In the framework of the celebrations for the 45 years of Radio SBS, Melbourne talks about its history

Jun 23, 2020


Two weeks ago, on June 9, we celebrated the 45th anniversary of the first SBS broadcast in Sydney. And today June 23, we celebrate 45 years of the first radio broadcast from the studios from the city of Melbourne.SBS is the most multilingual radio and television network in the world and we remember that in our early days we were known as Radio 2EA in Sydney and Radio 3EA and it was the first time that the sounds of languages ​​other than English filled the sound frequencies of the continent.

Key points:Today June 23 marks 45 years since the first broadcast of Radio SBS in MelbourneInitially SBS was identified as 2EA in Sydney and 3EA in MelbourneThe beginnings of SBS were not entirely easy and the service was not welcome by all

Radio Ethnic Australia started with a handful of programs, mostly in European languages, that were established to explain the Australian government's new Medicare plan to the ethnic community. Back then, no one thought that the initiative would develop until you became a key player that would bring together the country's growing cultural diversity.

SBS was born on June 9, 1975, during the last months of the Gough Whitlam Labor government, when then-immigration minister Al Grassby launched a world-only broadcast project, originally called Radio Ethnic Australia.

The initiative was supposed to last only three months, so there was a budget of about $ 38,000 dollars.

With stations 2EA in Sydney and 3EA in Melbourne, the service was created to explain the new public health scheme to a growing number of migrants in 15 community languages.

But what was not expected is the popularity with which the service would count, almost immediately, among the migrant community.

Stations 2EA in Sydney and 3EA in Melbourne were the seeds that germinated what is now SBS, The Special Broadcasting Service, which broadcasts in more than 60 languages.

SBS was formally established by former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser three years after its first broadcast, as a voluntary radio service for migrants.

The government of that time announced that migrant communities from that moment on would have the opportunity to listen to the news in their native language, even though they could speak English.

But the beginnings of SBS were not entirely easy and the service was not welcomed by everyone.

Australia was going through big changes back then.

The White Australia Policy had only been officially dismantled two years earlier and there was a growing need for social inclusion.

Commentators from other established radio stations received the new broadcasts with suspicion and mockery.

Thereafter, SBS grew steadily. More and more languages ​​were added, until on January 26, 1994, SBS began to broadcast on a national network, covering 90 percent of the entire territory.

Today SBS is considered among the most trusted media in Australia, broadcasting in 68 languages ​​and reaching the entire country through all of our platforms.

Hear the story of the SBS team in Spanish in Melbourne. 

The post about “In the framework of the celebrations for the 45 years of Radio SBS, Melbourne talks about its history" first appeared on the SBS en Español website.


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