Remembering GH in the 1950s as a Technician in Training (TIT)

Getting to Become a Trainee

The telegram arrived on 10 February 1958. All it said was PLEASE PHONE ME JF0433 MIDDLETON AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING COMMISSION. The phone call confirmed that I won the job of Technician-in-Training (TV). An official letter followed on 18 February 1958.

The process began in November 1957, when my brother told me (he was working at GH as a Technician) that the ABC were offering television traineeships. I enquired, and subsequently received a letter dated 2nd December 1957, from ABC Personnel, giving details of the Trainee Television Technician Scheme. I formally applied and then received another letter dated 12th December, thanking me for my application. On the 15th January a further letter arrived giving me the appointment time for an interview. My interview was conducted by Ken Middleton and John Watson. The interview was held in the Engineering Cottage, in Ken Middleton’s office.

I remember taking a trip to Lowes Building in mid February 1958, where the ABC Personnel Department was located, for my induction. This took the form of signing the appropriate papers, and then taking the oath to HM the Queen. It was also the time when we had to decide whether or not to join the ABC Tea Club.

My start date was 17 February 1958.


Training at the Technical College in 1958

As this was the first year of the operation of the Trainee Scheme, the ABC decided to split our group in two, so that half the group was working in the GH Studios, while the other half was receiving the training at North Sydney Technical College, adjoining the GH Studios.

My group commenced training in mid February in the first term at the College. The training period was 6 weeks. So during the year we all would have received 18 weeks of classes.

Subjects we covered during 1958 included –

  • Circuit Theory taken by Bob Green
  • Electronics taken by Stan Graves
  • Mathematics Lee Klososcyk
  • Soldering
  • Laboratory ie building electronic projects
  • English

I remember that we were not to impressed with the lack of television material in the syllabus!

To receive our pay we had to walk back to the GH studios every second Thursday? The Finance Department sent over to GH two staff loaded up with a huge case of salary slips for all the staff. They set their case in the Artist Assembly Room and all the staff queued up to receive their money. In those days this was the only way to receive one’s wages. My first salary for the fortnight came to seventeen pounds and two shillings (gross) and tax was seventeen shillings.

BS 20 Jan 06

Bob Sitsky started work at Gore Hill as a Technician-in-Training in February 1958. When he retired at the end of October 2000 he held the position of National Training Manager (Production & Services)


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