by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Bowls In Focus : November 2010
14 Bowls In Focus Hands up if you reckon you know which radio personality in Australia attracts the largest number of listeners? And if your guess is John Lawes, Neil Mitchell or Steve Price you’re not even close. However, if you were to propose Vermont South bowler Oska Setyana, you’d probably be closer to the mark. You see Oska, a 40-year veteran in broadcast- ing, is the senior anchorman for Radio Australia’s Indonesian service where his weekly shows attract regular audiences well in excess of twenty-million, while ancillary output in such mediums as interna- tional radio on-line and Twitter are understood to swell his audience by a further fifty-percent. The 62-year-old Indonesian native, who hails from Bandung, about 180-km from Jakar ta, settled in Melbourne when he joined Radio Australia - the ABC’s international wing – in 1983. Two years ago he was awarded the coveted ABC 25-Year Service Award, which must surely be a rare occurrence in the feisty world of media. In his teens Oska studied at the Academy of Theatre and Film and one of his first professional gigs after graduating was to translate and voice- over James Bond movie scripts for Indonesian ra- dio. His love of live theatre also saw him perform in lead roles of eminent stage plays such as ‘Caligula’ and ‘Romulus The Great’. However, it was in 1970 that he achieved his big break, hosting a pop music show on Indonesia’s most trendy radio station. One suspects he might have been his country’s answer to Molly Meldrum, but I doubt it, he doesn’t even own a Stetson. These days the senior on-air personality frontlines three major presentations into Indonesia every week; an environmental documentary style program on Wednesdays, a news and current affairs show called ‘Bright and Early’ every Sun- day, and one of his pet projects ‘Aussie Jazz’ on Tuesdays. Oska is one of the foundation members of the Vermont South Bowls Club and well remembers a time in 1994 when he took his kids to play tennis at the local courts and was approached by a bearded man who was drumming up support for a new lawn bowls club. “At the time I thought bowls was a game of marbles only bigger,” he laughs, recalling that as a youngster he was a dab hand with a tombowler around the back alleys of Bandung. “But once I became involved with the new club and started playing seriously it became my passion. “It’s been that way for 16 years, I practice as much as I can and want to improve my game to the best it can be.” Oska remembers a fateful Sunday in November 1998 with great affection, when he played third in the rink of lead Trevor Mudgway from New Zealand, second Andy Van Der Linden from Holland and Ukrainian skipper Igor Osidacz that won the presti- gious RVBA International Day at Glen Waverley. “It was the first time a United Nations team had won the event and we were all so thrilled to hold the magnificent trophy,” he said. But there have been several other performances to suggest the gritty little Vermont South left-hander can really play this game. In the 2007 Australian Open at Darebin, Oska and clubmate David Knight qualified for the main draw of the Men’s Pairs competition, then came up with the heroics to win their way through three rounds before internationals Bill Cornehls and Matt Flapper halted their run. “We tied the first set 8-8 before they got on top of us in the second to win 11-4, but we were both very proud to have got that far,” he recalled. “For a couple of suburban club bowlers it is quite an achievement.” Earlier this year Oska again rocked the estab- lishment when he won his way into the last 32 of the Australian Indoor Singles Championship at Tweed Heads. “It was a big thrill to be one of the Victorian qualifiers, and going to Tweed Heads and rubbing shoulders with the best players in Australia was just fantastic.” However, Oska had the misfor tune to be drawn against reigning Queensland champion of champions Jamie Anderson in the first round. And although the scores might suggest it was a one- sided affair, the Victorian southpaw put up a great fight before the lanky Capalaba whiz claimed the points. Anderson went on to play in the final against world champion of champions Brett Wilkie from Helensvale, which he lost narrowly. Oska may well be the only Indonesian bowler on the books, and although coming from a country where table tennis, badminton and chess are the major recreations, he hopes that considering the recent success of the game in Malaysia and India, bowls might one day find its way to his homeland and its 270 million people. He is yet to obtain master status at Vermont South, being runner-up twice in the club singles, but warns his mates at the club that when he re- tires in two years he will have more time to devote to practice, so they should start looking over their shoulders. - David Allen A Winning Performer Oska’s • Above: Vermont South’s Oska Setyana on air in his studio at Radio Australia. • Left: Bowls has been Oska’s sporting passion for 16 years. • Right: A publicity shot from the days when Oska fronted a top rating Indonesian pop music show.