Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Retrospective - 31st December, 2008

Yes.. another year has passed, during which Orange Ribbon celebrated our 10th anniversary.

The program was originally started by Kim Benton and Shanton Change around July, 1998, and they were joined by Allan Smales a year later in 1999. Allan is still with the team, but both Kim and Shanton have long since moved on.

But 2008 not only saw the programs' 10th anniversary, but we also had 52 wonderful programs, covering a myriad of topics, people, cultures, nationalities, religions, and sexualities. (Gay, lesbian, bisexula, and transgendered.)

On this weeks program we look back at the year that was, and Allan & Hugh will present some edited highlights from interviews we have done during the year. The program will be spilt up into four major topic areas.
These will be:

  1. Religion: How our guests have been influenced, affected, indoctrinated, and otherwise been forced to question their sexuality because of the stringent rules of various religions.

  2. War and civil unrest: Some of our guests were not brought up in peaceful civil environments such as we have here in Australia. So we will include a couple of brief excerpts of our guests stories about living in a war zone, or in a country enfdangered by civil unrest.

  3. Some funny moments: We are not always serious on Orange Ribbon, and there have been a myriad of funny moments during the year. In this section we will present some funny moments extrtacted from the various 2008 interviews.
  4. Miscellaneous: This will cover a variety of topics from a guest who had a gangster father, an intercultural couple who have a surrogate son as part of their family, and an HIV Positive chinese guy who has first diagnosed in 1987 at the tender age of 19... plus other topics as well, depending upon how we go for time.

So please join Allan and Hugh this New Years Eve (31st December) from 7pm to hear some of the interview segments you heard (or missed...) earlier in 2008.

And from the Orange Ribbon team... we wish you a happy, peaceful, and prosperous 2009. We thank you for your support during 2008, and hope that you will stay with us during the coming year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Canadian white Christmas..? (24th December, 2008)

Yes... a Canadian White Christmas. For most of us here in Australia the entire idea of a white Christmas is more than a little foreign to us, even though we have had the images foisted on us over the years by means of Christmas cards, movies, picture books, Christmas carols etc.

However, on this weeks program (24th December, 2008) Hugh and Allan will be having a discussion with Michael, who is Canadian, and who will be able to describe to we mere mortals what it is really like to be brought up with white Christmases as being a normal part of life.

But the talk won't ALL be about a white Christmas. Michael will also tell us a little about his life in Canada, his family life, parents divorce when he was just two years old, what it was subsequently like growing up in a single-parent family, and why he decided to move to Australia.

Join Hugh and Allan this coming Wednesday evening (yes... it's Christmas Eve...) at 7:00pm to hear Michael's story... on Orange Ribbon... JOY's only multicultural gay & lesbian radio program.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This weeks program - 17th December, 2008

With the recent departure of Ash from the team, and with both Ka Fam and Aline away for the next few weeks on holidays, Allan and Hugh will be running the program for the next three weeks.

And a reminder to all Orange Ribbon listeners... over the past few years we have used the last program of the year to present a retrospective and recap of the years discussions and interviews. For this year, the Orange Ribbon retrospective will be presented on New Years Eve, 31st December. So put it in your diary now... and join Allan and Hugh New on Years Eve (before you go out and celebrate...) for our 2008 retrospective

However, for the more immediate, this coming weeks program (17th December). Allan and Hugh be talking to Somesh who originally comes from India. They will discuss his home life in India and his school-boy dream of moving to Australia to live. He will talk about that ultimate ultimate move, love, happiness, and then getting depressed to the point of almost returning home to India.

So join the team from Orange Ribbon at 7:00pm this coming Wednesday evening (17th December) for another interesting life story.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On tonight's program (10th December, 2008)

Earlier this evening Aline, Hugh and Allan had a phone chat with Dom Agius in London, who recently won a photographic competition run by Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) intended to celebrate Positive Living on World Aids Day earlier this month. Dom is a photographer, DJ, and music producer. He was born in England but spentsome of his childhood in Tanzania, among other places.

He has also spent some time in Melbourne and involved in some exhibitions and DJ work here.

Here is the resulting GSK promotion highlighting Dom's photograph, the subject in the photo being his real-life husband, and partner of 17 years.

