• Home
  • News
  • The ABC's mission: 'A much needed centre of national unity'

The ABC's mission: 'A much needed centre of national unity'

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The ABC's mission: 'A much needed centre of national unity'

Richard Boyer, ABC Chairman 1945 – 1961, on the principles to which the ABC should aspire in a speech in June 1945 at a lunch given by the Postmaster General:

Were we merely a body to provide music, entertainment and welfare services, we should have a comparatively happy and peaceful life.

In this connection, may I give you this assurance, that so far as this Commission is concerned we are unanimous in our determination that no sectional pressure, however powerful and persuasive, shall deter us from presenting as balanced and impartial a picture of events and issues as humanly possible… only so, I suggest, can national broadcasting in Australia be removed from the arena of party dispute to that of our fundamental unity as a people.

We do not regard our function as achieved if we merely keep out of trouble. What we believe to be your purpose in this institution is that it should be a positive factor in building an informed, critical and cultured democracy. I think we all realise that in the post-war years, we are entering a period in which grave and far-reaching issues of social and political policy will agitate the nation. In that period, when political temperatures may rise and our cleavages become more pronounced, it is our hope that national broadcasting may stand solid and serene in the middle of our national life, running no campaign, seeking to persuade no opinion, but presenting the issues freely and fearlessly for the calm judgment of our people. If we succeed in this attempt to make the ABC an impartial clearing house for our ideas, and a stimulant to our thought, as well as an instrument of education and aesthetic culture, we shall, we believe, not only contribute most valuably to the healthy development of democracy, but serve as a much needed centre of national unity.

Contact Information

(02) 6273 5608
From outside Australia: + 61 2 6273 5608
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RG Menzies House
Cnr Blackall & Macquarie Sts
Barton ACT 2600