Georgia Free - Driving Off to a New Adventure - Hope 103.2

Georgia Free – Driving Off to a New Adventure

Much loved Georgia Free, presenter of Hope Drive, Finding Hope and The Hope Book Club finished up on air yesterday.

By Joni BoydThursday 11 Jul 2024Hope DriveStation NewsReading Time: 8 minutes

When Georgia Free announced that she was moving on from Hope 103.2, the responses that flooded in reflected the sentiment here in the office.
Key Points
  • Georgia Free, presenter of Hope Drive, Finding Hope and The Hope Book Club finished up on air yesterday.
  • She has been flooded by well wishes from Hopeland and colleagues.
  • Best wishes Georgia, you will be missed!

“Thank you for all your wisdom and enthusiasm on the air,” one listener wrote. “I love how much you have allowed your listeners to just ‘be’. You will be missed.”

And while we will miss our fun-loving, empathetic colleague who gives the best hugs – we’re also happy for her. This new adventure is the perfect fit.

“Before coming to Hope 103.2, I gained a science degree and had been accepted into a Masters PhD program,” Georgia said, when she made the announcement on air earlier this month.

“I’d worked in research – which I didn’t particularly enjoy – so decided to defer my Masters for a year.

“In October 2018, I started producing Hope Breakfast with Sam and Duncan. I fully believed it would be a six month role, as I was filling in for Ally Barnes, who was on maternity leave at the time.

“That six months turned into a year, and then two – and now almost six years later, I have lived out a dream I didn’t even know I had.

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“I’ve loved every aspect of my job here, learning all the new skills yet, in the back of my mind, I missed science.

“For a long time I was convinced I’d never get back into science, and then – just like my role at Hope – something fell into my lap.”

“I’ve loved every aspect of my job here.” – Georgia

What’s the next stop for Georgia?

Through a mutual connection, Georgia heard about a new role being created at the Garvan Medical Institute, “where I’d wanted to work since I was 14”.

Garvan has a special place in Georgia’s heart because her sister has Cystic Fibrosis and so, she has a burning desire to make a difference in that field.

“This new role is not purely research but adjacent to it, with a communications element, so it fits my background in both science and radio,” she said.

“I’ll be a ‘Technical Officer’ working with dozens of labs in Garvan to manage their systems.”

Georgia has produced three breakfast shows, been a weekend presenter and hosted two podcasts.

What a ride it’s been

During the past six years, Georgia has produced three different breakfast shows, been a weekend presenter, hosted both Finding Hope (which she created from scratch!) and Hope Book Club – and even dabbled in a bit of video production.

However, she says, “my most treasured role has been… hosting Hope Drive and getting to know you. For almost two and a half years now, which is about 500 shows (yes, I’ve been counting) – I’ve had the privilege of championing your stories, laughing with you, crying with you, talking to the most incredible guests and hopefully reminding you along the way that the world is really good, even when it’s really hard to see it.

Georgia Free, images used with permission

Georgia finishes up this week – she will be missed!

“My takeaway memories of Hopeland will definitely be the people. Everyone who’s been here always says there’s no place like Hope because of the people. I’m going to miss the camaraderie and common purpose plus all the conversations I’ve had with listeners and guests. I think I’ll miss hearing peoples’ stories the most.

“We’ve been through bushfires, floods, a pandemic, the death of a Queen, a cost of living crisis together… And although they have been some of the hardest experiences I’ve ever had, they’ve been a little less hard sharing them with you.

“What I want to say is thank you. Whether you’ve been listening for one day, or since I started, I’m so grateful you’re here. I hope that Hope Drive has been a place where you can take a deep breath after a long day and just be. I’ve simply loved being a part of your world.”

My takeaway memories of Hopeland will definitely be the people.” – Georgia

Georgia’s highlights

We asked Georgia what her highlights have been. These are her top picks:

  • First shift producing Sam and Duncan.
  • Meeting Eddie Woo on my first day at Hope 103.2.
  • First shift on Hope Drive (finally having a show that was completely my own).
  • Winning Best Podcast award for Finding Hope at the CMAA Awards.
  • First campaign for Feed the Hungry – being on air when we celebrated Hopeland feeding 20,000 kids.
  • Broadcasting late into the evening during the 2019 bushfires, waiting to see if parts of Sydney would have to be evacuated.
  • Announcing one of Sydney’s lockdowns on air (that was more of a lowlight).
Georgia Free, photos used with permission

Some of Georgia’s highlights include her first day producing Hope Breakfast, meeting Eddie Woo and winning Best Podcast for Finding Hope at the CMAA Awards

The Hope family shares some love

Georgia is well-loved by the Hope family – both current and past. We’ve been flooded by messages, wishing her well. Here are just a few messages from people who have worked closely with Georgia over the years:

Sam Robinson – former Hope 103.2 presenter

From those early days producing two clowns to slaying your own primetime shift, you’ve done it all with professionalism, kindness and humility.

