Australian club promotes Rotary on the air
Bloomer and Japanese Ambassadorial Scholar Chinatsu Endo after an episode of the Rotary and Community Service
radio show that aired in August 2008. Photo courtesy of Brian Bloomer
An eastern Australian Rotary club has taken to the airwaves weekly to spread the word about Rotary in its community.
The Rotary and Community Service radio show is a product of the Rotary Club of Canterbury, Victoria, and has aired on Whitehorse Boroondara Community Radio, serving Melbourne's eastern suburbs, since 2006. The two-hour music and talk program, produced by club president Brian Bloomer, includes an interview each week with Rotarians about their service projects, how they improve people’s lives, and how the public can get involved.
Bloomer served as the sole interviewer for the talk segment until earlier this year, when he became president of the Canterbury club. Now he shares the task with fellow club members David Proud and Neil Williams and Rotaractor Andy Reed, who each present one show per month.
Bloomer says he loves talking with Rotarians and members of the Rotary family who are passionate about their service. “Some of the best have been GSE [Group Study Exchange] interviews -- teams coming to Australia and Aussie teams returning from their trip.”
Another of Bloomer's favorite subjects is his club's regular medical trips to the Philippines. In 2007, the club sponsored three university students who helped screen patients for vision and hearing problems. Bloomer interviewed club members about the project and chatted with the students in an episode available in the show's archives.
He freely admits that he is not a radio professional. Before taking to the airwaves, Bloomer took courses offered by Australia's national broadcasting association. He also filled in several times on other radio programs before approaching the station about creating his own show.
Bloomer prepares well in advance of each broadcast, developing a written script and scheduling topics far enough ahead of time so guests will be ready to give a good interview. He says he keeps the show interesting by asking his subjects open-ended questions and selecting music that will appeal to his audience.
"Having a team that can provide a commitment to the station" has also been vital, he says.
- Listeners can stream live broadcasts on Fridays, 6-8 p.m. Australian Eastern Time (GMT +10), at www.3wbc.org.au.
- Learn more about the program and download podcasts from the Canterbury club's Web site.
- Look for more tips from Bloomer on using radio to promote your Rotary club in the January issue of Rotary World.