In the second half of the program Aline, Hugh and Allan discuss multiculturalism, Orange Ribbon background, history and objectives, and why they are each involved in presenting a weekly gay & lesbian multicultural program. In this segment, suggestions were also invited from listeners for possible future topics of discussion, possible interview candidates, and with the recenty moving on of Ash from the team, even a possible oin-air candidate to assist in putting together the program each week.

If you have suggestions, comments, or other topic ideas, please send them to the team at orangeribbon@joy.org.au

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Farewell to Ash

Some sad news... we are losing Ash.

Ash(ish) joined the Orange Ribbon team in 2006 after the program had been in recesss for a year. Both he and Ka Fam were initially trained by Allan, and introduced to program presentation on JOY with a 3-month stint on a Sunday-morning international music program called Launchpad, which ran from June to August, 2006. During this time Allan also introduced Ash to studio panel operations and he soon became a competent studio panel operator as well.

Then at the end of August, 2006, a revamped Orange Ribbon hit the airwaves again, and Ash has been a membert of the team since that date.

However, while Ash has been taking a recent break due to a visit from India by his family, he has now decided to take a break from Orange Ribbon altogether, so we will no longer have him working with us.

Thanks Ash for your work, and good luck for your future plans and activities. We will miss you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A former Singaporean science teacher this week - 3rd Dec. 2008

In September, 2007, a very popular Singaporean science teacher rocketed to public prominence as a result of him "outing" himself via his internet blog. The furore generated in Singapore as a result of that public outing resulted in him taking down his blog again almost immediately, followed by he and his school being placed under immense stress as the various bigots and religious zealots vented their anger and annoyance.

Otto Fong had been a very popular, yet somewhat unusual, science teacher for another reason. Apart from his fascination with science from a very young age, he was also an extremely competent artist and cartoonist. During his teaching years he started using comics in the classroom to help him in teaching science, and to help make science more interesting and easier to learn for his students. As a result he has published books of comics, and books that teach science using his comic art.

And of course he still maintains his blog, and you can check out his blog for a fascinating read, and to see innumerable examples of his cartooning capabilities.

This week on Orange Ribbon we will be chatting with this wonderfully fascinating former science teacher, who has now taken up comics as a full-time career. Please join Hugh and Allan as they chat with Otto Fong, this coming Wednesday (3rd December) between 7:00-8:00pm on JOY 94.9FM

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

HIV+ Chinese man on this weeks program (19th Nov. 2008)

Regular listeners to Orange Ribbon will know that I have just spent another month in Hong Kong, having just returned to Melbourne early last week. In fact over the past 21 months I seem to have spent a LOT of time up there (upwards of 6 months spread over about 8-9 visits...), because I love the place, and I also have many wonderful friends who live there, both ex-pats as well as local Chinese.

One of my very good Chinese friends in Hong Kong is Marc. I have been speaking with him for almost a year now (over several of my recent visits...) with a view to having him as a guest on Orange Ribbon. For reasons that will shortly become obvious, I was keen to interview Marc, but I was obviously well aware of the sensitivity of a subject that I wished to discuss with him in any interview I might conduct with him.

After careful consideration over many months, Marc finally sat down with me in Hong Kong last Sunday week to record the interview that I will present on Orange Ribbon this week. I sincerely thank Marc for having the gumption and openness to be interviewed, because he has a story that will provide hope for many others in the same position as himself, and particularly for other Asians who might be in the same position.

Marc is a Hong Kong-born Chinese, from a somewhat unusual family structure, his mother having been married and then divorced in China. She then made the decision to start a new life for herself, so moved south to Hong Kong, re-married, then had Marc and four more siblings, in addition to five half-siblings that had earlier been born in mainland China.

However... at the tender age of 18 years Marc discovered that he was HIV Positive. That was in 1987... which means that he has been living with the virus 21 years now. He openly discusses how this affected his younger adult years, and how his attitude to life changed as time progressed and he realised that perhaps he did not have a "death sentence" after all.

So please join me this coming Wednesday evening (19th November), at 7pm, for this weeks edition of Orange Ribbon. I also hope to include a few music tracks of some recent albums that I picked up in Hong Kong while I was there on this most recent visit.

