JOY 94.9 (official call sign 3JOY), stylised as JOY or JOY 94.9, is a community radio station broadcasting at 94.9 FM in Melbourne. It is Australia's first and only LGBTQI+ community radio station.

JOY 94.9 (3JOY)
Broadcast areaMelbourne City RA1
  • FM: 94.9 MHz
  • DAB+: 9B Melbourne
FormatGLBTI Community radio
OwnerJoy Melbourne Inc
First air date
December 1993 (1993-12)
Call sign meaning
Technical information
Licensing authority
ERP250 W[1]
Transmitter coordinates
37°48′37″S 144°57′44″E / 37.810225°S 144.962141°E / -37.810225; 144.962141Coordinates: 37°48′37″S 144°57′44″E / 37.810225°S 144.962141°E / -37.810225; 144.962141
Public licence information
WebcastListen Live


JOY 94.9, originally incorporated on 28 June 1993 as JOY Melbourne Independent Community Broadcasters Association began its first test transmission on 1 December 1993 (World AIDS Day). Transmission was on 90.7 MHz from 268A Coventry Street, South Melbourne, a total space 80sqm consisting of 1 broadcasting studio.

The first words spoken on-air were broadcast by accident by founder John Oliver saying "Can I have a cup of coffee and then we’ll get going?" The first track to be played on-air was scheduled to be Kylie Minogue's Celebration, but due to technical issues Jimmy Barnes' Working Class Man was played first. JOY continued to broadcast via temporary test transmissions, mostly on a part-time basis sharing the 90.7 frequency with other community broadcasters.

Presenters in Studio 1 the old Coventry Street Studios

Beginning in 1995, JOY released an annual Electronic and remix compilation album which was a representation of the music broadcast on-air for listeners to purchase and listen to from home. The first compilation album released was called "The Strip – Pride and JOY".[2]

JOY's community involvement and representation has evolved over the years with the first outside live-cross occurring at the 1995 Midsumma Festival. This was cemented further with JOY's full outside broadcast in 1996 taking place from the window of "The Outlook" on Commercial Road, Prahran. This resulted in a continuous broadcast for a period of three weeks, 24 hours a day.

JOY Melbourne Independent Community Broadcasters Association changed it name to JOY Melbourne Incorporated in 1996.

In 1998 Paul Terdich was appointed as JOY Station Manager and oversaw the stations initial growth and later the stations successful application for a full-time licence. JOY initially shared the 90.7FM frequency with Muslim radio (and Kool 'n' Deadly Aboriginal radio) so listeners could wake up one morning with disco divas and the next be called to Islamic prayer. The last test broadcast as an aspirant broadcaster on 90.7fm was on the 28th August 2001.

Out of the approximately 20 aspirant community radio licensees in Melbourne, JOY Melbourne was one of only four to be granted a full-time broadcasting licence in 2001 (the other broadcasters were SYN FM, Light FM and 3KND). In its application to the Australian broadcasting regulator (Australian Broadcasting Authority) JOY had applied for a community licence in both the Melbourne-Wide and lesser coverage Melbourne City coverage areas. However JOY Melbourne was successful in the Melbourne City licence area where it succeeded against one competing applicant then known as CityFM (Refer to ACMA licence report for official licence allocations report).

JOY Melbourne commenced full-time broadcasting on its permanent licence in January 2002[3] on its current frequency of 94.9 MHz. The station also increased its broadcasting space to 120sqm to include 2 broadcasting studios. 2002 saw JOY receive a grant from the Foundation for Young Australians to train same-sex attracted youth in radio which saw more than 70 young people pass through the FYA program.

2004 saw JOY Melbourne Inc. become the largest gay and lesbian community member-based organisation in Australia, with the stations full time license renewed in 2006.

In 2007 Stephen Hahn is appointed as JOY CEO Station Manager and overseas the planning to move JOY from the South Melbourne location of 14 years to Bourke Street, Melbourne as part of the City of Melbourne's "City Village" initiative.[4]

In July 2008, after 14 years above a hardware store at 268 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, JOY 94.9 relocated to Level 9, 225 Bourke Street, Melbourne.

Long-time presenter of Allegro Non Troppo, CBAA and JOY Board Member and JOY Melbourne Inc. Life Member Addam Stobbs dies on 16 June 2010.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]

In June 2011, the JOY 94.9 App is released via the iTunes Store allowing people all around the world to take JOY with them.

