Sign now to Save Joy

Don’t be intimidated into silence pic: Shawn Rossi

Dear Members of JOY 94.9,

Thank you to everyone who has filled out and returned their form to date. We are well on the way to reaching our target of 100 signatures, but we are not there yet. Every signature by an active member counts.

If everyone who has returned their form manages to get another one or two people to sign, we will have numbers to make the changes that we all want to be made. Please reach out to your fellow members and friends and ask them to sign and return their form today!

Many of you would have seen the statement released by JOY 94.9’s president. Many of you will also know how hollow and inaccurate that statement was.

Frankly, to detail every element of fiction in the president’s statement would be a waste of time. The simple fact is, we all know things at JOY have to change if it is to be the welcoming and inclusive safe place for our LGBTI communities that we all want it to be. We remain committed to ensuring those changes are made.

It is clear from the president’s statement that the current board does not recognise this need for change. That is why a Special General Meeting must be called.

One thing must be cleared up, however. The Save JOY Committee does not possess a stolen database of members’ email addresses and should Victoria Police wish to investigate, we would welcome the opportunity to prove the board made this up.

For the board to manufacture such a lie and perpetuate it in the mainstream media simply shows how desperate they are. Very sad indeed. It was a cheap trick to try to undermine our efforts to save JOY.

Some have called for the allegations of bullying to be detailed. They are too numerous to mention. Furthermore, it is unfair for the individuals concerned and would breach their privacy, and in the current environment, it would be unsafe to do so. Many have been left so scarred by the experience that the last thing they need is to be re-traumatised by their case being debated publicly.

We have been overwhelmed by a flood of correspondence from past volunteers and former members who have shared their personal stories of bullying and grievances that have gone unaddressed. Dozens of individuals have told us they are no longer members because of the way they were treated. Although unable to sign-up to our push for a SGM, their support is greatly appreciated and their stories are being collated. Some of these stories are shocking, many are harrowing and all highlight the systemic and underlying toxic culture that is JOY 94.9 today.

There have been all sorts of allegations and mud-slinging going on since we released our letter, but that pettiness really has to stop. Those who have stuck their neck out to take this action are doing so in the belief that we can reinstate a culture of inclusivity and transparency at JOY 94.9

Our much-loved LGBTI community radio station can only be the voice of our communities if it operates transparently and with integrity. The cultural change required for JOY 94.9 to authentically represent our communities, provide a safe space for all and advocate for social justice and human rights can be achieved. But only with your determined support.

Please encourage one or two or TEN of your fellow members to be the change. We aim to have a minimum of 100 signed forms by next Wednesday 25 April and force an SGM – PLEASE ACT TODAY.

Yours sincerely,

Save JOY

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)