Joy 94.9 In Deep Denial

pic: Peter


Here is the latest news on the Save Joy campaign, from the organisers.

Dear JOY members and friends

Thank you to everyone who has affirmed the need for change at JOY 94.9 by signing and returning the letter calling for an SGM.

A very big thanks to the dozens of individuals who are not members, or who have cancelled their membership or allowed it to lapse, for taking the time to write to us, share your grievances and detail your stories of hurt, mismanagement and community disconnect regarding JOY. Your support and encouragement during this challenging time are treasured.

It has become evident that the fear and intimidation tactics employed by JOY’s management and board have silenced many who want change. We know there are dozens of members, volunteers, staff and on- air presenters who have not returned their signed forms for fear of reprisals by JOY’s management and the JOY board. We completely understand your concerns.

Many members of the Save JOY Committee have been on the receiving end of such bullying and reprisals ourselves. In the past week, members of Save JOY have been threatened with legal action and have received intimidating phone calls from a member of JOY’s board.

UPDATE: The original letter from John Jennings and John Oliver to Joy President Melinda Rich – the stirrer holds written permission to publish from the signatories. However, John Oliver has now apparently decided to take no further part in the Save Joy campaign.

It is this toxic culture that continues to motivate us. JOY 94.9 is vitally important to our communities and life-changing for many people. Our call for an SGM is simply democracy at work: we are asking that the members be allowed to decide the way forward.

What are the JOY board and management afraid of? What are they hiding? Who are they protecting?

If you believe change needs to happen, if you believe our communities deserve better, and particularly if you know what we have said is true, now is the time to step up and sign the form calling for an SGM.

Privacy of Signed Forms

Signed forms returned to the are handled by one person only at Save JOY and securely stored. No one else sees, handles or has access to your returned forms. The Save JOY committee doesn’t even know the names of the people who have returned signed letters.

Once we have the numbers we are aiming for, our request for an SGM will be submitted with copies of the signed forms to JOY 94.9’s secretary, Andrew Thorp. He has an obligation to check that the names and signatures are valid, and an obligation to ensure your privacy.

So where are we at?

Yesterday, two people from Save JOY met with JOY 94.9’s CEO and President, in the company of mediator. Our representatives spent two and a half hours detailing the 26 pages of correspondence Save JOY has received from members who have been bullied, hurt, tossed aside and those who are genuinely concerned about JOY’s future.

JOY’s CEO and President refused to acknowledge that JOY has any issues. They deny there are any internal culture issues at JOY and believe JOY’s connection to our LGBTI communities has never been better, morale never greater. Apparently, there’s nothing to see here.

After taking 24 hours to reflect on this extraordinary dereliction of integrity, Save JOY believes the need for an SGM is now more important than ever.

Dismissing genuine concerns of JOY members, manufacturing lies about stolen databases, and intimidating members who wish to rightfully engage in the democratic process of an SGM only reinforces the urgency and necessity for change at JOY.

We must definitively force an SGM to send a clear message to the current board, that we will not tolerate the status quo. Therefore, we want to double the number of signatures we have.

It is really important to get this done ASAP. So please, reach out to your fellow members, tell them they do not have to put up with the current situation. We will deliver a JOY that everyone can be truly proud of and a part of.

Don’t let your silence mark the standard you accept – we’re better than that and JOY is worth more than that. It takes guts to challenge what is wrong and make a stand for what is right.

Believe that JOY can be an organisation with integrity. JOY can be the authentic voice of the community, by the community and for the community, once again.

So please, help us Save JOY, reach out to your fellow members and ask them to support our democratic right to call for an SGM, by signing the attached form and returning it ASAP.

Most Sincerely Yours

Save Joy



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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)