The shake-up continues at Melbourne GLBTI radio station JOY94.9 with the board signal ing a change in direction and an increased advocacy role.

The sudden resignation of station manager Stephen Hahn last week sparked a flurry of change at the station, with marketing manager Dan Vo called in as Hahn’s interim replacement.

Head of engineering Travis Scott and acting head of music Adam Christou also resigned from their roles last week, though they have cited unrelated personal reasons.

The station has engaged the help of an experienced radio hand and JOY94.9 member, former ABC director of radio Sue Howard. Howard will work with long-standing volunteers and the board in a review of the station’s operations.

In addition to the new management line-up, JOY94.9 last week emailed its members with a survey asking them to identify and rank current issues facing the community such as depression, discrimination and law reform.

JOY94.9 president Stephen Duns told Southern Star the survey would direct the board on issues close to the community’s heart, with the view the station would take up an external advocacy role. Duns said the local community viewed the station as a -œtrusted source of information. He said research conducted by the station indicated community support for assuming an advocacy role.

-œI use the example of the young guy who was in the Brisbane school who couldn’t take his partner to the dance, which received a lot of press, and the recent issue of the Home and Away plot lines, he said. -œThese are times JOY could have a greater role in speaking up for the community.

Duns said JOY94.9 had the support of other advocacy groups including the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and the ALSO Foundation.

He rejected concerns the move could alienate some volunteers.

-œIf we get an overwhelming response [that members] don’t want JOY to go down the advocacy path we won’t … but if 95 percent of people support this … we can’t run the station on a 5 percent minority, Duns said.

Hahn told Southern Star last week he quit his post for personal reasons, but expressed concern about the community advocacy plan.

-œI’m not sure that’s the direction I would want to take the station in as manager, he said.

The station is expected to advertise the position of general manager in the coming weeks.

Your Say: Should JOY94.9 take up the role of community spokesperson? Email your thoughts to editor@sstar.net.au

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