to homes and businesses.

The upshot of the government program was that the Latrobe Valley workforce was 'downsized' from about 12,000 workers in the early 1990's to about 5,000 by the middle of the decade. Union estimates (which were much later on adopted by government and academic researchers) of the flow on effect were that up to three times that many workers were indirectly impacted as their jobs were lost due to the privatisation process and the winding back of support businesses. 

The public response to the privatisation was overwhelming. Even before the 1992 election there were demonstrations against the Kennett plan. The largest of these saw over 100,000 people take over the streets of Melbourne. The public did not acquiesce easily but, as is the case where power, money and influence are concerned, the battle was lost by 1996 and the SEC was no more.

The lawyers, 'consultants' and privateers were the only true winners gathering up millions in fees for their 'advice' and 'expertise'. The price of electricity was, Kennett told us, going to fall. It hasn't. Businesses would come flooding into the state to take advantage of the cheap electricity, we were told. They haven't. What did occur is that in less than ten years most of the original owners of the assets have had to sell out as they cant turn the huge debts incurred in buying the businesses into the substantial profits they were promised.

The privatisation battle in Victoria might be lost, but there are many other battles still being fought. In it's quests to support the public in their battles the Public First Program has been privileged to win numerous awards including two national community radio awards for Excellence in Spoken Word.

only Shane's Site

Quick links to recent editorials

Foot Spas R US (MP3)

TV or Bust (MP3)

Gaza, Gas and War (MP3)

Gaza Again (MP3)

Gouge Your Eyes Out (MP3)

Human Rights or Our Shame (MP3)

Dentists, Dole and Private Schools (MP3)

Not Winning. Losing (MP3)

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Police Arrest Lawyers in Kuala Lumpur.

Human Rights Day Rally, 9th Dec. 2007

Pictures and Story

 

Israeli Troops Storm Bethlehem. 

20th Nov. 2006

Pictures and Story

 

World Press Freedom Day, 2006.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Pictures and Story

                                                                   

Links to external sites and friends of Shane and the Public First Program.

Alternative Radio - Australia

Alternative Radio - America

Radio New Internationalist - From the producers of New Internationalist magazine

AMARC - International Public and Community Radio Association

Community Broadcasting Association of Australia

Gippsland FM

 

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