In December 2019 it was announced that JOY 94.9 would move from its Melbourne CBD Location to the new Victorian Pride Centre, with the Andrews state government providing $800,000 over 4 years to assist with the move.[18] It is expected that JOY will begin relocating in 2021.[19]

Outside Broadcasts & Special EventsEdit

JOY 94.9 float at Midsumma Pride March on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

JOY 94.9 has hosted a range of special event outside broadcast events and general special events since 1996. This has included co-broadcasting from inside the barricades at the 30th Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras in conjunction with Sydney station 2SER.

JOY hosted the first same-sex on-air wedding on 1 November 2019 as part of an on-air competition.[20][21]


Bomb ThreatEdit

The JOY studios were evacuated on Tuesday 20 September 2016 due to an alleged bomb threat, with the station's programming put on auto-play to allow a thorough investigation.[22][23]

Work Environment Complaints, Bullying Allegations & Presenters Forced to LeaveEdit

In 2018 a letter was sent to JOY members in March, signed by 28 members, calling for the radio station's board of directors to be sacked and replaced with a temporary board. Those behind the push listed their grievances against the current board including a lack of action, an exodus of on-air staff and volunteers and a disconnect with the LGBTI communities.[24][25][26][27]


JOY 94.9 is the first radio station in Australia dedicated to offering programming produced by and aimed specifically at the gay, lesbian & bisexual communities. Programs on JOY incorporate a mix of talkback, music and specialist culture and lifestyle programs, including announcements promoting community events, counselling and support services and key networks supporting the gay and lesbian community. JOY 94.9 also operates a news service covering mainstream news events and issues as well those mainly concerning the gay and lesbian community and its long-running current affairs flagship, Saturday Magazine, continues to broadcast on Saturdays. The station is staffed by over 250 volunteers.

JOY 94.9 utilises online streaming audio to reach the gay and lesbian audience in the rest of Melbourne and the world.

All JOY 94.9 presenters perform their roles in voluntary capacities.


JOY plays a wide array of music,[28] with variations including techno, women's music, electronica, euro-house, disco, Easy Listening, Soft Rock, and Pop, alternative, jazz, classical, trance, independent music, gospel, folk, blues, hardcore metal, industrial, retro, brit pop, R&B, Hip Hop, Soul, Remixes and more.

Specialist ProgrammingEdit

Supplementing this day-time content is predominantly chat-based specialist programming broadcast from 7 pm to midnight each week day. Weekend specialist programming includes current affairs and lifestyle programming and many more varied examples in the programming schedule.[29] The JOY schedule is updated every 4 months by the JOY program director and programming committee. Many shows remain on the schedule, but new shows are only added when the schedule is updated.


JOY runs a news roster covering weekdays and weekends in the morning, noon, and drive. Many newsreaders have found employment in the commercial industry, such as Nathan Gardiner who is now a newsreader at Gold 104.3, and Anthony Laughton who was employed by Nova 100/Classic Rock 91.5 and MTR 1377.

JOY Newsreaders are volunteers.

Q-mmunity Network NewsEdit

QNN is a news feed produced on a weekly basis and is syndicated to several community radio stations across Australia.[30]

Awards and honoursEdit

Since JOY 94.9's inception varying shows, personalities and events have gained interest, honours and awards for their excellence in broadcasting and representation of the LGBTQI Community.

Community Broadcasting Association Australia Awards[31][32]Edit

Year Award
2020 Best Special Event Broadcast - Mardi Gras 2020
2019 Best Special Event Broadcast - Mardi Gras Special 2019

Excellence in Innovative Programming and Content - Checkpoint

2018 Excellence in Music Presenting - Jason Heath, Local Roots
2017 Excellence in Sports Broadcasting - Chicks Talkin' Footy
2015 Best New Radio Program (Music) - Babble POP!

