Radio royalty Jonesy & Amanda will host the 33rd annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards (the ACRAS) when the event returns to Sydney this month after a three-year hiatus.
Radio personalities from around the country will be among 1,000 guests at radio’s night of nights, which recognises outstanding achievement across entertainment, music, news, talk and sport. The event also acknowledges community service, with radio playing a key role during the pandemic and recent natural disasters.
This is the first time Jonesy & Amanda have hosted the ACRAS.
“We know they looked into getting a big international star to host, then they checked the budget. Next, they checked with the fellas from The Chaser but their backstage rider included Twisties … so the accountant said no. We were already going – and Jonesy doesn’t have to get his suit back to ‘Kelly Country’ until November. Bring it on!” the popular WSFM breakfast duo said.
This year’s ACRAS will be held at the International Convention Centre at Sydney’s Darling Harbour on Saturday, October 29.
Jonesy & Amanda are finalists for the Best On Air Team award in the FM category, up against the Kyle & Jackie O Show (KIIS 106.5), Fitzy & Wippa (Nova 96.9), Kate, Tim & Joel (Nova Network) and The Christian O’Connell Show (Gold 104.3).
Twelve radio stations have been nominated for Best Community Service Project for outstanding efforts to raise support and awareness for community programs and charities. These include projects supporting mental health, road safety awareness, victims of the floods and children’s health and welfare.
The community service awards will be presented by Susan Templeman MP, who was appointed by the Albanese Government as Special Envoy for the Arts in June.
Ford Ennals, the CEO of awards organiser and industry body Commercial Radio & Audio, said: “The ACRAS are back and we are very excited to roll out the red carpet and recognise the achievements of the industry which have seen radio audiences climb to record highs.”
“Commercial radio stations support more than 200 community service organisations each year through air-time and promotions. The ACRA finalists exemplify the authentic connection radio stations have with their listeners and the many ways they use this to serve their communities, whether that is providing entertainment, information, disaster relief, supporting those in need, raising funds for health research or getting the conversation started on difficult issues.”
The finalists for Best Community Service Project include Nova 91.9’s breakfast hosts Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton, who broadcast live while locked inside a glass cage in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall for five days to help raise awareness for mental health. The initiative, which aimed to draw parallels to the feeling of being trapped in your own head, achieved massive community engagement while also raising donations that funded the specialist training program for 30 new Lifeline crisis supporters.
Another finalist is Mix 106.3’s “Pack the Bus” which saw the Canberra station take Santa and his helpers on a two-week journey around the region to collect items for those in need. The charity partner Communities at Work said the frequent on-air promotions helped them collect over 6,000 donations – a 120% increase over the previous year – and the number of online financial donations doubled.
Also in the running for an award are entries from 106.3 Triple M in Coffs Harbour, for shining a light on road safety; 90.9 SeaFM Gold Coast’s Bianca, Dan & Ben’s Flood Watch supporting the victims of flooding; Nova 106.9’s “Nova’s Bids for Sick Kids”, which raised money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation; i98’s long-running Illawarra Convoy; and the Christian O’Connell Show’s “We’ve Got Your Back” project, which charity Backpacks 4 Vic Kids described as their most successful campaign of all time.
Entries for the ACRAS were received from 260 metropolitan and regional radio stations across Australia. Winners are peer judged by industry members. A highlight is the Hall of Fame inductee, acknowledging a lifelong commitment to the Australian radio industry.
The ACRAS red carpet will start at 5pm AEDT on Saturday, October 29, with the awards ceremony at 6pm AEDT.