Les Heil AM
Les left BGS at the end of 1950 and, in spite of not excelling academically at School, has proven a leader and innovator within the Australian broadcasting industry.
In 1985, Les received the Commercial Radio Achievement Award – the radio industry’s highest honour at that time. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1988 in recognition of his service to media and to radio broadcasting in particular.
In 1990, under Les, 3KZ became the first radio station in Australia’s history to convert from the AM band to the FM band. Les also oversaw the development of a new radio network, Sea FM.
Les was inducted into the Radio Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame in 1990.
In association with the Federation of Australian Broadcasters and the Asian Broadcasting Union, Les has assisted with the establishment of commercial broadcasting services in developing countries, mainly in the Pacific region. In the mid-1970s, he spent time in the Solomon Islands working with the staff of the then developing Solomon Islands Commercial Broadcasting Service. He also contributed to the development of New Zealand’s first private commercial broadcasting service, Radio Hauraki.
Outside broadcasting, Les’s contributions to the community have been significant via his role as President of the Kiwanis Club of Melbourne and as a member of Melbourne Rotary. In both organisations, he has served on committees related to youth welfare. He was a director of the David Kirk Foundation, a large philanthropic trust. For many years he contributed to the work of Austin Hospital – specifically the 3KZ Children’s Wing – via the Austin Hospital Community Board and he continues to volunteer at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
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