Allan Smales

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This week on Orange Ribbon (12th November, 2008)

On this weeks program we have John with us, an Australian of Greek background. He will share with us a little about being Greek and the Greek culture. And the United We Dance Party is on this coming Sunday and John has all the information about this exciting annual event. That’s not all, he will also be with us to talk about the support and social group, Greek and Gay.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This week on Orange Ribbon - 22nd October, 2008

On last weeks program we were pleased to have Ka Fam return to being a regular on the Orange Ribbon team, after having been away for the past 3 months. And in a couple of weeks Aline will also return to the team again after having spent the past 5 months in Brisbane on a work assignment.

But just as the full team is getting back on board again, Allan is now away in Hong Kong again, and won't be back until mid November.

But the remaining team will continue presenting an interesting multicultural program to you each Wednesday evening.

On this week's program we will be chatting to Jason who is an ex army officer, and who joined the army when it was illegal to be in the armed forces if you were gay. Jason will walk us through his life in the Army, getting married, and then coming out to being gay to his fellow officers in the Army.

Please join us again at 7pm on Wednesday evening for this interesting discussion.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Coming up 1st October program

As per earlier posts in this blog, Allan Smales was in Hong Kong recently, having only returned to Melbourne again three weeks ago.

This weeks program presents the second, of the two interviews that he recorded while he was in Hong kong. Christopher is a Hong Kong-born musician and lyricist, whose band, Tai Chi, had a number of Canto-pop hits in Hong Kong during the 1980's. Christopher talks about the much simpler (and poorer...) Hong Kong of his childhood memories, and his involvement in the Hong Kong music scene of the 1980's where he was a composer and lyricist for the then popular band, Tai Chi. We will even get to play some of his compositions during the program on Wednesday evening.

But Christopher has another side. He has found he has been able to communicate with the spirit world, and tells a few stories of his encounters, including the spooky "partying" in his family mansion of the spirits of aborted babies from some 30 years previous, when a family member had been involved in some illegal medical activities.

Christopher led a "straight" life (girlfriends and the whole bit...) until a chance sexual encounter with another male in the 1990's suddenly awakened his gay side, and has never looked back since. For the past 3 years or so, Christopher has become an active Buddhist, and literally daily consults with his Buddhist Master in whom he places a lot of trust, and who has helped him interpret some of his ghostly spirit world encounters.

All of the music to be played in this weeks program will also be by Christopher. So Join Allan as he presents this interview with another interesting Hong Kong chinese guy with a fascinating Canto pop musical background.
JOY 94.9FM at 7:00pm, Wednesday, 1st October, in Melbourne, or "Listen Live" by going to the JOY website and click on the "listen Live" icon at the top of the page.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An interesting guest on tonight's program

Earlier this evening, Hugh and Allan had a very interesting discussion with Geoffrey. He is traditional Anglo/Australian, born in the western suburbs of Melbourne, then a family property in Gippsland, and finally back to the western suburbs again. Geoffrey outlined how he later got involved in self-funded support work in India, which grew out of his attendance at the AIDS Conference held in Melbourne in year 200. As a consequence of that conference, and discussions he had with attendees from places like India, he felt the urge to try and help out with training and education in India, on a totally self-funded basis.

So for several years in a row, each year, Geoffery spent time in India helping with AIDS support, training, advice, assistance etc.

More latterly his current involvement is running accomodation and support facilities in the western suburbs of Melbourne, providing fatherly guidance, support, and accomodation for up to eight overseas students here in Melbourne... particularly those who come from difficult and/or poor circumstances in their home country. The objective being to provide them an academic foundation that will set them up for life in the future, and create a path out of poverty. Most of those he supports are younbg gay men, but he also helps and supports some straight students as well, and they all apparently get on very well. Again, all of this primarily provided using Geoffrey's own resources.

Geoffrey also briefly discussed his marriage, his children, coming out, and some difficult family issues that have affected his life.

If you missed the program, then please check out the podcast version of this interview available from the JOY website.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Program details for 17th September

Earlier this evening, on Orange Ribbon, we interviewed Raina, who is of an Anglo-Indian heritage. Her father is Anglo Australian and her mother is Fijian Indian, although Raina was born in Australia, spending her childhood days in Gippsland where she endured a lot of racism.

