As part of our Newscaf series, celebrating 30 years of the NFSA Television News and Current Affairs Program, we take a look at how the humble weather report has changed on Australian television throughout recent decades.
A matter for meteorologists
In the 1960s and early 70s weather reports around the country were mostly presented by young and attractive 'weather girls' – often young models, entertainers or actresses, such as Robina Beard, Ilona Komesaroff and Anne Wills, who once famously presented the weather while wearing a bikini.
But by the mid-to-late 70s and into the 1980s, weather presenting became the domain of meteorologists and seasoned news reporters. Predominantly middle-aged and male, they appeared at the end of the half-hour evening news bulletin equipped with maps, whiteboard markers, magnets and pointers.
Australians from coast to coast trusted the likes of Kevin Arnett, Mike Bailey, Ray and Alan Wilkie to provide a serious, comprehensive look at the weather forecast around the country.
Alan Wilkie, with black marker in hand, shows us how it was done in 1976 for Seven Nightly News using hi-tech, rotating weather maps and the latest imaging from Macquarie University: