Talking about a very big ride

I’ve been on my bike a bit more recently. I need to get fit. There are big plans ahead.

For just over three years I’ve been working for Compassion Australia in our Western Australian office. We run an annual fundraising ride of just over 500 km named Ride for Compassion, but next year we’re taking on a much bigger challenge with a ride from Perth, Western Australia to our head office in Newcastle, New South Wales.

The Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast will be a huge event that will make a major impact for children living in extreme poverty. We’re now at the point of wanting to attract suitable riders and support crew who would be happy to raise significant funds as well as undertake such an epic venture.

The ride will start on Saturday the 15th of September 2018. We will arrive at Compassion’s head office in Newcastle, NSW on Tuesday the 16th of October, having cycled over 4000 km. There’ll be 28 riding days and 4 rest days. The average riding distance for those riding days will be 150 km. Our longest day will be just under 200 km.

I have quite some experience with the ride aspect of the trip having cycled across Australia five times previously but knowing that this time will be in support of Compassion is an extra thrill for me.

I recently had the opportunity to return to my old workplace, Perth’s Christian radio station 98five, and be interviewed by longtime colleague and friend JD, about both our annual ride and next year’s Coast to Coast event.

You can hear our chat by clicking the play button on the audio player below.

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On the Other Side


For many years I worked in radio at 98five. For the last three years I’ve been working for Compassion Australia.

Last week I was on the other side of the broadcast desk. After conducting hundreds of interviews during my time in radio, I was instead the one being interviewed when I dropped in to take part in 98five’s annual Radiothon. I was a guest during the breakfast program with Kirste and Morro.

If you want to hear how it all went, just click the play button on the audio player below.

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Reality Radio


We hear a lot about ‘reality television’ these days but I still reckon radio is a great way to convey real stories. You don’t need a full production crew with cameras everywhere to capture reality for radio. A small audio recording device is a lot less intrusive than a camera or three and so people can tend to open up a lot more. Of course, having worked in radio for over 25 years I’m probably biased.

In 2008 I saw the work of Compassion for the first time when I was invited to travel to Haiti and Dominican Republic. Back then I was working for 98five, hosting the morning program. (The picture above was taken in Dominican Republic.)

Even though it’s been over two years since I moved out of radio and began working for Compassion Australia, tomorrow I’m hopping on a plane and heading to Manila in the Philippines with a team from 98five. Next week they’ll be broadcasting from Manila to tell the story of how Compassion is releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Our upcoming trip has revived memories from that very first trip where I was gathering stories about Compassion to be used on radio. Today I want to highlight just one of the stories that came out of the trip in 2008.

I’ve interviewed dozens of famous singers, authors, personalities, politicians and celebrities over the years but if I had the chance to choose one moment from my radio career that stands high above the others it is the opportunity to tell Ada’s story.

Ada’s Story

The story of this young girl will break your heart then give you renewed hope in the difference that each one of us can make in the lives of others.

I beg you to take just fourteen minutes to listen to Ada’s story. I know that for many, setting aside fourteen minutes is too much to ask. If you’re one of the few who takes the time, I guarantee it’ll be worth it.

If you want to hear something to lift your spirits just click play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

The whole story is worth hearing but I’ll warn you now that it will really start to touch your heart around half way through.

Ada is a girl I met and interviewed in Dominican Republic. She was a beautiful twelve year old with a bright future. I wish I could show you the picture I had taken with the two of us but I prefer to keep her identity somewhat private. You’ll understand why as you listen.

I talked to Ada, I visited her home and talked to her parents. I’m sure that all of us that visited her home on that day will remember the warm hug she gave each one of us as we left. She was a remarkable young girl.

I managed to track down her sponsor in Australia and shared Ada’s story with her. Lisa’s reaction to hearing her sponsored child’s voice is priceless. Hearing Lisa describe how she feels when she hears just how much of an impact she has had on Ada’s life is inspiring.

I don’t know what else I can say but to again beg that you take the time to hear this amazing story. If you do take the time, please let me know.

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Do I Miss It?


There’s not usually a week that goes past without someone asking me if I miss it. It was such a big part of my life for so many years you can’t blame people for wondering.

I started working in radio on the 8th of May, 1988. That’s almost 27 years ago. It was my full time job for almost twenty of those years and something I did part time for most of the years in between. Towards the end of November 2013 I took the leap from working in radio to working for Compassion Australia as a Relationship Manager.

At the moment I’m on the Gold Coast where this week I’ll be representing Compassion the Christian Media Australia Connect 2015 Conference. I’ll be surrounded by radio people and others involved in media. No doubt some will ask me if I miss working in the industry.

Even after all these years, nothing beats the excitement of being live on air, knowing that anything could happen. Being able to communicate to thousands of people through such an ‘immediate’ medium is both challenging and rewarding. And let’s be honest, when it’s all working as it should, it’s a lot of fun. It can also be an opportunity to communicate important, even life changing truths.

Well maybe ‘almost nothing’ beats working in radio. When you have the chance to play a part in releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name and seeing that difference that can make, I can easily say I don’t miss radio. Yes, there are times that I hear of someone interesting heading to Perth there’s a moment where I wish I could interview them, but overall, what I’m doing now is what I want to keep doing for a long time.

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The Hardest and Easiest of Times


Wednesday the 27th of November, 2013. It was the beginning of something new. It was the beginning of a difficult journey that has been one of the easiest upon which I’ve ever embarked.

I’ve worked in radio for a long time. Over 25 years in all. My most recent time in radio lasted nine and a half years so when I started telling people that I was leaving radio to work for Compassion Australia I had quite a variety of responses. Many talked about it being a huge change and about how courageous it was.

Big change? Courageous? I suppose they were thinking about how big a step it is for a 50 year old man to be changing careers. I have to admit that until friends started drawing my attention to it I hadn’t really considered it to be such a major change. I always knew there’d be a steep learning curve and that I would have to master a range of new skills but it all just seemed so natural and logical to me.

My passion to help those in poverty has been growing over many years so the opportunity to be more closely involved with an organisation that is recognised as being a world leader in poverty relief was an easy step to take. It just makes perfect sense.

Compassion works to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. The photo above is one I took while visiting some of the children Compassion was releasing from poverty in Dominican Republic back in 2008.

Over the last few weeks my brain has been spinning with everything I’ve been learning. My new job is indeed very different to my last job but as someone who has simply wanted to be where I believe God wants me, it’s just another step on the pathway.

So … in some ways this change has been the hardest of times, and there is still plenty of learning and adjustments to come, but it’s also been one of the most natural and easy things I’ve ever done.

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