Raina spoke a lot about the racism experienced, and the racism and queer activism she was involved in when she later went to Monash University. It was at Monash that she met up with two Chinese girls who were of similar mind and experience. Through a series of events, Raina and her two "co-horts" decided to put together a cabaret performance with the objective of highlighting their views on racism, and so Ladies Of Colour Agency (or LOCA) began. (You can do a search on Myspace for Ladies of Colour Agnecy to find their profile.)

We learned more about their performance piece, and also that they have done a number of different audiences, from straight to gay/lesbian, and Raina discussed some of the varied audience reactions... particularly about the "hairy lesbian stripper" criticism from one of their performances.

The girls (as LOCA) will also be performing at the upcoming Melbourne Fringe Festival, where you can obtain more details of their events.

A different, and very entertaining chat on tonights program. Check out the podcast of tonights program from the JOY website if you missed this interesting interview.

(The three girls of LOCA make an important point)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Coming up on Orange Ribbon this week (10th September)

This will be my last post from Hong Kong before I fly out of here again early tomorrow morning, arriving home tomorrow evening, Melbourne time. Hopefully my partner will be able to pick me up from the airport, depending upon whether his dance class will have finished in time or not. Otherwise, I am going to have to take a long (and expensive) cab ride home from the airport.

As usual, I have had a great time back here, meeting a number of new friends, and picking up a couple of interviews. I had hoped to arrange more than that, but circumstances seemed to prevent that happening. But as previously reported via this blog, I did get to chat to two very interesting people here, and these interviews will be run over the next few weeks on Orange Ribbon.

For this coming program (Wednesday 10th September) I will be running the interview I recorded with Chung Yiu two weeks ago. (Refer to my blog entry for 26th August.) A fascinating guy, with a great story to tell. So please do join me this week on Orange Ribbon (7:00-8:00pm Melbourne time) and hear what Chung Yiu chatted to me about.

In the meantime, I am already planning my next return to Hong Kong late next month when I will be back here yet again for another (almost) 4 weeks. But do join me this coming Wednesday evening for my chat with Chung Yiu.

Allan Smales (A final report from Hong Kong before returning to Melbourne tomorrow morning)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another day, another interview in Hong Kong

During my stay here in Hong Kong this time I have gotten to know Christopher, a Hong Kong Chinese local who is a long-time musician, lyricist and writer, and who was involved with a band here some years ago and became well-known through their recordings and albums here, a number of which were very popular at the time.

Christopher got involved in Bhuddism about 5-6 years ago, and spends a lot of time these days with his so-called Bhuddist Master who is his counsellor and advisor in all things spiritual.

On the subject of things spiritual, Christpher also has the ability to liaise with, and interpret the spirit world. There is a very interesting background to his involvement in this spirit world and he has discussed with me his experiences dealing with the spirits of babies who were illegally aborted here in Hong Kong some 30 years ago.

Last night I was fortunate to record an interview with Christopher which I will be playing on Orange Ribbon sometime after my return to Melbourne next week. Christopher talks about life in the old Hong Kong of his childhood, and also about the "old" Macau he remembers before it was over-run by the casinos of the past 10-15 years or so.

Keep up-to-date by monitoring this Orange Ribbon blog so that I can let you know when I will be running Christopher's prerecorded interview.

  • POSTSCRIPT: This interview is scheduled to be run on Orange Ribbon on Wednesday, 1st October, 2008. Listen in for this interesting interview.

Allan Smales (in Hong Kong, but back to Melbourne next week)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hulu Cafe re-opening in Bali

I refer to my earlier post of 20th August advising that the famous Hulu Cafe in Bali (Legian) had been burned to the ground. Well, while not quite at the same location just yet (for obvious reasons...) I can now advise international travelers to Bali that a replacement Hulu Cafe and drag show re-opened last night (Friday 29th August), as per the following email I received.

Let's hope they can survive and ultimately be able to get back to a permanent home.

Allan Smales (Reporting from Hong Kong)

Hi All,

It is with great please to announce that Hulu Cafe will commence this Friday 29th August.

