October 2023 news and updates

October 2023 news and updates

Welcome to the October 2023 E-news

In the aftermath of the Voice referendum much will be said about why it was rejected. Some post-referendum polls have already been published.

As ABC Friends, our particular interest is in the role the ABC played. The ABC is scrutinised more closely than any other media outlet because it is our public broadcaster. It receives public monies and is accountable to taxpayers for those funds. And, because it has a long history of quality reporting, we expect a lot from it. 

Throughout the campaign, I saw complaints that the ABC was giving too much attention to the yes or the no campaign, that its coverage wasn’t fair or that its journalists were biased. Many complaints focused on individual stories, but it’s important to look at the big picture to understand how the ABC approached the campaign.


Did the ABC give balanced coverage to both sides of the debate? Did it properly fact check false claims? Did it present the differing perspectives of Indigenous Australians? Did it help inform and educate us about the issues?

STOP PRESS: Two new appointments to the ABC Board

The Minister for communications, Michelle Rowland, has appointed Ms Nicolette Maury and Ms Louise McElvogue as non-executive directors to the ABC Board for five-year terms.

Tell the PM – no more captain’s picks

The Albanese government is now considering submissions to the review of the ABC’s independence but it’s not too late to have your say. 

You can help us stop political interference in the ABC by making sure there are robust, transparent processes for appointing the board and the Chair.

If you haven't already, sign our petition to send a clear message to the Prime Minister that the ABC's independence matters to Australians. Share this with friends and family too.

We’re halfway there - please help us reach the finishing line

In the past 18 months you’ve helped us win some real improvements for the ABC. The government introduced 5 year funding, restored indexation, arrested the decade of brutal funding cuts and initiated a review on strengthening the ABC’s independence.

But it will take much more work to restore the ABC and protect its future. 

Help us keep this fight going

We’ve launched a new drive to raise $40,000. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we’re now half-way there. 

Please help us reach our target. Your donation will help us undertake essential work in our campaign to restore the ABC. 

We’ll keep up the pressure, but we can’t do it without your help.

Victorian annual dinner

VIC Annual Dinner

Tickets are booking fast for the ABC Friends Victoria Annual Dinner on 17 November, with ABC Managing Director, David Anderson, as guest speaker.

This is a rare opportunity to hear about the ABC’s plans and ask your questions to the most senior person at the ABC.

RN’s future guaranteed?

In an hour long discussion with ABC alumni, Chris Oliver-Taylor, the ABC’s recently appointed Chief Content Officer, said he hopes that Radio National has a “long and healthy” future. But, he cautioned, there will be change.

Once again, the ABC prepares for emergency broadcasting

With world temperatures hitting their highest ever in September and bushfires and floods already affecting several States, the ABC is again gearing up its emergency broadcasting.

ABC can support regional news sustainability, but it must be funded

At a time when the ABC is constantly forced to scratch around to find savings, its capacity to enhance its news services to people in rural and regional communities will depend very much on the government’s willingness to offer more funding.

And we mustn’t forget that thousands of Australians rely on these services in times of crisis.

Leigh Sales to give major media lecture

Photo: ABC

ABC journalist and author, Leigh Sales AM, will deliver the 2023 Andrew Olle Media Lecture in Sydney on 27 October.

Tickets are available.

State wrap up

  • NSW & ACT - Talk by the ABC’s Gavin Fang, co-editor of Pandemedia How COVID Changed Journalism, at 11.45am on 9 November.
  • SA/NT - Read the October update
  • TAS - Read the October update
  • VIC - book for the annual dinner
  • VICpartnering with the Eureka Centre, Ballarat to present Tuning In or fading out: Radio's past, present and future at 6.15pm on 23 November.
  • QLD - Come to the AGM
  • WA - Come to the AGM


Warm regards,

Cassandra Parkinson
National President
ABC Friends