There is of course - The Australian Community.
And within the Australian community there are numbers of other communities. Australia after all is officially called a multi cultural community.
I once belonged to a community. It wasn’t a large community but it was a community of sorts.
This was the 60’s music community. My belonging of this community manifested itself in the setting up of a Community Radio Station dedicated to the playing of good music. You could call it the Public Radio Community. In time there came into being several Public Radio stations.. There was a hierarchy of sorts. And they all competed with each other. I was there at the first ever public meeting regarding community radio and I sort of hung around. I went to many meetings. Eventually when we were awarded a licence I was elected as one of two coordinators. The community had over 500 members and I knew this because I had everyone on a computer file.
I embraced my community with affection, determined to do my best. The coordinator was a position I wanted to have, so I stood for it and was elected to the position. I was excited. It turned out to have more power than originally thought and this eventually led to my downfall. In the beginning there were two coordinators. We split the responsibilities. I took on administrative responsibilities while my colleague took on more public activities. I was in the background and my colleague was in the public eye. I did work hard. I sometimes had to be present at 4AM on Sunday mornings. I sometimes had to work until 2AM on Monday and Thursday nights. I had to monitor the 10PM Friday slot to keep the bad language at a minimum.
I am able to make some comments about the Public Radio Community. It was obvious that a lot of talented people exist who do not get onto radio. There are a lot of talented comedians who are unsure about appearing in public but are attracted to Radio Stations. There are a lot of very talented musicians who dont get a chance to play in public but are attracted to Radio Stations and assemble there. There are a lot of lonely people who are attracted to public bodies. There are a lot of people who would like to be on radio. There are a limited number of people who believe strongly they should be on radio.
After some time and some criticism of my activities there was a board meeting and it was decided that there would be three coordinators. It was thought that I did not recognise true talent and gave time to people who were not really suited to public radio. Appointing three coordinators did not really change anything and the level of annoyance with my decisions could only increase. I had the power to award broadcast time and I had strict rules about it. I followed more or less the first come first served rule. If a new subscriber submitted a proposal that was interesting I would listen and if appropriate allocate them a spot. If you were a regular who always requested a slot you waited until it was your turn. This caused enormous resentment from people who thought they were both more talented and more worthy and should have been given more time on air. In the artistic community the pecking order is often disputed. Quite often talented people do not get a go because they don’t look the part. Or don’t sound the part. But sometimes these people have talents that can be drawn out.
Because the Radio Station was a public body it sometimes attracted people we had trouble coping with. I experienced knowing a young girl who was actually homeless. I did not know how to cope with her and was sometimes confronted by the demand that as I had the power I should exercise it and remove her from the premises. I did not but neither did I take her home with me as I should have. For a time another young man who wanted to have a career as a singer slept in our lounge room. This person after some years did achieve success and I can claim that I knew him when he had hair.
However I become acquainted with a fact of life that is universal.
It seems in all things artistic the ego reigns supreme.
I have to admit that I was taken down by the blatant exercise of this concept.
At the end of the financial year and before the next annual general meeting it was decided that the Board would exercise its rights and take control of the station. All present official positions were abolished. The Board would have total control. Various board members would be allocated duties that they had expertise in. The Board would be elected by a strict preferential voting method.
I failed to gain enough votes to be elected to the board.
I left the station that night. I emptied my desk and left through the back door. I did not say goodbye to anyone. Later on I was contacted by board members and asked what happened to me. I was asked to come back to the station because I was needed. I declined.
I always tended to take criticism personally.
I had an ulterior motive however. I had during that year became a father. I enjoyed the experience of having a wife and child and settled into the pleasure this afforded. I selfishly followed my own desires. Of course I never regretted this.
Except for reunions I never went back to the station.
The Public Radio Community still exists.