Meet our Assessor: John Maizels

July 24, 2023
Man in a radio studio wearing a black suit jacket with light hair and gesturing mid explanation and leaning into studio mic

‘There was no life before community broadcasting – seriously’, says John Maizels, President and founding member of Technorama – a community radio support organisation for technologists in Australia.

‘My mother famously told me when I was nineteen that if I kept bumming around in community radio I’d never amount to anything.  Turns out that involvement in community radio directly and indirectly taught me a lot of what I needed to know to succeed in life, and it’s been quite a ride’, shares John.

From the age of twelve, John Maizels began building studios.  Having a recording engineer as a father meant being surrounded by tech and production from a very early age.  John set up a small studio at home in Melbourne where he would play radio with friends and schoolmates.   He began running OBs at highschool fairs which evolved into activity at Student Landline stations and several attempts at getting a permanent broadcasting licence.  By the mid-1970s, the first twelve licences were issued to stations and the stars aligned for John who took part in the set up of both 3CR and 3PBS.  It was ultimately his home-built studio that 3PBS would use to conduct its first two test transmissions – landing the station its permanent licence.

John has been involved with Australian community radio for over 45 years.  His vibrant, multi-faceted career can be traced back to being a junior tech at 3XY, on-air jock at 3CS, as well as engineer/founder at 3MU, founding Chair at 3PBS, technician and presenter at 2MBS, and Technology Director and Breakfast announcer at 2NSB.  John has also volunteered at 3ST, 3CT, 2RRR, Koori Radio and 3RMT (now known as 3RRR).   He is proud to be currently working in a training capacity with industry trainer CMTO, in addition to running Technorama.

In 2018, John was the recipient of the prestigious CBAA Michael Law Award for his sustained and outstanding contribution to community broadcasting.

‘Community broadcasting has provided the perfect mix and outlet – the opportunity to help frame the sector’s policy as it emerged; to design and build the tech that makes stations work;  the excitement of being on-air and doing outside broadcasts’, explains the sector veteran.

On being a CBF grant assessor, he shares, ‘You learn so much about how to put good grants together, and indirectly it’s a great way to keep across the pulse of the Sector and be truly involved… Community broadcasting… provides a critical and vitally important service to our country at a local and national level, while simultaneously offering a creative outlet and fellowship that other volunteer activities can’t match’.