Best Station Production - JOY Radiothon, JOY 94.9

2014 Most Innovative Outside Broadcast or Special Event Broadcast: World AIDS Day Worldwide, JOY 94.9
2012 Most Innovative Outside Broadcast or Special Event Broadcast – JOY and 3AW: Better Together Broadcast JOY 94.9
2008 Troy Garner Excellence in Sports Programming

Excellence in Spoken Word, News and Current Affairs Programming

Best Initiative to Build Station Capacity

2007 Can't Get Out of the Car award

Best Sponsorship Announcement or Promotion award

High Commendation for Best Special Event Broadcast

2005 Can't Get Out of the Car award
2000 Best Sponsorship Announcement or Promotion award

GLOBE Community Awards[33]Edit

The GLOBE Community Awards celebrates achievement in Victoria's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex communities, highlighting the work of a diverse range of organisations and individuals that benefit and unite the Victorian LGBTIQ community.

  • 2020 Finalists:
    • Preventing social isolation in LGBTIQ communities: Kerrie & Dolly
    • Outstanding LGBTIQ media reporting: The Informer Daily
    • Outstanding LGBTIQ media reporting: Dean Arcuri  (Community Darling: Kerrie & Dolly)
    • LGBTIQ Artist of the year: Dean Arcuri
  • 2018 - Media Excellence award winner - Chicks Talking Footy
  • 2015 - Connecting Our Community Winner

ALSO Foundation AwardsEdit


  • Most Outstanding Media award

Other AwardsEdit

  • 1997 – Melbourne Rainbow Media Award
  • 1996 – Melbourne Rainbow Media Award
  • 1992 – Pride Young Achievers Award

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Radio and television broadcasting stations: Internet edition (PDF). Australian Communications & Media Authority. October 2019. pp. 24, 72, 123.
  2. ^ "Various - The Strip - Pride & Joy". Discogs. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  3. ^ Register of Radiocommunication Licences Australian Communications & Media Authority (8 January 2004). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 July 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Yahoo! Groups. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ condolences Archived 20 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Current Affairs. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  8. ^ Vale Addam Stobbs | Community Broadcasting Association of Australia Archived 22 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. (18 June 2010). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  9. ^ London Queer News: Vale Addam Stobbs. 28 Forever. (18 June 2010). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  10. ^ Rise above and conquer | Star Online. (20 April 2008). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  11. ^ Archived 25 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine>
  12. ^ [1] Archived 21 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Freshly Doug 17 June Archived 8 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Current Affairs (16 June 2010). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  15. ^ Remembering Addam Stobbs – He wasn't just a music teacher, he taught life! van Jimi B op Myspace Archived 7 July 2012 at (7 October 2011). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  16. ^ National – A must see for the Gay community Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Gay Destination. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  17. ^ Vale Addam Stobbs | Spots & Space – Media Sales & Representation. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  18. ^ Arcuri, About the Author Dean (5 December 2019). "JOY 94.9 announces new home at Victorian Pride Centre in 2020". Star Observer. Retrieved 3 December 2020. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  19. ^ "Independent community media is alive and well at JOY 94.9". JOY 94.9. 3 December 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  20. ^ Arcuri, About the Author Dean (4 November 2019). "JOY 94.9 hosts its first legal same-sex wedding live on air". Star Observer. Retrieved 3 December 2020. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  21. ^ "SPECIAL EVENT: The First On-Air Gay Wedding - Congratulations Geoffrey & Daniel! #ListenNOW". Driving You Mad, Driving You Crazy. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  22. ^ country, About the Author Matthew Wade Matthew Wade is the Editor of Star Observer When he isn't covering the latest LGBTI news across the; Cinema, He Indulges in Queer (21 September 2016). "JOY 94.9 studios evacuated after reports of alleged bomb threat". Star Observer. Retrieved 26 July 2019. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  23. ^ Wahlquist, Calla (22 September 2016). "Bomb threat against LGBTI radio station Joy 94.9FM condemned by police". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  24. ^ "JOY 94.9: When two sides go to war". Radio Today. 22 April 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  25. ^ "No joy at JOY 94.9 FM". Radio Today. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  26. ^ "JOY FM responds to call for board spill". Radio Today. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  27. ^ Taylor, Josh. "People Are Trying To Kick Out The Board Of Australia's Only LGBTI Community Radio Station". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  28. ^ JOY 94.9 MUSIC. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  29. ^ "Program schedule | JOY 94.9". JOY 94.9. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  30. ^ JOY 94.9 (Q-mmunity Network News). Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
  31. ^ "Past CBAA Award Winners". Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  32. ^ "Station awards and honours". JOY 94.9. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  33. ^ "About the Awards". GLOBE. Retrieved 4 November 2020.

External linksEdit