Happy Belated Easter 2017!

The above official photo from the Good Friday Appeal speaks for itself. With 2017 another record year of donations, the ~30 callers I helped to take donations from contributed ~$3000, averaging out to $100/donor. The big highlight was receiving a business donation of $1000. Whilst 2016 call volumes were memorable as being a bit quiet, 2017 was fairly constant. My Good Friday Appeal page reflects the updated data.

A quick commentary on the 2017 tally: throughout the evening the hourly progression showed a steady growth rate well below previous years. A number of factors were cited as the reasons for this phenomenon. For the first time, a twilight/evening Good Friday football match was scheduled between North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. This match was held at Etihad Stadium and saw a crowd of some 20,000. With part of the proceeds from game tickets, plus various merchandise and donations from the AFL and clubs, the football match created new donations in the order of $200,000+. Some views were held that broadcasting the football between 6-9pm dampened some of the donations with a lower donation rate. It was also suspected that announcing a number of large corporate donations was delayed to late in the evening. Whilst the weather on Good Friday was overcast with periodic showers, having the Kids Day Out activities hosted at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre negated this factor and still enabled an estimated attendance of 80,000.

For the first time, I had the opportunity to speak to the Telstra Customer Project Manager who was onsite at the Plenary Phone Room to ensure the fully digital IP telephony solution operated smoothly. 2017 also marked a change in the operations such that our Plenary Phone Room facility was separated physically from the main Plenary auditorium where the evening show would take place. This change in operation addressed and mitigated the feedback provided from 2015-2016 that whenever rehearsals were taking place on stage, our ability to take calls was hampered by the noise levels. As mentioned early, the telephone system for 2017 was fully digital. As it turns out, back in 2016, the overflow phone room system was upgraded to utilise a digital IP telephony solution, whilst our Plenary phone room experience remained on the legacy/analogue system.


This year, for the second time, I have commemorated ANZAC Day by joining in the Light FM Remembrance Walk. Held on Sunday 23 April, the 2017 event utilised the Tan Track at the Botanic Gardens. This 3.8km walking/running track circumnavigates the King’s Domain and Botanic Gardens and was selected in response to feedback from the 2016 event. For 2016, the same event was held at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk aka 1000 Steps, located at the base of the Dandenongs and eastern suburban Melbourne. The general consensus was that relocating the event to central Melbourne would have improve accessibility for all Light FM listeners across metropolitan Melbourne. With high accessibility via public transport, close to 100 of us turned up at 2pm at the arranged meeting point – the Janet Lady Clarke Rotunda, on Linlithgow Avenue.

Original concerns that the weather would hamper the event were unfounded as the sun came out to warm our walk. I was privileged to get a photo opportunity with Lucy, Kel and Gabby, courtesy of afternoon host Ruthie, immediately after the walk. Through this meeting, I was able to help connect the dots for the morning talk-show hosts that I was the one and the same Nic who also had years back been a do-lamination participant, plus the recent major prize winner of the recent Friday Wheel of Prizes competition. This competition was exclusively for those listeners who would tune in via Facebook Live on Friday’s slightly after 9am. I won the Elvis concert tickets thanks to my quick and correct answer to the question “What is the name of Clayton Bjelan’s show?” – In Conversation With Clayton. You may be able to view the saved Facebook video here.

Other Content Updates

During this Easter holiday period, a number of minor updates to XBOP content have been taking place, mainly in the  form of new and/or updated pages:

  1. Coles Myer IBL Journal (Content/blog migration): Weeks 2-5 added:
    1. Week 2 (16 – 20 July 2001); republished 10 April 2017
    2. Week 3 (23 – 27 July 2001); republished 10 April 2017
    3. Week 4 (30 July – 3 August 2001); republished 10 April 2017
    4. Week 5 (6 – 10 August 2001); republished 10 April 2017
  2. Timothy Group page added, catering for new posts in addition to completion of the 4-column studies:
    1. DBS Process & Design
    2. DBS Bible Verse Sets