The sudden arrival of Australia’s wireless age signalled modernity. Wireless was Australia’s first telegraphic mass medium. During the 1920s, wireless broadcasts were conducted by amateurs or ham operators with access to radio equipment, who broadcast live music, commentary and played music recordings (from cylinders and discs) for a small but growing audience. At that time wireless technology was employed chiefly by the armed forces as a tool for telegraphic communication, then in 1923 Australia’s first licensed radio broadcast introduced the new medium to Australian society.
Radio became a central domestic and social activity in Australian society, as entire family groups gathered around a radio set for communal listening. The radio became an essential household item, providing hours of background entertainment to housewives carrying out their day-to-day duties.