RADIO 3ZZZ – Slovenian language Program, Melbourne


META LENARČIČ, the Coordinator of the Slovenian Language Program at the 3ZZZ, has for the book From 3ZZ to 3ZZZ, A Short History of Ethnic Broadcasting in Australia (by George Zangalis), prepared the following report, published in the book (pages 195 – 197), 2001, hereby presented with the permission by Meta Lenarčič, March 2013. Some information was emitted in the book, there were some changes since and updates, which are hereby incorporated in the report.

The Slovenian Language Program has been a part of 3ZZZ since its inception as 3ZZ in the late eighties. Through an hourly magazine program every week, a dedicated following of listeners has heard informative news bulletins, known about social engagements and listened to many interesting interviews. This is interspersed by traditional and modern Slovenian music.  

Tone Gorjup added the following information regarding the very beginning of the establishment of the radio 3ZZ: “In November 1987 enough interested members joined at the Religious and Cultural Centre at Kew to form an independent radio program hour and we have also lodged an application. The reply came with the suggestion to compromise with the group SSOV, which has as well lodged an application. In the beginning of 1988 we had a meeting and have formed a joint committee with the members of the Religious and cultural centre and the SSOV. Present was as well Dr Zvone Hribar, who prepared legal documentation. The committee’s leader became Frenk Prosenik, and I, Tone Gorjup, became the leader of the probationary radio programs. With me on the very first program were Jana Lavrič – Gajšek, Frenk Prosenik and Viktor Lampe, later Francka Anžin as well. For the second program Jana and Viktor have not been members any more, but Irena Birsa has joined the group.”

Peter Mandel OAM, Executive member of Ethnic Community Council of Victoria, and the than President of Slovenian Council Organisations of Victoria, instigated preliminary discussions with the ECCV.

Every ethnic group at the Radio 3ZZZ has volunteers. It needs to have at least 40 members. Slovenian group has 60 members. The number of members, according to the Rules and Regulations of 3ZZZ, gave the Slovenian community permission to air 1 hour per week in Slovenian language. A Youth Program (prepared and presented by the Slovenian youth) was later commenced.

The first on-air program was in 1988 broadcast at 7.15am to 8am on Tuesday. In 1990 our radio hour commenced at 4pm every Tuesday and today we broadcast in Slovenian language from 7 – 8pm every Wednesday. Changes may occur, but human stamina and determination cannot be thwarted, this is why we are here today and enjoy being a part of the station.

We would like to acknowledge the following people for their devoted contribution for our radio hour from early beginnings: Marjan Peršič OAM, Jana Lavrič and Frenk Prosenik,  Fr. Tone Gorjup OFM; Jana Lavrič and Frank Prosenik (from 19/4/88); Vinko Marn (from 1989) – (first solo hour on 23/1/90); Sr Petra Kropich (1989); Fr Niko Žvokelj OFM, Vicki Zorzut, Anica Markič (1989); Margaret Lenarčič (from 5/2/91); Fr Basil Valentin OFM MBE, Roland Mrak, Marija Oppelli, Katarina Vrisk,  (1993).

We feel that is important for our cultural tradition to be passed onto the younger generation to take into the future. First Youth program: 19-1-1994: Veronika Smrdel, Aleš Brgoč, David Krnel (1994); Vinko Marn, Viki Zorzut, Pavel Šraj (1994); Veronika Ferfolja,  Blaž Udovič, David Hvalica, Toni Lenko, Simon Grilj, Barbara Smrdel, Ljubica Postružin, Marko Cek (1995); Lenti Lenko OAM (from 1996); Jelka Kutin, Sonja Rupnik (from 1996).

Over the years the assistance of the Panel Operators has been most valued. Often ‘behind the scenes; and not heard on air’, these people have also given of their time and been prepared to undertake training sessions. The Panel Operators for the Slovenian Language Program have been: Aleš Brgoč (from 1989); David Krnel (from 1990); Darko Hribernik (from 1990); Frenk Prosenik (from 1989); Viktor Lampe (at intervals 1990-1992); Fred Toplak (from 1996); Feruccio Poščič (from 1996).

More presenters: Fr Metod Ogorevc OFM and Anica Smrdel (1997); Aljoša Rojac, Branka Žugič, Anita Oman (1998); Evelyn Kojc, Katarina Peršič, Lucija Srnec (2000); Pavelček Šraj, Lenka Šraj, Matija Šraj (2005); Luka Brne, Aljaž Habjan (2006); Nejc Kodrič, Gal Kodrič (2008); Melita Brežnik, Sonja Majcen (2010); Frances Johnson – Urbas, Toni Urbas, Grant Johnson (2011).

The Slovenian Broadcasters have always been active in many projects. One of our special tasks in 1997 was recording a tribute audiocassette prepared by Sasha Čeferin and Meta Lenarčič, to commemorate the life of Father Basil Valentin OFM MBE (1924-1997), a Franciscan priest with the Slovenian Church in Melbourne. Fr Basil was immensely respected and admired both locally and internationally.

Radio 3ZZZ stages an annual Radiothon and membership drive with cooperation from its presenters and volunteers to collect funds for each program to be able to exist on-air as government funding is limited (picnics in the halls of Slovenian Associations were introduced in 2001). Dedication, community donations and volunteer work certainly bring in the rewards; otherwise Radio 3ZZZ could not exist. The Slovenian team has, for the last several years, ranked in the top 5 money raisers amongst the 60 ethnic groups.

The Slovenian Broadcasting Group sees their involvement as delivering informative news through radio, nurturing and maintaining our rich tradition of cultural diversity to the younger generation, keeping our older generation well informed on local and international current affairs issues and community celebrations and most importantly maintain the coherency of language and culture for the interested and passionate. In year 2013 we have 85 members – the highest number ever – supporting the Radio station.

With the dedication that has been shown ever since the very beginning of Radio 3ZZZ, it is envisaged that the Slovenian Broadcasting Group will still continue to be a part of its history.

Meta Lenarčič


SONJA RUPNIK:  “I started in October 1997, I am a current convenor: from June 2014 a volunteer into my 18th year.

Was a ‘Station Treasurer’ for 2yrs on a Voluntary basis …  Member of the Executive Board of Management: 1999 – 2001

MATEJA HABJAN: Volunteer 2nd year. Commenced in December 2013.    Current: Treasurer from June 2014

BOTH ABLE TO BROADCAST & PANEL OPERATE.   WE’RE ALWAYS INVITING THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE TO VOLUNTEER EVEN ONCE A MONTH.  STATION 3ZZZ in turn gives Group Members Full Training for Panel or Broadcasting FREE of charge. Usually costs lots of money on the outside of Community radio. Volunteering is a ‘passion’ for purpose keeping the mother tongue language alive and community news a fresh, including on-going overseas news.

We both enjoy being a part of a wonderful Community Radio broadcasting in 68 languages on a weekly basis with over 5,000 members across all languages”.

Sonja added the following text to the Radio 3ZZZ web page

Sonja Rupnik

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