An Anniversary Story: 35 years ago, experimental radio stations 2EA and 3EA crackled to life in Sydney and Melbourne. Broadcasting in eight languages, these radio services helped connect a small but growing number of ethnic communities to information about the Government’s new Medibank scheme.
Fast forward to 1980 and this fledgling radio service was broadcasting in 47 languages and about to be joined by its television counterpart Channel 0/28.
From these humble beginnings one of the world’s most distinctive and diverse broadcasters was created - SBS.
35 years of service is an important milestone for what many downplayed as an experiment in multicultural broadcasting. During this time SBS has become an important cultural institution; a yardstick with which we can measure how accepting we are of diversity as a nation.
SBS was created to inspire and enable a national conversation about who we are and who we want to be. We ensure that all Australians can participate in civic life regardless of language or cultural provenance. We stand ready to make a vital difference and ensure all Australians can have a say in the society we aspire to be.
And if there was a need for us in 1975, then with record migration levels, double the number of people speaking a language other than English at home and higher levels of cultural complexity; the argument for SBS is more compelling than ever.