Posted February 27, 2008 16:57:00 Updated March 3, 2008 09:10:00
ABC New England North West - a history

"Radio is a new and powerful force which has entered modern life; a force capable of enriching and ennobling us, but equally capable of debauching a people if employed for unworthy ends."

It was with those words back in 1948, ABC Chairman Mr R.J.F. Boyer opened radio 2NU. It's now ABC New England North West, a name that represents the length and breadth of the station's broadcast area, but very much employing the same philosophy.

From the temperate high altitude climes along the snaking line of the Great Dividing Range, to the north western Flat lands that look toward our country's sunburnt heart, from the western edge of the Hunter Valley up to the Queensland border, we cover more than just kilometres.

The ABC studios are located in Tamworth, perhaps best known as Australia's home of country music. It was there in the small town hall the very first broadcast in 1948 took place. It wasn't until a year later studios were built, and sports and music programs were scheduled on the airwaves.

1949: Music session 8.45 - 9am

1950: Local sporting services began

1950: Local news bulletins

1953 Local farm Breakfast session

1960: Local Women's Session

2NU has come along way since then, including changing to the name New England North West in 1994, and it has become a fixture in the heart of Tamworth's Peel Street. It still provides a voice for local people about rural and regional issues. It is a focal point for many community campaigns, including the Drop in Stitches knitting campaign to create rugs for disadvantaged people around the world.

Presenting weekday Breakfast and Morning Programs, as well as Saturday morning Breakfast and Local Sport, the ABC New England North West NSW team work hard to report on the myriad of things happening around us every day, and love to get on the road and be part of some of of the regions main events.

The area's history is long and distinguished. A diverse range of Aboriginal cultures thrive alongside European and other cultures, forming a colourful assembly of farmers and graziers, writers and artists, famous figures...and our fair share of bushrangers too.

Tenterfield in our far north witnessed the Federation Speech, delivered by Sir Henry Parkes on 24 October 1889, marking the birth of our nation. On 29 April 1967, the people of New England came very close to seceding from New South Wales and forming their own state. In the end, the anti-secessionists won the referendum held on that day to decide the matter.

Rural industries form an integral part of our region's economy and way of life. Cotton and grains, prime beef and wool are the mainstays of a diverse agricultural landscape, and coverage of rural news is an important part of our broadcasting agenda. Our rural reporter brings you news of farming and grazing industry developments, new methods and technologies, as well as day-to-day nuts and bolts like market facts and figures.

Many people look to New England as an educational centre. Our region encompasses an educational diversity that spans remote home tutoring and one-teacher schools through to a world class regional university that sets the pace in many areas of research and study.

Gold and precious gem fossicking have brought many people to our region, and the district around Inverell is famous for its sapphires. Further west, the flat open lands are known as 'Big Sky Country', where the wide outdoors roll on forever. Far from the city smoke, this region is the home of much scientific astronomical study. There are also excellent wilderness areas and unique rock formations for the sightseer or bushwalker alike.

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