Consultancy And Other Relevant Things
About Anzac Day, Peter Stanley has done quite a number of commentaries from 1998. Between 1998 and 2001, he was part of the ABC TV commentary team while they made the broadcast of the Anzac Day March that was held in Sydney. His special responsibility was to provide information on army contingents which during those times were the most important and largest compartment of the March. This would often lead him to close to an hour of impromptu commentary.
It was easier for him during those times. Thanks to the TV Station’s producer – Kinsey McDonald – who would always ensure that huge briefing materials were made available and assembled. He also provided the commentary team with another armful of documents.
But they were constantly kept in check by Kinsey as he always told them to ‘talk to the screen’ whenever they were trying to keep an eye on these documents. Though all that was offered to them at that time was accommodation and the experience of travel, it was still an honourable phenomenon. In some implicit ways, to Peter Stanley, it noted that he was accepted as he is – Australian.
Since then, he has shared the commentary box with several remarkable individuals. He was once commentating on the Centenary of Federation Parade (defence Segment) in Sydney alongside Geraldine Doogue in January 2001. That event was an awkward mish-mash of partakers. Vietnam and Militia veterans were marching behind the Land Army (women). The only remarkable thing to be recalled with some euphoria is the level of lavished in hospitality offered to the talent on-air.
Still in 2001, Peter got into the commentary box. On that day of the Anzac Parade (dedicated to Korean War Memorial) which was not as celebratory. Nevertheless, that was the first time he worked with Alex Sloan, an ABC presenter. Alex is rooted in the mind of Peter as a super amazing person – rare to find in an industry full of notorious phoneys that cannot help but weigh their super-size egos.
When in 2002 Peter got another job with the Australian War Memorial, he was forbidden from working with/for the ABC. Then, he got the task of making live commentaries during the Anzac Day National Ceremony which was to be done via an open microphone.
Although, this would lead to him being listened to by fewer audience. He still had to deal with being psychologically judged by the reverberation he heard as he spoke. Also, he was at the mercy of arriving groups or the ones not arriving and for sure, the ones not arriving on the parade grounds included. This has a space for timeliness nevertheless.
After he returned to his first hit at ABC media, he soon got bored of it. Many reasons may have caused that. One, the march he used to experience changed from being just that had begun offering fewer and fewer challenges. Two, many newly introduced parts of the ceremony do not interest him any longer in fact, they make him totally uncomfortable.
The fly-past to him is an absolutely unnecessary component of the programme. He feels the programme has become more militarised than ever. Although, he remains unable to express his reservations whether by working as an open commentator or in the ABC studio. His deeply sought after privilege might as well be unchecked freedom of speech.