The program launched on 3 December 1945 – just months after the end of the Second World War – with these words: “Hello everyone, this is Dick Sneddon of The Country Hour, with a program for the farm families of Australia.” And so began an Australian rural tradition that has been covering the people and events that have shaped rural Australia for the past 75 years.
The ABC’s managing director, David Anderson, said there was no other ABC program that has had such an impact on Australian life over such a long time. “The story of life on the land is in many ways the story of Australia itself. The Country Hour and ABC Rural have covered every aspect of everyday country life since 1945 – from droughts and floods to cyclones and bushfires, from locust plagues to cycles of boom and bust.
The director of ABC’s regional & local services, Judith Whelan, said the show and the ABC’s rural programming had successfully moved with the times, expanding its coverage of regional and rural events onto digital and social media platforms from the mid-2000s.
“Today The Country Hour and ABC Rural bring their audiences stories on multiple platforms. Our producers and reporters are creating daily content for radio, audio-on-demand, online, social media and video for digital and television.”
The 75th-anniversary editions will air on Thursday 3 December from midday local times:
The Queensland Country Hour will dig into the archives and explore the state’s rich agricultural history with a broadcast from the John Oxley Library in Brisbane.
The New South Wales Country Hour returns to the site of its 60th anniversary celebrations when it broadcasts from Cumnock in the central west.
Picking will be underway when the Tasmanian Country Hour broadcasts from a cherry orchard in the Derwent Valley, west of Hobart.
The Victorian Country Hour will celebrate the state’s cropping history broadcasting from Birchip in the Mallee.
The NT Country Hour will be coming from the Noonamah Tavern in Darwin, located between a mango farm and a live export facility.
The South Australian Country Hour will broadcast from the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus, home to the largest concentration of agriculture and wine research in the country.
The Western Australian Country Hour will be treated to a week of mini anniversary broadcasts.
How to listen:
The Country Hour is broadcast on all regional ABC Radio stations from noon local time in all states and territories except the ACT. Respective state programs can also be heard in metropolitan Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart.
You can listen to your state edition on your AM/FM or digital radio receiver; on the ABC listen app; or online via your local ABC regional station’s website.