Peter Gill Outside Studio

Peter Gill – Radiohead

I recently had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Peter Gill from local community radio station Coast FM 101.9. Peter has a long history working in the Australian music music industry and has spent a career working with household names in both rock and country circles. Volumes could be written about Peters colourful history in the industry (indeed, during our chat, the suggestion of him having a book ghost written did come up!), However, the purpose of this article is to let the Cairns music community know about a fantastic resource that is largely not being taken advantage of.

But first, let’s go right back to the beginning, how did Peter first get into radio? “I always wanted to be radio when I was young. I was bronchial Asthmatic, and in those days they thought you had to be in an isolated room because of dust causing problems. I was locked up most of the times I was sick listening to radio, and it became something I enjoyed. I listened to the early top 40 programs and gimmick programs. Eventually dad helped me build a studio in my bedroom with a couple of turntables and a microphone. We were recording there, and eventually I got up the courage to go into a radio station and hand it to the program manager to see what he thought. He thought I was a lot older, and so kept on training me at that stage”

Peter is a music lover at heart, and incredibly supportive of local original music. Being somewhat of a technical guru with a wealth of knowledge, Peter once volunteered to help out the more inexperienced performers at Terry Doyles awesome singer/songwriter night with some technical advice on mic usage after some complained about not being able to hear themselves properly. “They have never been taught that, it’s never been suggested to them” Peter said emphatically.

Coast FM is Peter’s latest project and it is a resource being severely under utilised by the local community in general. With a massive 2000 watts license (more than some commercial stations), it is capable of being heard from the Northern beaches to Gordonvale. They are currently looking for volunteers and presenters to run local content and general help running the station. I asked Peter what, exactly is he looking for? “Community radio is supposed to be for the locals. Us playing tracks that commercial radio stations play is not an alternative. So what we need to do is build in information about local artists. We want someone that can go and talk to the local artists, not just as a chat, but someone that can have a look into their life so the listeners can relate to that artist as a person. You’ve got to be able to research the subject, then write a story, then get the person you are interviewing to tell the story. Then you need to be able to integrate it into some kind of radio program. It can be about musicians, artists, peoples favourite local bush walks, anything that takes listeners on a journey really”

Along with presenters, the station is also looking for administrative help, assistance with their web site and volunteers for day to day running of the station. If you have an idea for a program, or would like get some hands on experience working in radio, there is a golden opportunity awaiting you…

Contact Coast FM on 07 4058 4358 or through their web site –

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