On air with a lively pair


LISTENING to Galen “Gal” Reilly and Beth Hennes at 2CHYFM is like eavesdropping on two good mates.

These two have natural chemistry and a shared passion for music that translates to a fun drive- time radio show every Thursday.

Off air they are high school students, Gal, 18, at Coffs Harbour Senior College and Beth, 17, at Bishop Druitt College, and both have graduated from the 2CHYFM 104.1 training/introduction program in radio broadcasting.

Gal has been blind since birth but hasn’t let that stand in the way of his career aspirations. He leans in across the sound panel with confidence and adjusts the levels, a quick measure with his thumb and index finger lets him know how close he is to the microphone and he introduces the next song.

“I’ve memorised the keyboard, I know where all the buttons are,” he said. “I’m right into my music, I heard about the course and said ‘sign me up’; my goal is to become an announcer at Triple J.”

Gal has been on air at 2CHYFM for five years, and on the drive time with Beth for the past 12 months.

“I had just finished my training and got a call from the trainer if I could come in and help out,” Beth said. “It was a weekend, the station was locked and I couldn’t get in. I was nervous being new, Gal came along and said ‘come with me, I’ve got the key’ and we’ve been having fun on air ever since.”

Both are huge fans of Powderfinger and The Killers, they also enjoy a diverse range of music from Eminem and Red Hot Chilli Peppers to David Bowie and Bob Marley.

“Gal has an incredible memory, he remembers lyrics, dates, names. I’ll tell him what songs are coming up next and he’ll know what year and albums they’re from.”

When I left these two, the spirited conversation was about Brandon Flowers and his band The Killers and what was their best album.

A couple of rooms down the corridor, 2CHYFM station manager Becky Cole hears the discussion. “Gal and Beth are a great on air team, Becky said. “Gal is a star student, he has been with us for five years and he is not a passive participant, he is running the show.”

Reproduced with permission The Coffs Coast Advocate