Such a natural in front of and behind the mic, and that’s a rare thing! You’ll be dearly missed.

Welcome to the Hope retirement village. Oh, and if you need any science help you know who to call (not Duncan).

“Such a natural in front of and behind the mic, and that’s a rare thing!” – Sam Robinson

Ally Barnes – former Hope 103.2 presenter

Georgia Free! I will miss hearing such a glorious human and my dear friend every day. But I’m so proud of you!

I hope you look back with a sense of accomplishment. Our city has been so blessed by your hard work and dedication. Bring on the excitement of new adventures, challenges and opportunities ahead.

I’m so grateful our paths crossed (eventually). And I know our friendship goes beyond the studio. Much love Georgia Free!

“Our friendship goes beyond the studio.” – Ally Barnes

Stephen O’Doherty – former Hope 103.2 Chair

Georgia, I will miss your on air presence. You’ve been a wonderful presence and used your gifts so well.

Thank you for the authenticity you’ve brought to everything you’ve done including this heartfelt announcement. God bless you on the next stage of your adventure.

Georgia Free, images used with permission

Georgia is well loved by the Hope team. She is pictured here with Ally, Sam and Laura.

“Without Georgia I wouldn’t have made it as a Hope announcer.” – Yvette McDonnell

Ben McEachen – Hope Mornings

Georgia is what I love about Hope. She is a Christian concerned for others and our world, who wants to share the joy and support of Jesus through the myriad stuff we all encounter.

She makes it sound easy to be able to talk on-air about the big and small of life, yet we all know how much effort, consideration and care Georgia puts into, well, everything.

It has been a delight and education to work alongside Georgia, whose sincerity and investment shines as strongly as her welcoming spirit.

“Georgia is what I love about Hope.” – Ben McEachen

Laura Bennett – Hope Afternoons

Pretty sure if you don’t have a science degree, it’s guaranteed that Georgia is the smartest person in the room… but you’d never know because she’s the most caring, attentive and kind person to everyone she meets.

I’m going to miss my desk buddy and the looks she gives me during our many story times and on air crossovers.

Georgia Free, images used with permission

Georgia is a valued part of the Hope family and will be greatly missed!

Hopeland shares some love

We’ve been overwhelmed by the messages of love and gratitude that you’ve been sending, Hopeland! Here are just a few of your sentiments:

thelifeofjessandcosta: Georgia, so sad to hear you’re leaving Hope soon, but so grateful you’re pursuing a new opportunity. It’s been a tough few years for our family, and I’ve often lent on Hope Drive and the Finding Hope Podcast for company, inspiration and hope.

Thank you for being there for so many in the Hope 103.2 community (like myself). You will be sorely missed on the air waves and off.

Horsy Hawkesbury: Georgia, thank you for being who you are on radio….down to earth, humble, real. As a radio presenter you connected with listeners as they knew you’re just like they are….someone who has the same struggles and joys.

May God bless you. He already has, as you know His grace. Embrace new opportunities as you continue to serve Him in what you do.

“It’s been a tough few years for our family, and I’ve often lent on Hope Drive and the Finding Hope Podcast for company, inspiration and hope.” – Hope 103.2 listener

Sophie Copeman: I remember when Sam and Duncan prank called you to say you were the one who was going to be joining them on air. Good luck with the new opportunity

Amy Iskenderian: We’re so sad to hear you’re leaving Georgia. Don’t tell the others, but you’re my favourite presenter!

I’ve always loved listening to what you have to share – I should have realised your interest in science given your very natural way of explaining new research findings throughout your show.

I hope you love your new position and bless people there the way you’ve blessed me and my family.

“Don’t tell the others, but you’re my favourite presenter!” – Hope 103.2 listener

Having you leave the radio makes me feel like I’m losing a friend – you’ve done many kilometres with us, taxiing my kids around of an afternoon you’ve seen us through many meltdowns.

Your stories always seem to come on at times that help to distract in a good way. Please do pop in to Hope on occasion so we can all catch up on how your next adventure goes. God bless

See you later, Georgia!

Georgia said it best; “There’s no easy way to say goodbye to a place and people you love so dearly. I don’t like to think of this as a goodbye – more, a see you later.”

Best wishes in your next adventure, Georgia! From all of us at Hope 103.2.

Article supplied with thanks to Joni Boyd. Joni Boyd is the Digital Media Coordinator at Hope 103.2. She is passionate about the power of stories shared, to transform lives.

All images used with permission.