ABC friend

c. 2005

Donated by John Ellis

Museum of Australian Democracy collection

In 1976 a group of Melbourne citizens calling themselves ‘Aunty’s Nieces and Nephews’ formed in response to government threats to severely cut funding to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The group later renamed itself Friends of the ABC.

The objective of Friends of the ABC is to support the ABC in its role as an independent and comprehensive national broadcaster. It lobbies to ensure adequate government funding, resist government influence or commercial sponsorship and advertising and promote the diversity of Australian culture.

Friends of the ABC engages in activities including informing the public and the media, preparing submissions for government reviews, liaising with Members of Parliament, organising rallies and publishing a newsletter. The organisation has groups in each state and territory that work together in the national interest.

The donor of this badge, John Ellis, writes:

I wore this badge to work and to events to show support for the ABC … When wearing the badge, it was a connection with other people who supported the ABC. We wanted to show our opposition to both sides of the Federal Parliament when they intended to reduce funding for the ABC. My particular opposition is to the down-grading of … radio and TV documentaries, which often give the general Australian public the only alternative viewpoint. I saw at first hand [the effect of] the closure of the ABC Melbourne community radio station 3ZZ.