Central Coast Branch

Central Coast Branch


Saturday 15 April, The Voice to Parliament, Dr Gordon Reid, Federal MP for Robertson
10-11.30, Function Room, Eleanora Hotel, East Gosford. We welcome all guests to join us for lunch afterwards which can be purchased at the hotel. Please RSVP to Sue Young Ph:0409 362 126, email:[email protected]

Get involved. Make a difference…and enjoy stimulating company

ABC Friends (Central Coast) branch meets on the second Saturday of the month at the Elanora Hotel in East Gosford at 10.30am. Meetings alternate between Committee and social meetings. And remember, Committee meetings are open to all ABCF Central Coast members.

The next committee meeting is on Saturday, 1 April by Zoom

For more information contact Ross McGowen
Convenor ABC Friends Central Coast
Phone: 0400 213 514; Email 

Previous events in 2022

Federal MP for Robertson, Dr Gordon Reid spoke at the Christmas party, December 10

The Central Coast branch of ABC Friends held our annual Christmas party at the Elanora Hotel at East Gosford. Over thirty people attended a fabulous event with great food and conversations. The new Federal MP for Robertson, Dr Gordon Reid, spoke about the Federal Government’s current program, including of course the ABC. Questions included reception issues, the selection process for the ABC Board, parliamentary friends of the ABC, refugees, the Voice to Parliament and the proposed referendum for its establishment. Gordon gave a very impressive off the cuff speech and answered questions directly, taking the time to speak to members and supporters at length and clarify issues. Our sincere thanks to our wonderful events manager, Sue Young, Bill Young for assistance with publicity, Elanora Hotel staff, Gordon Reid MP, Jo Lloyd (Gordon’s office manager) and finally thanks to everyone who attended, ensuring a successful event. Our attendees included Janine Kitson, the convenor of the Northern Suburbs branch and a fellow ABCF NSW/ACT committee member. We appreciate Janine taking time out from a busy schedule to attend and look forward to more opportunities for our branches to collaborate in the future.

Dr Gordon Reid speaking at Central Coast Christmas Party

Dr Gordon Reid, MP speaking to Central Coast ABC Friends; Dr Reid with Ross McGowen, Central Coast branch convenor

Johnathan Holmes presentation, April 6

Former ABC journalist and producer, Jonathan Holmes spoke to ABC Friends Central Coast in April this year. Jonathan’s last role at the ABC was acting as the presenter of Media Watch. He currently chairs the ABC Alumni, an organisation comprising former ABC staff members. The Alumni have worked alongside ABC Friends to promote the case for maintaining adequate funding and ensuring that the ABC’s editorial independence is respected. Jonathan focussed on how the ABC’s independence has been threatened by its critics, both within and outside parliament and the consequential loss of funding. He emphasised that the most recent offer essentially maintains current funding levels but does not overcome the shortfalls imposed by previous budget cuts and terminated contracts. An audience of over sixty people responded with interest and participated enthusiastically in the question-and-answer session that followed. Our branch would like to extend its thanks not only to Jonathan, but also to the staff at the Everglades Club at Woy Woy who were very obliging and helpful and enabled us to maintain our booking over an extended period. Our thanks are also extended to our audience of ABC Friends and supporters, many of whom had held their bookings over the same period throughout the pandemic.

Election campaigning for an independent and properly funded ABC

Prior to the election being called, our branch of ABC Friends was off and running in advocating for an independent and properly funded ABC.

We visited Gosford markets on successive weekends on the 17th and 24th April. Our group was encouraged by the responses we received from the public at the market to our flyers. They featured the issues of ABC impartiality and its role as an emergency broadcaster. Further encouragement was extended to Helen Matthews who distributed more flyers along the Esplanade at Ettalong Beach and to our ‘wobble boarding’ group who displayed posters promoting the ABC’s role along the Central Coast highway at the Gosford waterfront. The balance of the six hundred flyers were distributed through letterboxes, pre-polling stations and at the two candidates’ forums we attended at Wagstaffe Hall on the 30th of April and at the Red Tree Theatre, Tuggerah on the 1st of May. The forum at Tuggerah featured former ABC editorial director, Alan Sunderland who also gave a very insightful address on the issue of impartiality.

The next phase of our campaign was centred around the pre-polling and on election day at polling stations. Following the recommendations of the ABC Friends National and State Committees, we formulated a ‘how to vote’ flyer for those surveyed candidates who supported the ABC’s independence and more secure funding. Our survey was completed and returned by the Greens candidate, Shelly McGrath.  We also received statements of support from Gordon Reid of the ALP and Jeff Lawson from the Indigenous Party of Australia. This support was acknowledged on the flyer. One thousand of these flyers were distributed at Gosford, Woy Woy and Erina prior to the election and at Kariong and Gosford on polling day.

The Federal election provided us with valuable opportunities to interact with the community and promote the ABC as an issue for voters to consider. My sincere thanks to all our members and supporters for contributing in whatever way they could to our cause throughout this period. I believe that the energy and commitment our branch displayed leading up to and including the election campaign has been recognised and acknowledged by our organisation. With the election decided, we took the opportunity to meet with ABCF members and ABC supporters on Saturday, July 9th to celebrate our efforts during the campaign along with the ninetieth anniversary of the ABC.