Due to the kind management at Bali Beach Shack there will be 2 shows starting at 10pm/11.15pm EVERY Friday/Saturday/ Sunday night.

Bali Beach Shack is a new restaurant located 200 metres from Hulu Cafe in the same street, on the same side, at Jl Melasti end.

Address is 7 Jl Sahadewa, Legian

All! Hulu staff will be there for our BIG re-opening this Friday.

Once again, thanks for all the love and support from the board members, locals and loyal customers.



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Interviewed a fascinating guy last night

(Allan Smales reports from Hong Kong)

When I travel, I invariably carry with me my microphone and recorder (or in this case, my laptop computer...) with the objective of trying to catch up with interesting people, and recording an interview for subsequent use on Orange Ribbon upon my return to Melbourne.

Last night, here in Hong Kong, I met up with such a fascinating guy called Chung Yiu. We first went to a local restaurant for a bite to eat, and then afterwards we returned to my hotel room to record an interview. (No.... wrong....! Not for the reason you think...! I needed a quiet location for recording our interview, so you've got the wrong impression on that one... ;-)

Anyway, I had found Chung Yiu by means of his blog (http://ipchungyiu.spaces.live.com/) a couple of weeks ago back in Melbourne and got quite absorbed in what he writes, this adventurous guy who seems to want to get all he can out of life... he's played with dolphins, bungee jumped off Macau Tower earlier in August and will be doing it AGAIN (but backwards this time...) this coming weekend, he is considering sky diving, loves to party, and who (as I was to discover last night...) had been training to be a Christian pastor at a Hong Kong Bible College until he was kicked out just a few weeks before his graduation because he decided to come out as a gay man.

You will get to hear Chung Yiu's interview sometime after my return to Melbourne later in September. Stay tuned for the scheduled broadcast date.

Allan Smales in Hong Kong.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Allan in Hong Kong ... in a TYPHOON!

Regular listeners to Orange Ribbon may recall that i was planning to be back in Hong Kong again from late this week, until 9th September. Well, I did the program with Hugh on Wednesday evening last (20th August), then Thursday morning I headed off to Tullamarine airport to catch my flight up here to Hong Kong. It was a bit of a bumpy ride, as we were pre-warned at the outset of the flight, due to a typhoon (cyclone as we know them in Australia...) in the South China Sea. But finaly landed in Hong Kong at 6pm last night (Thursday) and headed to my hotel.

What I did not know until after I arrived at my hotel, was that the typhoon was actually heading straight for Hong Kong, and so all through today (Friday 22nd August) there have been regular typhoon warnings and advice (on TV and radio) to the public to basically stay indoors.

I have never been in Hong Kong before during a typhoon, so was not quite sure what to expect. But it was certainly a very unpleasant day today, with public transport shutdown, most people not going to work, most shops and businesses closed, and the roads in Hong Kong (which are normally VERY VERY busy, were absolutely DEAD! I have never seen anything like it in Hong Kong before.

Take a look at these shots which I took earlier this morning BEFORE the main force of the typhoon passed over Hong Kong.

The windows to my hotel entrance were all taped up, there was literally NO traffic on Nathan Road with the exception of the very occasional car or taxi, no buses this afternoon at all, and virtually no people on the street.

Just 35 metres up Nathan Road from my hotel, a very large illuminated advertising sign came crashing down onto the footpath and onto Nathan Road itself, making a huge mess. Members of emergency services soon arrived to "fence off" this area, and to try and make the crash site as safe as possible under the circumstances. It was a big mess, and a very large sign, which (as far as I could tell) was a large Spaghetti House restaurant sign.
(Postscript: By lunchtime Saturday the "crash site" mess had been totally cleaned away, and by Monday (3 days later) a new large replacement sign was being erected. Things happen FAST here in Hong Kong.)

Mid evening this evening (Friday) my friend and I decided to go out and see if we could find somewhere to eat away from the hotel. But to no avail. Firstly because it was blowing an absolute gale, with strong blustery rain absolutely belting down, and secondly, it became very clear very quickly that there was absolutely nothing open anywhere in our immediate vicinity in Nathan Road.

