We’re sad to say farewell to Mr Kenny Reys, who passed away last week after a long illness. Friends and family from across the country gathered in Edmonton, near Cairns for the service and burial today.
Kenny’s involvement in media came following a long history as a bureaucrat in the public service, where he rose to position of regional manager of ATSIC.
On retirement from the public service Ken then joined BBM – Bumma Bippera Media – in his home town of Cairns and went on become station manager.
He forged a strong team at BBM and saw them through getting a full-time broadcasting license in 1999 – one of only a small number of full time Indigenous licenses in the day.
Kenny was also active in national Indigenous media, becoming chair of the Australian Indigenous Media Association for a period, and was also part of the foundation team responsible for setting up the National Indigenous Television service (NITV).
BBM became known for its well-crafted national programming as well as its local success throughout the Cairns region. Local football broadcasts, coverage of major events like Laura Dance Festival, All Blacks Big Day Out in the NPA, the Cairns Show are a few that Kenny pioneered in his days at the helm of BBM. There were many more….
Spending time at BBM was like spending time with family. Kenny had a unique way of making people feel part of the family and he was always someone that you could depend on for an understanding ear no matter what the topic of conversation.
He was determined person, with a strong direction; a fighter who stood up for his beliefs and always protected and looked out for members of his extended family.
QRAM would like to acknowledge Ken as one of the many Indigenous broadcast industry pioneers who worked together to found QRAM in the early 2000s. The legacy is a strong, well-respected organisation that is bringing high-quality radio services to the entire remote Queensland region.