Triple H: a voice for you

Jenny Barlass

Squeezing the whole world into a 10 square metre space

Triple H FM has been delivering  high quality local radio to 68,000 listeners across Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Shires for over 15 years. Now with radio apps, Triple H programs reach worldwide so listeners may number in their hundreds of thousands.

This not-for-profit business depends on member’s fees, fundraising, sponsorship by local businesses and grants to keep going, with money always an issue. “We’re looking for more sponsorships,” says new station manager Rick Dunlop, “and it’s a win-win for a local business. Advertising with us is more affordable than most mainstream advertising and it gets the message direct to a highly localised customer base.”

Despite a shortage of funds, Triple HHH puts itself out there in the community with outside broadcasts at local events like the recent opening of the PCYC, International Women’s Day, Fire Awareness, The San Fun Run and Bunnings BBQs.

Here’s a rundown of some of the programs and the people behind the microphone. From an old rocker to a youth worker, it’s an eclectic bunch of people – many with no formal radio training – whose passions range from owls, recycling and running groups to dragon boats, jazz music and and all things Filipino and Azerbaijani.

All of local life swings by this little three room studio perched on the second floor of an unprepossessing Waitara building – but what comes out is honest, reflective, passionate broadcasts that keep us informed, captivated and entertained.


Streetbeat with Neil Ashworth, Fridays 4 – 6pm

Streetbeat is Triple H’s leading news, politics, local sports and issues show, where Neil Ashworth, with over 10 years at the mic, quizzes local politicians, councillors, business owners and members of the community.

“I wanted the decision makers in Hornsby and Ku‐ring‐gai to have a chance to express themselves on air to their constituents,” Neil said about his decision to join the station a decade ago.

He’s also hands‐on with outside broadcasts, including the annual Hornsby ANZAC Day service.

With a $2,500 grant from the Community Broadcasting Federation Neil is producing a 10 part documentary series on local Vietnam Veterans, still to be aired.  

“After each ANZAC Service I came across the deeply moving experiences most of our servicemen had been through.”

Despite being a pacifist who’s marched against the Vietnam War, his beliefs didn’t make  him immune to respecting what veterans have been through. “It’s important their stories are recorded and not lost to the grave.”

The first documentary reunites local veterans David Sturmer and Peter Bradford, 40 years on from the aftermath of a mine explosion in Vietnam on the day of the moon landing, the story immortalised in Redgum’s song ‘I was only 19’.

The second is a moving interview with Hornsby RSL Sub‐Branch President Terry James, on his 3‐day Battle of Binh Ba (hear it on podcast), considered one of the great Australian victories in the war, while in a third, RAAF Flight Officer Ian Getley tells the story of evacuating refugees from South Vietnam at the end of the war, including 70 bottle‐fed orphans in shoe boxes.

While Streetbeat is mostly a talk show, Neil picks a weekly music theme including a mix of modern Australian music and ancient tunes from distant shores, and throws his ever popular Gig Guide into the mix to keep listeners bang up to date.

Half Hour Hoot with Georgia Cameron, Michael Bianchino & Neil Ashworth, last Friday of the month, 5 – 5.40pm

Half Hour Hoot is made up of Michael Bianchino, a photographer who’s passionate about policies and politician’s impact on the social fabric of a community, and the voice of the Save Beecroft and Cheltenham Alliance, Neil Ashworth (see above) and Georgia Cameron, a copywriter and active member of the Cheltenham community. Together Michael and Georgia wrote the book ‘Mikey the Powerful Owlet: Saving Byles Creek Valley’.

They deliver colourful and controversial conversation on important community, environmental, political and social issues as well as original music, plus all the Powerful Owl news from Byles Creek Valley and beyond.

Guests very much reflect the passions and concerns of the presenters – the Animal Justice Party, Hornsby Green Emma Heyde, Kath and Kim from The Possibility Project, Beecroft Street Library, Children’s Threatened Species Art Competition, the Total Environment Centre and gardening supremo, TV regular and local Beecrofter Graham Ross.

