Carols by the Bay: A Talk with Denis Walter

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Carols by the Bay: A Talk with Denis Walter

With another year, we have another Carols by the Bay, and this year promises to be spectacular, with a line up Denis Walter promises will be different from any other year so far, right up until the beginning in 1997.

Hi Denis, thank you so much for chatting with us today. To start, could you tell us a little about Carols by the Bay?

Well, this is our twenty first year. I used to wonder why we didn’t use the waterfront of Geelong for entertainment so much, then I thought the perfect event to have down there would be Carols by the Bay. So we started in 1997, and here we are at the twenty first staging of it. I don’t know where the time’s gone, but it’s a wonderful event and we try to change the show each year. This year is going to be different to all the rest, I can assure everybody.

That sounds intriguing. Do you think you could give us a sneaky glimpse into what you have planned for the event this year?

Okay, well, one of the things is that I’ve got a group called the Oz Boyz, Australia’s boys of Motown. I saw them at a corporate function that I was hosting and I asked them whether they had any Christmas material and the audiences just went nuts for them. They’re going to do a mix of Christmas and a couple of other tracks as well, which is great. Obviously it’s a Carols event and the majority of the material through the night will be Christmas and Carols, but there will be a couple of other pieces as well. Mike Brady is going to be there, so I presume we might even get a little bit of ‘Up There Cazaly’, along with two Christmas carols.

That does sound good. Why do you think the Carols by the Bay continues to be so successful after so many years?

It’s interesting. There are people who come each year from all over the state, and some come from interstate. I think it’s because it’s not only a celebration of community but it’s recognition of this beautiful, natural amphitheatre that we’ve got at Eastern Beach. When I started the event, it was successful from the first year, but people seem to have made it part of the Christmas agenda for families which is a lovely feeling.

I was browsing your record history and I’ve come to the startling realisation that you might just be the Australian Michael Bublé . What is it about Christmas that captivates you?

I love the celebration of community, and there’s a difference, I know it’s busy and everyone’s running around, but there’s a definite sort of sense of community around Christmas time that perhaps we don’t have at other times of the year. I think Christmas inspires good will and I don’t think there’s any other time of year when that sort of feeling of warm and good will is prevalent.

Your career has always been so heavily steeped in the entertainment and media industries. Have you always wanted to follow this path or have you ever considered the idea of doing something else?

No, as my career’s panned out I’ve done all the things that I’ve wanted to do. Even though I started with singing and I’ll always be singing, I always wanted to do something in television news, which I did for sixteen years for regional Victoria. I always wanted to do talk radio, so after a few years in music radio I got the chance to join 3AW and I’m celebrating nine years of being on the afternoon program this week.

Finally, out of the impressive and ridiculously long amount of accomplishments you have, what would you say is your proudest moment?

Oh, there have been a couple. The time my father joined me at Carols by Candlelight at Melbourne, when he was approaching eighty, is one of them. The other was being given the medal of The Order of Australia, which was fantastic, and just so humbling. They’re two that really stand out.

Join Denis Walter live at Carols by the Bay where you are guaranteed to leave feeling festive with the spirit of Christmas. Visit for more information.

When & Where: Eastern Beach Reserve, Waterfront Geelong – December 2, 7pm-9:30pm

Written by Taylor Rawson