WHEN Ballarat tuned into 99.9FM on Sunday morning at 9am, the city heard the stations first broadcast from Voice FMs new community radio facility at Barkly Square.
Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King and City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Ben Taylor were amongst the first four guests to be broadcast live from the Ballarat East base, and even former ABC broadcaster, Jon Faine gave his best wishes on air.
Plenty of the not-for-profits announcers and volunteers were present to welcome the new era, and Voice FM Chairman, Ron Egeberg was grateful to everybody who has made a contribution to Voice over 33 years.
He especially attributed the launch of the new studios to the generosity of the Lillingston Charitable Trust.
Trustee, Morgan Murphy knew Les Lillingston, the former owner of Barnes funeral home, through Rotary. His wife, Irene, was one of the Lucas girls.
They met just after the war working at Lucas, they married, didnt have any family but spent their life working in community affairs and became quite wealthy, he said.
Weve established some very tight criteria as to how we manage the trust, and we will only donate to not-for-profit incorporated charities or community projects, and only for capital costs.
We come to you, were watching all the time and weve got our finger on the pulse about whats going on in Ballarat, and were very happy with how weve dispersed of the capital so far.
Mr Murphy saw the shell of the new Voice space a couple of months ago and was impressed by its development and transformation.
Congratulations to those whove put it all together. On behalf of the foundation, Im honoured to be invited here to help open this new facility and I wish everybody the very best with it, he said.
Cr Taylor visited Voices old base at Dawson Street last week. He was amazed by the amount of action that had taken place within a matter of days.
To see whats happened to pack up and move everything, like moving house, and then to be here in these magnificent studios now, they really are great, Cr Taylor said.
Weve got four people around a desk able to have a conversation, and have the community involved, so its a testament to the work thats been done by many, many people, and now the relaunch, 33 years, I think its fantastic.
Former Voice FM board member and Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King congratulated Ballarat Group Training for giving community groups, like the station, a home at Barkly Square.
What a fantastic place to be. A lovely initiative and it sounds like its evolved organically. Just watching the life of this building Its amazing, she said.
It was always meant to be a temporary home at Dawson House because it didnt have disability access, and now the transition to here, I couldnt think of a more perfect place for Voice to be.