Our History

Melbourne's best classical music and jazz

3MBS Melbourne 103.5FM was imagined by music fan and radio engineer Brian Cabena in 1968 to address the lack of classical music broadcast on the radio. Cabena wrote a letter to The Age newspaper calling for interest in a listener-run classical music radio station. Two hundred people attended that first meeting and founded the Music Broadcasting Society of Victoria Limited.

Several years of lobbying followed and in 1974 an independent inquiry into FM broadcasting (known as the McLean Report) recommended that television be removed from the FM band to allow for the commencement of FM radio broadcasting.

3MBS was finally launched on 1 July 1975. It was the first radio station to broadcast on the new FM band in Victoria and paved the way for the establishment of other community broadcasters.

In 2007, the station relocated from Brian Cabena’s original radio repair shopfront in Kew (pictured above) to the beautiful cultural precinct of the Abbotsford Convent. At the time of the move, the station looked to the future and invested in digital technology, incorporating digitally-linked studios and a performance studio. These exceptional facilities enable the station to record and broadcast in-house performances by local, national and international musicians.

To be at the heart of the Melbourne classical music community, 3MBS Melbourne 103.5FM curates Made in Melbourne, a series of live, boutique concerts showcasing Victorian artists, women composers, First Nations artists, a young performer competition, a young artist mentoring program, and an annual musical Marathon.

3MBS Melbourne 103.5FM looks forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2025.