Presenting sport and news on community radio is just a part of Kyneton resident Doug McIver’s busy life, writes Matt Crossman
How long have you lived in the Macedon Ranges?
In 2004, after 36 years in Canberra, Jan and I moved to Kyneton to be closer to family members living in Melbourne so we could have more personal contact, especially with our grandchildren.
What are some of the community groups you’re involved in?
Some organisations I belong include Highlands100.7FM, Friends of the Kyneton Museum and Kyneton Bluestone Theatre, Kyneton Football Netball Club, Kyneton Transition Hub, Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group, U3A Kyneton, Uniting Church of Mia Mia-Kyneton and the Australian Labor Party.
Mental health care and services have been of significant interest due to my personal health, and the mental health of our deceased daughter Nicole who died of cancer in 1996. I had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in the summer of 1972-73.
Ultimately in 1985, I was invalided from my workplace due to my desire to change my medical intervention strategy to focus on a complementary biochemical approach without the use of pharmaceutical medication. My successful approach, which led to a complete recovery by 1991, led to presentations and submissions to many health conferences in an attempt to encourage further research into what was a successful intervention for myself.
In 2001 I was awarded a centenary medal for my community work in mental health.
What do you get out of your involvement?
There is much to be gained working, and being, with others in a positive environment. There can be difficulties and frustrations, but, if overcome, much can be achieved collectively for the good of society, community and individually. Learning happens, if I allow it to occur.
How/when did you become involved in radio?
During the 1940s and early 1950s I was an avid listener to ABC & commercial radio programs, especially sport. During my retirement from paid work, and as I adjusted to my medical intervention strategy, I was accepted as regular caller to Sandy McCutcheon’s ABC Radio National daily weekday program on different public policy topics.
During the 1990s, and up to leaving Canberra in 2004, I was also producing a weekly Friday night drive program for Clinton White (later a Liberal candidate for the ACT Legislative Assembly). I was introduced to HighlandsFM by the late Charles Gaal, who, with the support of the program committee, invited my consideration of presenting a weekly two-hour What’s News? program to include regular interviews with the local and regional newsprint journalists.
I agreed and here I am!
Have you had any funny/surreal/scary moments on air?
Inspite of the best possible training from the HighlandsFM legend Ken Helmore, I’ve made some simple mistakes when presenting the Tuesday morning program. Some so simple technically, that I have been most embarrassed. Like not turning on one’s microphone.
What do you consider some of the Macedon Ranges community’s greatest strengths?
There is a strong community ethos in the Macedon Ranges region which is a positive to building what some know as a therapeutic, caring, community. The skills and talents of those who work with others in community organisations assists community development, population health and wellbeing.
How do you like to spend your downtime?
Time with family and friends, reading and listening to the ideas and thoughts of others, opportunities to get along to live theatre and cinema and online browsing. As a former Melbourne Football Club under 19s and reserves player in 1958 and 1959, I wonder if I will ever get down to the “sacred temple” to see present day Demons players.