As my hotel is located above one of the train subway (MTR) stations, we went down into the subway and found a 7-Eleven still operating, so all we were able to get for dinner this evening was some sandwiches, and some flavoured milk and fruit juice.

So... it's very lucky that I flew up yesterday instead of today, because most flights into Hong Kong International were cancelled this morning, and by this afternoon ALL flights had been cancelled.

I have been to Hong Kong many times over the years, and even spent upwards of 5 months here in just the past 18 months. But this is the first time I have ever encountered a typhoon in Hong Kong. Very interesting experience...!

Now... my next duties (once things settle down again over the weekend...) is to try and catch up with a couple of people with whom I have organized interviews that I will present to you, our listeners, after I return to Melbourne next month. See you all very soon.

Allan Smales (On holiday in Hong Kong... again!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Very sad news from Bali

After arriving home from presenting our program earlier this evening, I received an email from a dear friend in Bali advising of some very sad news.

On a couple of occasions in the past Orange Ribbon has either spoken to staff and/or drag queens at the Hulu Cafe in Kuta, and in fact on one occasion Kim Benton did a "live" phone presentation from the Hulu Cafe for Orange Ribbon some 6-7 years or so ago.

For those who might not know... the Hulu Cafe is a very well-known gay bar in Kuta (Bali) with a great drag show, very well-rehearsed, and always very popular and very busy. It was a Bali icon, and international gay visitors to Bali would always try to make a point of visiting this small, but very popular bar.

The sad news...? It was destroyed in a fire on Monday morning. This is a very sad and devastating occasion, and the Orange Ribbon team extend our sympathies to all in Bali (Hulu staff, entertainers, management etc.) affected by this tragedy.

Pasted below is the email sent out (and as then forwarded to me by my friend Izaak...) to all contacts.

Allan Smales (I've been to Hulu many times over the years...)


Hi All,

It is with great sadness that I have to report that Hulu café was burned to the ground on Monday morning. The business was closed at the time, so fortunately nobody was inside or injured.

We have no information about the cause until the police report is concluded. The owners , staff and many loyal customers are stunned and devastated and we are trying hard to cope with this loss. At this stage, the future is unclear as there are many things to cope with including meetings with police, insurance and lawyers.

When I have more news I will let you know.


Malcolm Warner

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This week on Orange Ribbon for 20th August

This week we tackle a subject that some people may see as being somewhat controversial. Never to be deterred, Orange Ribbon will address the topic anyway... so here goes.

Basically sex work in Australia is a legal form of work, so that's our starting point. But what about the rights of sex workers? And what do they have to deal with?

Even more importantly (and bearing in mind Orange Ribbon is a GLBT multicultural program...) what about immigrant sex workers who have come to Australia to work in the sex industry by choice or necessity? What type of support structures are in place? What problems do they have to face (language, racism, health, discrimination, stereotypes etc.), and are these problems any more (or differently) pronounced than for traditional Anglo/Australian sex workers?

What about sex workers who are gay or lesbian, and who either work with same-sex clients, OR who may even look after opposite sex clients? And what about the straight sex workers who accept same-sex clients?

All of these issues will be addressed in the next edition of Orange Ribbon, coming up on Wednesday evening, 20th August. We will be joined in the studio by a sociual and support worker who is employed by RhED (Resourcing, Health & Education for Sex Workers) which is a specialist support program run by Inner South Health Services.

We look forward to you joining Hugh and Allan between 7:00-8:00pm to look at this topic.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Orange Ribbon - 13th August, 2008

Ash and Allan got together earlier this evening to have an "on air" discussion with Coco, an Indian lesbian who moved to Melbourne just 5 months ago to undertake creative arts studies. Coco is a very interesting young lady because she accepts that she is lesbian yet has never had a female/female relationship (yet) nor "consumated" physically with another female to this point in time.

She told us about coming out 12 months ago (while she was still in India...) to her younger sister and brother who are both "cool" with her revelation. However, she is still to come out to her parents, which could be a little way down the track yet. Coco told us about being let down by an Indian flatmate friend here in Melbourne just 3 months ago when that "friend" advised Coco's mother that her daughter was a lesbian during a maternal visit, which had to be refuted for the time being.

