HuonFM was established to provide a voice for the youth of the Geeveston area in 1979. Originally called 7RGY (Regional Geeveston Youth) the station soon grew to become a vibrant and viable voice for the whole of the Huon Valley and Channel areas of southern Tasmania.
The station was the brainchild of a teacher at the Geeveston District High School, Peter Johnston. He saw a school radio station as a valuable and enlightening learning tool for the students. Equipment was sourced from radio station 7HO and various services.
The studio was set up and operated for approximately 11.5 years at the school. During the first 5 years it was operated solely by students under the supervision of Peter Johnston with the encouragement and occasional participation of then Principal Rod Gray.
There was a free range of programmes including a lot of rock music of the era played by the students. Broadcasting hours were then restricted to a few hours after school each day and during the school holidays.
The station was housed in the amenities block of the school until the old fire station in School Road became available in 1992.
Under the guidance of the committee led by the secretary Tricia Hawthorne the station was able to broadcast within the immediate area on a limited basis.
In 1993, two former commercial radio broadcasters; Dan Garlick and Michael Naughton put forward a plan to the committee which resulted in the station adopting the name Huon FM and looking towards to becoming a voice for the whole Huon Valley. Dan Garlick became the Station Manager.
During the period from 1993 to 1999 the station achieved many significant things for the Valley.
- The first nationwide community radio breakfast show, The Red Eye Special took off in 1995.
- The Footy Show included the first live broadcasts of the local football finals in the Huon.
- The nationwide live broadcasts of the Cygnet Folk Festival.
- Becoming the designated broadcaster for the combined emergency services of the valley.
- Broadcasting topical health and current affairs shows to an audience eager for local content.
- Becoming the first Work for the Dole training centre in the Valley.
Active involvement with the station also benefited many of the announcers, with several going on to careers in other areas of the media.
Robbie Cirvydas worked at HO-FM and commercial radio stations in Victoria, Blake Archer is a location scout at Movieworld, Shane Bone is a performing Arts graduate, Brent Blackburn is a reporter with WIN TV News, Mel Lee, in addition to continuing to contribute to HuonFM, is Assistant Manager at Print Radio Tasmania.
Others simply found their confidence and self esteem were increased by participating in a vibrant and community aware workplace.
In 1998 Fusion Australia were approached to take over the running of the station on a 3 year contract. They did so and ran the station until 2001. During their tenure the station became computerised with all studios and offices networked. Under the guidance of Hans Kelder and Brenton Reimann, the station continued to train locals under the Work for the Dole scheme and also initiated many community activities.
In 2001, the station again came under direct community control through the election of a new committee.