We recently had the opportunity and pleasure to catch up with Des Cooper a local Sippy Downs resident who in August of 2013 set up the Village FM Radio Station at 80 years young. Now 85 Des is still going strong sharing his astounding music collection with the local and wider community.
We asked Des how all this came about and he shared with us, “It took me some 2 years to get all the music together and another 2 to get the licence sorted out”
“With my love of music and knowing a lot of people in my area are vision impaired – who can’t watch television or read papers – I thought I’d get a station started,” Des said. “A lot of music gets lost and wasted, and it’s nice to bring it all back to life.” So far Des has converted more than 7000+ songs from old records including 45’s, LP’s and 78’s and also, cassette tapes and videos into MP3s which he then plays on the air for listeners.
Des lives in the Bellflower retirement village here in Sippy Downs and operates Village FM from his home playing an eclectic mix of music for every taste with a full Programs & Schedule list available on his website.
“At breakfast time I love to play happy loving music for couples having breakfast and that sort of thing, for 9 till 12 I play a little bit more upbeat stuff and easy listening and then I do two hours of quieter stuff and that goes through early afternoon and then from midnight to about 4 am I do orchestral sleepy music, soft stuff which is nice.” Des Said.
But in amongst all that Des is introducing some 70’s and 80’s music as the demographics of the retirement village and wider community changes over time.
The station is licensed to transmit on the FM band frequency 87.6 MHz with an aerial power limited to an ERP of 1000 mW. Therefore the station services listeners within an estimated radius 2 kilometres from the approved transmitter site at the Des’s private residence, however with the online streaming service listeners can tune in from anywhere in Sippy Downs, Sunshine Coast or anywhere in the world.
Village FM may well be the only station in Australia, if not in the world, broadcasting 24 hours a day and streaming on the net, from a retirement village. Village FM aims to provide a variety of musical entertainment of a genre palatable to the residents of the Bellflower and Hibiscus Retirement complexes and the wider Sippy Downs Community. Village FM also to relays messages to residents in regard to social, sporting or leisure activities being organised or conducted by the retirement village management, village residents’ association, community website news and information and also community updates and opportunities for action by the Sippy Downs & District Community Association.
Des has a limited opportunity for local businesses to submit paid advertising which helps Des keep the station running and equipment maintained and when need be replaced and upgraded so if you are a local business who may be interested please do contact Des via his website linked throughout this story.
This photo was taken today in Brunswick Place Sippy Downs at 2:50 p.m. sent to us by local resident Britt Cook who stated in her message “Absolute joke when parents of the schools around Sippy Downs don’t understand that parking this way is dangerous, super dangerous.. something needs to be done asap or there will be an accident!”
We agree but following local social media we note that parents picking up kids simply don’t have enough parking available to them when picking up kids at Chancellor State School Primary campus.
Britt tells us that she has lived in Columbus Street and in Brunswick place for the last 5 years and this issue is getting worse and worse by the day
From her perspective the roads are just not developed properly for the amount of car congestion especially at school pickup and dropoff time, a point that is hard to argue with.
Brit went on to tell us that she has seen so many near accidents occur while she was walking home from uni and driving around the area at this time she finds it disturbing.
Britt went onto say that the issues caused by the lack of local parking also disrupt families living in the area.
We are aware that the areas local government Representative Counselor Christian Dickson has been working very hard on a number of potential solutions. We have spoken to Mr Dickson and we look forward to presenting this information including an interview with Cr Christian Dickson very soon.
‘On Tuesday the SDDCA had the opportunity to tour the brand new Coles Sippy Downs store and with just over 10 days to go until the store opens we would have to say that is certainly shaping up to be a refreshingly new and exciting shopping experience.
We would like to thank the Coles management team for the opportunity to take a look at the store today and we are very much looking forward to attending the community carnival family festival on Friday the 20th of January from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on site at Coles Sippy Downs.
Coles invites the entire community to come on down for the community carnival evening with sideshow alley games and rides, animal farm and jumping castles plus MKR live cooking with Chris and Cookie, Hot 91.1 in attendance plus lots more! And, a fireworks display to finish off the evening.
The store officially opens for trading at 8 a.m. the following morning, Saturday the 21st of January and we are told that there will be a whole range of amazing specials available in store to celebrate.
Coles Sippy Downs has been a long time coming but it’s finally here! Make sure you don’t miss out on their amazing FREE launch event!
PS free parking will be available on the street and at USC from 4:30pm.’
Yesterday’s meeting with Christian was an opportunity for us as a community organisation to continue exploring UNITY in CommUNITY, the SDDCA’s vision of what we see is the way forward for local community organisations to support, resource and assist each other in the best possible way.
We are thrilled to announce that Cr Christian Dickson is the first signatory to the Unity in CommUNITY foundation document and look forward to securing Andrew Wallace’s and Jarrod Bleijie’s in the new year.
We extend an offer to all local residents, community organisations and non-profits to contact us at any time so that we may present SDDCA’s Unity in CommUNITY program to you as well. Once we have a clear and definite commitment from all our elected representatives we will be setting up meetings with each and every stakeholder in the Sippy Downs and District area and beyond linking all the tiers of community advocacy and service provision under the Unity in CommUNITY foundation document.
The SDDCA’s Unity in CommUNITY program is an exciting step for the SDDCA and for the community members we advocate for and with, and we look forward to any feedback, suggestions, or ideas that anyone has on how we can further improve our goal to deliver this program for the benefit of each and every one of you.
It’s only with the support of community minded locals like Neil that allows community organisations such as ours to grow our capacity and deliver even more value to the community ratepayers and residents that we represent.
Neil and his businesses are providing us with hosting, tech support and even online marketing guidance so that over the coming months and years we can further empower local businesses, non profit organisations and YOU the community top have a voice online and share with the wider community your services, products, views, praise and even concerns with your fellow community members.
We sincerely thank Neil and the Suncoast Hosting and Web Solutions team! If you are looking for any kind of Web Solutions at all please give them a call on 07 5479 3888 alternatively you can click or tap on their logos below and check out all they have on offer!
Suncoast Web Solutions – SDDCA Supporter
Suncoast Hosting – SDDCA Supporter
If you own or operate a local business and would like to support us to do even more locally you can checkout the SDDCA Corporate, Premium Corporate, Supporter or Sponsor Memberships or like Neil provide in kind support and or services by contacting us via out Contact Us page or simply give us a call and together we can explore how you too can support us to do even more!