Coco also has an interest in the darker side of life, likes heavy/dark music and is also interested in the goth culture, although she is not sure if she would take it up or not.

You can listen in to Coco's interview by selecting the "Podcast" option from the JOY website, then locationg the Orange Ribbon broadcast option.

One more program (20th August) and then Allan will be off to Hong Kong for almost three weeks, leaving Ash and Hugh to run the program for 27th August and 3rd September.

Next week (20th August) we have an interesting discussion coming up on immigrant sex workers in Melbourne. Join us at 7:00pm next Wednesday for that interesting chat with the Health and Education Support Worker (Carolyn Mogharbel) at Resourcing Health & Education in the Sex Industry (RED) in St. Kilda.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Always looking for interview guests/topics

The O.R. Team is always looking for new guests, or relevent topics to use on the program. So if you think you have an idea or suggestion then we would love to hear from you. Here are just some of the things we would be interested in:
  • you have an interesting international/multicultural story to tell, with a GLBTI slant
  • you are involved in an interesting or unusual activity relating to or supporting the GLBT multicultural community
  • you are a member/supporter of one of the many gay & lesbian social and/or support groups either in Melbourne OR elsewhere
  • you are a visitor to Melbourne from another country and can tell us a little about life for the gay community in your country
  • you are an international student studying in Melbourne and would like to share some of your experiences as an international gay or lesbian student
  • your multicultural social group has an important upcoming event or celebration
  • you are involved in a group that provides support, counselling, advice etc. to (e.g.) international gay & lesbian students, local non-traditional Anglo people of all races etc.
  • you have a suggestion of a topic we might cover, or have some specialists to join in, for a group discussion for our GLBTI multicultural listeners.
  • you and/or your partner has recently migrated to Australia, possibly with the assistance of GLITF (Gay & Lesbian Immigration Taskforce
The above list is simply an "ideas list" and is far from exhaustive, but hopefully provides an indication of the types of things we like to cover on Orange Ribbon.

The overriding criteria is simply that (a) it is of interest to our gay & lesbian listeners, and (b) relates to or is about non-traditional Anglo Australian people or groups.

Please feel free to drop us an email to orangeribbon@joy.org.au giving some basic details, and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible. If it is OK with you, please provide a phone number that we can contact you on (if that is a convenient method of communication for you), otherwise we will communicate back to you via email.

We are always keen to receive program content suggestions, and await some ideas from you.

A few opening remarks introducing this blog

The Orange Ribbon program began on JOY 94.9 around July, in 1998, and has continued as a weekly gay & lesbian multicultural program ever since, with just a few btreaks off-air during the intervening period.

The program was started in 1998 by Kim and Shanton, and they were joined in July, 1999 by Allan. In the meantime, both Kim and Shanton have moved on due to other commitments, work assignments elsewhere etc., and Allan remains as the sole (near to) original presenter of the program.

A number of others have been a part of the team over the life of the program, with the current presenters as per the composite photo at the head of this blog. These are:

  • Allan: Australian who is now retired after 40 years in the I.T. industry. Allan lives with his Singaporean Chinese partner of 13 years.
  • Aline: Of French origin, who joined the team in late 2007. Aline works in the accounting and auditing field.
  • Ash: Born in India, but has been in Australia for several years now. Works in the service industry, and lives with his Indian partner.
  • Hugh: Scottish, but moved to Australia several years ago. Hugh works in catering management.
  • Ka Fam: Born in India of Chinese heritage. Lived in Australia for many years. He works as a horticulturalist.
Currently, the team is somewhat "short handed" because Aline has been moved to Brisbane for a 6-month assignment, but expects to be back in Melbourne, and re-joining the team, from sometime in November.

And Ka Fam is currently undertaking training workshops which just happen to conflict with our Wednesday evening broadcasts, so he is also currently absent but expects to be back on board in October, all being well.

And Allan heads off on one of his many/frequent visits to Hong Kong from 21st August. On this occasion he will be away for almost 3 weeks. But he heads off back to Hong Kong yet again from 16th October (this time with his partner in tow for the first week...) for another 4 weeks.

So Hugh and Ash will be covering the program during these two pweiods, although Ka Fam will have re-joined the team by October anyway, so that should alleviate the situation.