Georgia and Michael will be launching their second book ‘Mikey the Powerful Owlet & Friends: Saving Byles Creek Valley & Beyond’ later this month at Beecroft Children’s Bookshop, chronicling the adventures of Australia’s favourite celebrity Powerful Owlet Mikey as he and his friends continue the fight to save habitat at Byles Creek Valley.

Radio Tagumpay with Violi Calvert, Jinky Marsh & Pin Montemayor, Mondays, 2pm to 4pm

Tagumpay means ‘success’ in Filipino and that it’s been going three years now means this two hour show hosted by three Filipino women is living up to its name, reaching out to over 6000 local Filipinos.

Aside from the usual segments of news, community events, children’s storytelling and Filipino language class, Radio Tagumpay boasts having Consul Marford Angeles of the Philippine Consulate in Sydney doing live phone link ups.

The three woman-team conducts interesting interviews of Fil-Aussie achievers including Vivid Sydney’s Creative Director Ignatius Jones, Soprano singer and award winner Sarah Ampil and Broadway stage actors MiG Ayesa, Roanne Monte and Jose Llana. The show also provides a platform for young people pursuing their passions for in arts and sport.

But Radio Tagumpay goes beyond being a radio show. It staged the 2015 and 2016 Inspire Concerts at Magpies Waitara, raising funds for Triple H and for child care in Manila’s slum area.  

And the voices you hear? Aside from her years of radio experience, Violi Calvert is also a freelance writer who won the 2015 Multicultural and Indigenous Media Award for Community Affairs Coverage. Pin Montemayor is broadcaster and writer and 2015 Filipino Plaza and NARRA Ambassador for Arts and Culture, while Jinky Marsh is a storyteller, writer and actor.

Monday Focus with Greg Smith & Adrienne McLean, Mondays 4 – 6pm

The new kid on the block, Monday Focus interviews politicians, community and business leaders, and everyone in between to get to the nitty gritty of what’s going on across the upper North Shore.

Julian Leeser MP has recently shared his feelings about mental illness and suicide prevention given his father’s suicide. Property developers flouting regulations was tackled by Andrew Burgess from the Landings retirement village in North Turramurra, with Hornsby MP and Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean following with an update about a blitz on the retirement residences.

“We’ve also has The Better Business Partnership talking about educating consumers and cafes about the benefits of reusing cups,” says Adrienne, “plus Philip Ruddock Hornsby’s new Mayor, and the Turramurra Trotters, a running group that’s been going since 1974.”

 Greg Smith has had a career in commercial radio and produces Monday Focus. He’s also a small business owner and a Civil Celebrant. Between insightful interviews he plays a wide selection of great music, often a favourite of the interviewee there at the time.

A former Hornsby Chamber of Commerce President, business is in Adrienne McLean’s veins – today she runs The Speakers Practice which helps small business owners boost their client base and promote themselves. She’s also been a Distinguished Toastmaster and past President of St Ives Toastmasters.

“In the past three months Greg and I have done over 35 interviews with members of the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai community,” says Adrienne, “from the Editor of the Monthly Chronicle to startup Boomerang Bags to the North Shore Bee Society and their struggle to protect the bee’s future in Australia.

“We’ll tackle issues that the community need representation on and will promote community groups who want to grow their membership.”

Small Biz Matters with Alexi Boyd, Tuesdays 9 – 9.30am

Small Biz Matters is a platform for local small business to work ON their business rather than IN it.  That’s the mantra of dynamo presenter Alexi Boyd, an expert in Small Business Advocacy and Education.

“We’re the voice of small business in Hornsby, and in the three years I’ve been broadcasting we’ve brought you over 100 experts, advice to small business from lawyers, accountants, marketing gurus, politicians, and many other experts in their fields who provide listeners with expertise to help their grow their business.”

A qualified BAS Agent with 15 year’s experience in corporate EA work and running a family business, Alexi is passionate about teaching her clients to be in control of their own admin.

“My guests are all very passionate about what they do. Lots of them have left high powered jobs to fulfill their lives with a small business that they care more about than the money. Some of the sacrifices are enormous!

“Whether it be helping other businesses to get a head or selling a product, all of my guests are interesting to my listeners because of their small business journeys.

