Commonwealth Games Ceremonies produced by Andrew Walsh on behalf of Jack Morton

2006 and yet another busy year for The P.A. People – Kicking the year off was the 18th Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne Australia. With control systems spread across three venues around the city this was more than your typical stadium job. It also saw the first outing for the eyeCUE system, raising the bar for precinct-wide visual monitoring.

2006 brought yet another challenge for the Events Communications Team from The P.A. People. The staging of the 2006 18th Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony required the integration of three main equipment and control sites:

  • the main Ceremony itself in Melbourne’s newly renovated MCG,
  • the River event on the mighty Yarra River 1Km to the south,
  • control location on the 58th floor of 101 Collins Street overlooking the other two sites.

The system in the MCG was typical of the systems now provided for a world class sporting event Ceremony.

It consisted of:

  • ClearCom Eclipse Omega matrix system loaded with 176 ports with over 70 ClearCom display stations
  • Creative Audio ConcertCom Party Line system with 100 beltpacs on 20 different rings
  • Twenty constant-transmit duplex radio bases
  • Twelve simplex mobile base radios
  • Four in-ear monitor transmitters with eight radio mic return paths
  • Four FM transmitters and 8,500 receivers
  • Ten IP based surveillance cameras, complete with recording server and 30 display monitors
  • Two IP based video transport systems
  • Ten Network switches, complete with a Gigabit over fibre backbone
  • A multi-coupling system for all transmitters covering 88-700MHz with both standard antennas and leaky co-ax coverage within athlete’s tunnels

Commonwealth Games Event Communications


The main communications control room in the MCG also housed the Duplex and Simplex Radio bases, all in-ear monitoring equipment and the four FM transmitters, along with the Eclipse matrix, party line comms interfaces and audio processing equipment. This room also housed the network equipment and the Surveillance Video servers.

As with all our event communications projects, The P.A. People provided a comprehensive asset management service to manage the distribution of the 1,000 two-way radios plus all the associated accessories used for the Ceremonies.

The challenge lay in integrating the MCG system with a second complete matrix system at the Yarra River, then adding a third major control position using a redundant pair of Free Space Optical links to carry audio for eight channels of base radio communications, audio and data for two remote key stations and two video feeds between the two sites.

The main Yarra River control position and the MCG were linked by 1500m of eight core single mode tactical fibre optic cable deployed by The P.A. People as part of the communications contract. The River system itself was not insignificant.

It consisted of:

  • ClearCom Eclipse 32 matrix system 15 display stations
  • Eight constant-transmit duplex radio bases
  • Twelve simplex mobile base radios
  • Two IP based surveillance cameras
  • Two IP based video transport systems
  • Four Network switches, complete with a Gigabit over fibre backbone

The following is an excerpt of a recent reference from Andrew Walsh…

In my experience The P.A. People are amongst the most experienced and capable technical services companies worldwide. The P.A. People specialises in Ceremonies – The P.A. People people know ceremonies and have the track record to deliver every time. Their expertise covers all areas of communications system delivery:

  • All aspects of Ceremonies Communications including wireless, wired, cameras, monitors, IT, timecode distribution
  • Strong Engineering Background, with vast operational knowledge in the ceremonies environment.
  • They are familiar with logistic requirements of both international work and Olympics, gear is packaged for travel and long or short deployments.

 At every stage of a project I have found Chris Dodds and The P.A. People to be professional, ethical and highly competent. Over many projects, over many they have delivered on time, on budget and above expectation every time.

I am available at any time to personally discuss working with The P.A. People so please do not hesitate to be in touch.

Yours Sincerely,
Andrew Walsh AM
Creative Director – Executive Producer