When Bill Lucas “accidentally” stumbled across 979fm Melton Community Radio in 1986, he fell in love with the idea of community radio.

“I thought, that’s lovely music, I’d like to do it,” Mr Lucas says.

Thirty years on, he’s still on the airwaves.

These days, Mr Lucas co-hosts Your Community Show each Wednesday with Jeff Tabone and Johnny Soprano.

But audience engagement has been declining, Mr Lucas says. He hopes more Melton residents will embrace their local radio station.

“It’s a community thing, for people from all walks of life. Everyone’s equal and we give everyone a go no matter what,” he says. “But community radio has not been listened to as much as I’d like it to be listened to.”

Mr Lucas believes the future of radio is in the community sector as opposed to the commercial stations simply playing music. “We need to communicate with people and what better way is there than community radio?” he says.

Mr Soprano says being on the airwaves allows presenters to “show off like nobody’s business” and find their knack for storytelling.

Trainee Brendan McGrath says he might have found his true calling.

“I was unemployed for some time and I decided to get involved with 979fm Melton Community Radio because this is more of a passion than real work,” Mr McGrath says. “It gives me a chance to express myself.

“Today I was talking about firewood at my own home – just a lot of commonsense stuff.”

To learn more about the radio station, search 979fm Melton Community Radio on Facebook.