Every organization has a beginning and a story to tell and Cooloola Christian Radio is no exception.
In 1995 a number of interested men from Gympie Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International, formed a steering committee to research the possibility of commencing a community based Christian radio station.
After 2 years of preparation; including negotiations and applications with the Australian Broadcasting Authority, formulating constitution, holding public meetings, choosing a name, finding locations for the studio and transmitter, purchasing expensive equipment and finally training volunteers as Presenters, programmers and technicians the A.B.A. granted CCR a Temporary Licence, valid for 30 days. This was used to broadcast for 15 consecutive weekends.
The first sounds of FM 94.5 (as it was at first!) were broadcast on 1st February, 1997. The following year the Transmitter was moved from the water tower to Mt Corella and the call signal was changed to FM 91.5.
Suitable studio premises were difficult to find. Gordon Thomason (President Manager) offered the downstairs rooms of his home as temporary accommodation.
The early days for Presenters were quite daunting. Initially they had about a month to train. The shifts were rostered for 4 hours anywhere between 6am and 10pm. They would come in and prepare for 2 hours, do their shift and then stay on for another 2 hours to help the next Presenter. As more licence time was granted, people became more proficient and the hours gradually changed. Everything was done manually.
Initially we had 20 music CD's (now over 600). Overnight programmes were downloaded via satellite from Vision FM Brisbane, later on we recorded our music onto 8 hour video tapes. In the early 2000's an Hourly News Service became available from UCB at a reasonable cost.
After completing the initial 30 days licence CCR was granted a 4 Days Per Week Temporary Licence in the second half of 1997. This continued until 1 November, 1999 when a Full Time Temporary Licence was granted. For the first time we were able to broadcast 24/7.
The A.B.A. called for applications for a Full Time Licence in the Gympie region and so after many hours of research and reams of paper used; the application was submitted. There was much rejoicing when on 1st April 2002 a Full Time Licence as a Community Broadcaster, was finally granted for the duration of 5 years. It has been renewed (2007) for a further 5 years.
For 10 years a permanent home was needed for Cooloola Christian Radio. Then in 2005 Gympie Uniting Church offered their church building at 31 Parson's Road for a reasonable price. Due to the generosity of listeners it took only 3 months to raise enough funds for the purchase with extra money for renovations!
It has taken a further 2 years and continued donation of time, labour and product from trades people and many others to be able to open our doors officially from 6th October 2007 at the new premises.