The 3CR story

Since 1976 3CR has been Melbourne's voice of dissent. Here are the major points in our history. You can also download the detailed version of 3CR history.


3CR benefit at Fitzroy Pool



1974 The Community Radio Federation (CRF) - the incorporated body of 3CR - is formed at a public meeting at the Pram Factory in Carlton, Melbourne on June 23.
1975 The CRF is awarded a broadcast licence on October 10.
1976 3CR begins test broadcasts on May 1 and begins full-scale operations in Armadale on July 3, broadcasting on 840 AM.
1977 3CR moves to premises at 20 Cromwell Street, Collingwood.
1978 The Bulletin labels 3CR "The voice of terrorism" because of 3CR's support for the Palestinian struggle.
1979 Subscribers enjoy the first CRAM Guide
1980 Musician Dollar Brand performs a special concert in appreciation of 3CR's support for the South African anti-apartheid struggle. 3CR begins 24-hour broadcasting.
1981 3CR's licence is renewed.
1982 Live coverage of the Honeymoon Mine occupation from Broken Hill.
1983 Extensive coverage of the Franklin River blockade, and changes frequency to 855 AM.



1984 3CR moves to its current home at 21 Smith St, Fitzroy and covers of the Roxby Downs blockade despite 3CR's news team being barred from entry.
1985 Dynamic Recorders (now Special Projects), 3CR's in-house production facility, is established.
1986 Nurses broadcast from 3CR throughout the nurses' dispute enabling vital information to be delivered quickly to the picket lines and striking nurses.
1987 The CRF resigns from the Public Broadcasting Association of Australia, establishing the Progressive Radio Association of Australia with other public broadcasters 2XX3RRR , 2RSR and 4ZZZ.
1988 3CR marks the 200th anniversary of the invasion of Australia with several special broadcasts and concerts, including the Bicentenary New Years Day Koori celebration from Atherton Gardens, and reports from Sydney and Melbourne on Invasion Day.
1989 Drop the Charges specials keep listeners informed about the campaign to defend Kerry Browning, a Canberra anti-apartheid activist charged with fire-bombing a South African Embassy car.
1990 Live coverage of Nelson Mandela's speech to trade unionists at the Melbourne Town Hall, and the 20th anniversary of the Westgate Bridge Disaster is marked with a documentary and special programming by the Concrete Gang presented on 3CR by the CFMEU Building Union division.
1991 Extensive coverage of the Coode Island Chemical Storage Depot disaster, and offers an alternative view of the Gulf War with three reports daily.
1992 Coverage of the Defend What You've Got rally where 150, 000 people march through Melbourne to protest the proposed industrial relations laws.
1993 Support for the campaigns to save both Richmond and Northlands Secondary Colleges, with regular reports and special media training for the Richmond students.


1994 The Disability Resources Centre sponsors a radio training project with participants going on to become 3CR programmers.
1995 Coverage of Noam Chomsky's visit to Melbourne.
1996 A new transmitter site is constructed at Old Sneydes Rd, Hoppers Crossing. 3CR is now heard all over greater Melbourne.
1997 3CR listeners hear ex-Black Panther Lorenzo Komboa.
  An Emergency Radiothon raises $50,000 to defend a defamation suit against the station.
1998 Extensive coverage of the MUA dispute, winning the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia Award for Best News Story for following the campaign. 
  Coverage of the struggle to stop uranium mining at Jabiluka in the Northern Territory with regular updates and live reporting from the blockade.
1999 3CR covers the East Timor elections and the violence that follows, raising $20,000 in two and a half hours for the CNRT (Conselho Nacional de Resistência Timorense).
2000 Extensive coverage of the S11 protest outside the World Economic Forum. documentary about the protest produced by 3CR wins the inaugural Radio awards from ATOM, Australian Teachers of Media.
2001 Extensivel coverage of the M1 protests outside the Australian Stock Exchange, Nike, McDonalds and other multinational corporations.
  The first 3CR website is launched.
  3CR hosts 10 East Timorese community radio workers for a month of training with financial support from APHEDA.
2002 3CR donates $12,000 of its Radiothon money to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
  The first prison broadcast in Australian history at Port Phillip Prison, during a special broadcast for NAIDOC Week.
2003 Coverage of the massive peace rallies around the country and broadcasts regular updates on the situation in Iraq following the invasion in March 2003.
  Live broadcast from the protests outside the Baxter Detention Centre in South Australia.


2004 3CR's NAIDOC Prison Broadcasts win the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) Radio Award.
2005 Live broadcasts from the June 30th and the November 15th Stop Work Rallies in Melbourne.
  In October airs a 10-hour Special Broadcast to celebrate Refugee Week.
  The first edition of the 3CR Seeds of Dissent Calendar, which celebrates the last 30 years of Australian social and environmental activism.  
2006 3CR is the official media partner of the Stolenwealth Games, with daily updates for two weeks in support of the Black GST (Genocide, Sovereignty, Treaty) Campaign and the protests against Melbourne's 2006 Commonwealth Games.
  3CR celebrates its 30th birthday and wins the Tony Staley award at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia 2006 awards for contribution to community radio

Live crosses to the May Day Rally, defending worker's rights against the Howard Government's 'WorkChoices' legislation.

Queer Youth Training conducted at the station.

The station launches a new website with podcasts and live streaming.



 Live coverage of the National Apology and Convergence - the broadcast wins the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia Excellence in Spoken Word Programming.

Carlton Arts Project Elgin Street Live.

2009 The first 12 hour broadcast for International People with Disability Day 3 December, including a live outside broadcast from Federation Square.

Refugee Broadcast wins the 2009 Victorian Multicultural Commission’s Media Award.

First year of the Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener broadcast commemorating two Indigenous Tasmanian freedom fighters who were publicly executed in Victoria.

  Studio 4 refurbishment complete - the Bartlett-Hartley Studio (after broadcasters Jan Bartlett and Bill Hartley) is launched.

A new mural is created on the Little Victoria Street wall of the station by artists Tom Civil, Bindi Cole and Reko Rennie.

Girls On Air radio training and story production - winner of the CBAA's Excellence in Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasting Award.

Disability Day wins CBAA's Most Innovative Outside Broadcast or Special Event Broadcast for ‘Turn Up Your Radio’.


The launch of digital radio on 14 April with nine other Melbourne community broadcasters. Listeners can now tune in to 3CR Digital. 

Occupy Melbourne coverage continues the station's strong commitment to covering protest movements. 

Earth Matters wins CBAA's Excellence in Spoken Word, News and Current Affairs Programming.

Luka Tang from the Visioning Justice project wins NEMBC Youth Broadcaster of the Year. 


Live coverage of the 40th anniversary of the Tent Embassy.

3CR technician Greg Segal wins Excellence in Technical/IT Services award, Brainwaves wins the Excellence in Training category, and volunteer-extraordinaire Michael Smith is awarded Outstanding Volunteer Contribution at the CBAA Awards.


2013 Clemmie Wetherall from Women On The Line wins the EVA Award, Beyond The Bars wins the CBAA Contribution to Indigenous Broadcasting Award.