Veteran broadcast engineer, Brian Byrnes, has passed away after a long illness in Canberra. Brian was a highly skilled and respected member of the broadcasting community, who made significant contributions to the industry throughout his career.
Born in Boonah, Queensland, Brian began his career as a trainee technician at BTQ 7 Brisbane in 1977. Under the guidance of Alan Bone, he quickly developed expertise in a range of areas, including telecine, VTR, camera, MCR, studio operations, microwave links, and outside broadcast. He then travelled to London to work as an Audio-Video Dubbing Technician for 11 months, before returning to Australia to take up a position with the Seven Network looking after microwave links.
From 1980 to 1986, he worked as a technician for Ampex where his work took him to the Middle East and Africa, installing and maintaining AMPEX equipment, including VTRs, cameras, vision switches, and the ADO. He also provided technical camera support for the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics.
In 1986, Brian became Chief Engineer with the Bahrain Ministry of Information – Television and Radio, overseeing studios and transmitters for Arabic and English television channels, as well as AM/FM radio studios and transmitters. He also implemented the Bahrainisation of the organisation’s staff, allowing greater opportunities for local talent. Brian then returned to Ampex in 1988, based in Greece, with responsibility for Greece, Turkey, and Egypt.
Returning to Australia, Brian joined WIN Television as a technician and then Station Engineer, working in Wollongong, Canberra, Orange, and Wagga Wagga. He then worked for the Seven Network from 1996 to 2001, holding the position of Canberra Parliament House Technician at Seven’s bureau. He also acted as SNG operator in the Cook Islands for a Prime Ministerial visit in 1998 and as SNG operator for Defence in East Timor in 1999. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Brian was the technical manager for the four news host broadcasting positions.
In 2001, Brian moved to Network Ten to take up the role of Canberra Parliament House technician for Ten’s bureau. He then became a Broadcast Technologist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from 2014 to 2018 before joining NEP Group for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as Technical Venue Manager.
Outside of work, Brian was a keen rugby player and follower of the Tuggeranong Vikings. He was also a referee. He is survived by his wife and three children.