Classic Rock Express with John Lee, Thursday from 12noon – 3pm

An eclectic mix of 60s, 70s and 80s music and entertainment from a familiar voice – that of Triple H veteran John Lee, at the station for 15 years.

It’s a slot in which listeners are invited to request their favourites. “Our audience comes from areas far and wide, thanks to the ‘tunein radio’ app,” says John. “Having this app allows people to hear Triple H anywhere they choose, even overseas.”

He’s also responsible for presenter training at Triple H, along with Jason Velleley and Andrew  Willoughby. “Our training course runs over six to eight weeks, and teaches the basics to new presenters so they can plan and deliver a show. “

Budding radio stars can learn the ropes with the John Lee Training Scholarship program. “Running for three years now, our last two groups gave us excellent shows. We had Teen Talk, with Quin, Phoebe, Yvette and Rachel, a one hour show with youth issues and music, then came In Between with Olivia and Georgia  which featured book and movie reviews, and their famous ARIA Awards performance. If you have an interest in radio, keep watch on the Triple H training updates for details of the next course.”

Radio Azerbaijani with Mahmoud Kargar, Saturdays 5 – 7 pm

Born out of a wish to help the Azerbaijani community better integrate into mainstream Australian life, Radio Azerbaijani began life at another radio station before moving to Triple H.

“Elderly Azerbaijani parents with a poor grasp of English are enthusiastic when they hear a radio program in their mother language,” says presenter Mahmoud Kargar.

“We’ve not only been involved in interviewing prominent Azerbaijani writers, artists and community personalities, but also running community picnics, concerts and other events during our 15 years of history.”

Stay in the Loop with Lucy, Sundays 8.30 – 10am

Sunday mornings are when Lucy Dahill, a youth worker, tackles topics in the mental and physical health space, drawing from inspiring people and projects locally and internationally. “We’ve covered parenting, mental health, suicide, PTSD, domestic violence, menopause, anxiety, self-esteem, getting a job, safe partying and even lying!” says Lucy.

“The purpose for the show is to share the importance of understanding and expressing what we feel, of paying attention to the small stuff so it doesn’t build into big stuff and of the importance finding support.

“Stay in the Loop with Lucy has given many school groups and young people an opportunity to find their voice in radio land. For example with Mount St Benedict they tell me what topic they’re working on – so far anxiety, and the language used when talking about refugees and then I interview them about the project when they come in, while at Normanhurst I heard them busking and they were really good so got them to come in.”

Lucy combines a number of passions and experiences to bring this show to Triple H. As a group facilitator, youth worker, complementary health practitioner and public health advocate, the threads of all these careers permeate the show and her interviews.

Aussie Music Weekly with Jason Velleley, Tuesdays 9pm – 10pm.

Aussie Music Weekly provides much needed exposure to Australian artists who don’t get mainstream airplay. From rock to pop, blues to folk, hip hop to funk, so long as it’s Australian, there’s a good chance you’ll hear it on Aussie Music Weekly. Artists also rock up to the studio to perform (engineered by Paul McQueen) and talk about their work.

It’s also syndicated nationally to over 45 stations via the Community Radio satellite network.

But it’s not just the music! AMW brings listeners interviews with Australian artists, as well as tour and concert information. “We’re also keen to explore the origins of Australian music and each week bring listeners the ‘Baktrak’ segment, where a classic Aussie track from the past will be played,” explains present Jason ‘Noddy’ Velleley explains.

Show us your Motor with Andrew Willoughby & Peter Thompson, Saturdays, 10am – 12 noon.

Start your engines: twelve years ago Andrew Willoughby launched a motoring program on Triple H. Peter Thompson joined a few years later and the Rev Dr Scott Fleming soon after.  Tanya Bertoli joined the team this year to bring a female element to the program, covering upcoming motoring events.

Their remit: latest motoring news, recent road issues from the NSW Police, mechanical tips for the home mechanic from the Rev Dr, interviews from local motoring specialists and racing drivers.

Over the years the team has also hosted a number of BBQs for listeners as well as three motoring shows for local motoring enthusiasts. This is a magazine style program with the different segments interspersed with rock’n’roll songs about cars and driving.

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