JACK Hodgins is admittedly an old soul. To others, he could be described as a relic from a '60s and '70s time warp or an extra from an Austin Powers movie.
What can't denied is the 19-year-old's passion, and authenticity.
Since he was 16 the former St Philips Christian College student has been volunteering at the University of Newcastle's community radio station 2NURFM.
Over the past three years he's produced and hosted mental health program, Wellbeing, as well as his own music series, Vinyl Vibes, which has featured in-depth interviews with the likes of Air Supply co-founder Graham Russell, Bee Gees drummer Colin Petersen and Bob Dylan keyboardist Al Kooper.
His first interview was with 84-year-old Quarrymen drummer Colin Hanton, who Hodgins cold-emailed. The interview included Hanton's memories of a teenage John Lennon and his first-hand account of Paul McCartney's audition to join the Quarrymen, who eventually morphed into the all-conquering Beatles.
The majority of Hodgins' on-air talent on Vinyl Vibes are old enough to be his grandfather, or even his great-grandfather - and in many cases - have long since left mainstream media attention.
"I think it adds an interesting dynamic to the show because I'm so young," Hodgins says.
"How we connect adds a different layer to the show. If someone was older it would be a different conversation. It would feel different.
"At first when I get on the Zoom call or the phone call they hear my voice or they see me, they might think, 'oh this is a bit different, I wasn't expecting someone so young'.
"I guess it starts off with that surprise and then the questions start rolling and I'm always very well researched, so I prove that quickly."
Hodgins doesn't just love music from the '60s and '70s, he embraces its culture, too.
When he meets Weekender at 2NUR's Callaghan studio he's wearing denim flares, a blue jacket and an orange '70s-style big collar shirt.
Hodgins explains it's his regular wardrobe, which developed over time, especially after watching the disco film Saturday Night Fever.
"People when I first meet them are like, 'have you stepped out of a time machine or something?'," he says.
"I think it's a positive thing overall. