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Wednesday, 17 September 1958
Page: 1369

Mr Ward d asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice -

1.   Is there any particular reason why almost all radio and television announcers of the Australian Broadcasting Commission are persons who possess voices which are saturated with affectation and who speak with an accent which is anything but Australian?

2.   What are regarded as the essential qualifications of those appointed to these positions?

3.   By whom are appointments made?

Mr Davidson - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The Australian Broadcasting Commission sets a very high standard for its announcers and considers it is not correct to say that they almost all possess voices which are saturated with affectation and speak with an accent which is anything but Australian. Auditions are frequently arranged by the Australian Broadcasting Commission for any persons who feel they have suitable voice quality.

2.   The basic requirement is good voice quality with a sound educational background. It is expected that the successful appointees should possess some knowledge of the pronunciation of other languages to enable them to pronounce correctly the names of various musical works, composers, &c, which are included in A.B.C. programmes. The ability to read easily at sight is an important consideration.

3.   Auditions, at which standard tests are used, are held at regular intervals in each State. On the basis of these auditions recommendations concerning appointments are made by committees comprising senior members of the staff and representatives of the A.B.C. Staff Association. These committees have expert knowledge of the qualities required and their recommendations are normally accepted.

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