By Eric Shackle
Let's see Macca's mob on TV
Ian (Macca) Macnamara is a city slicker (he was born in the Sydney suburb of Oatley). For the last 30 years he has visited countless cities, villages and other remote places, with his guitar (he was one of Col Joye’s original Joy Boys), with a microphone linked to the ABC.
He interviews hundreds of rural folk. There’s too much chatter about the weather, but there‘s also a mixed diet of compelling human interest: nostalgia, funny stories, bush poems, recipes... the lot.
Here's how the ABC tells the story:
Ian began at the ABC over 30 years ago as a trainee reporter in regional radio. Here's how it all happened, in Macca's own words...
Being a reporter is a wonderful way to get job satisfaction. You talk to different people every day and get to travel all over Australia which ultimately became my life.
I suppose the traveling started much earlier when I was a musician. You often had to travel to get work, a bit like a shearer or a contract harvester.
I joined Col Joye's backing band, the Joy Boys, in the early 70s and spent a year traveling with them, which looking back was a great experience. Colin and his brothers have remained firm friends since then.
I was also at that time studying (if I could ever be accused of that) Economics at Sydney University, which was another great experience.
David Hill, former Managing Director of the ABC was one of my tutors, and it was a time of great social change and upheaval in Australia and I look back fondly on that time.
How I became a reporter and thence a "D.J." is another one of life's quirks I suppose. I'd majored in Industrial Relations and after I joined the ABC as a clerk in the Finance department, I noticed a sign saying Industrial Relations Department.
So I fronted up and was given a job, again as a clerk. My passion as they say was however radio. I wanted to get involved. I didn't exactly know doing what. But I took every opportunity to do courses in Radio production etc, so that when the opportunity came I could grab it with both hands.
As I said earlier it's a great job being a reporter which is really what I am - 'reporting' what's going on around the place..
What has also been invaluable is a knowledge and love of music. I grew up listening to music in our house not because my father was a musician (which he was) but because he was obsessed with sound and we had a huge stereo/hifi for which he bought a new album each week.
So I heard everything from My Fair Lady, Muggsy Spanier, Tchaikovsky, Okalahoma, Jack Teagarden etc and I became hooked on songs and melody and I've never stopped.
My ABC life has involved lots of different things which has kept life interesting and keeps me motivated. Lots of different radio programmes, magazine style and current affairs - and TV programmes like A Big Country.
And my Sunday Morning show has become the focus of my life really, not only because I enjoy revealing some of the characters of Australia but also because I have made so many wonderful friends.
My mum used to say after reading my mail for not a few years how wonderful the listeners were. And that's the real privilege. Being taken into the confidence of so many wonderful Australians then meeting them at outside broadcasts or a concert.It truly is for me, and I know my producer Lee Kelly, an experience we cherish.
Our purpose on air on Sunday morning is to share this with everybody and hopefully spread a little joy, and a little Aussie spirit and humour. I better stop but I hope to meet you sometime at an 'OB' or a concert or whatever.
Talk to you Sunday.Born in Sydney, Ian graduated from Sydney University with an economics degree, but left the city to become a jackeroo.
His career then took a major turn when he joined Col Joye and the Joye Boys as a singer/guitarist, and Ian still manages to perform occasionally and is also a songwriter and producer.
Ian first joined the ABC in 1974, in the Industrial Relations department but moved to the Rural Department two years later as a Rural Reporter. He then spent 12 months in television, working on A Big Country and Countrywide, before returning to Rural Radio in 1980 as a reporter and eventually, presenter of Australia All Over.
In 1984, Ian was appointed Executive Producer of the current affairs program
City Extra (a 2BL current affairs show), but late in 1985 he returned to the Regional Radio Unit as Executive Producer of programs including Morning Extra, Australia All Over, and Resources.
Ian loves speaking with Australians from all walks of life and relishes the chance to travel the country with Australia All OveThe program is an eclectic mix of music, poetry, anecdotes, book readings and talkback, all deliverin Macca's trademark, off-the-cuff style.
Every Sunday morning, some two-million listeners from every corner of Australia tune in for their weekly dose of Australia.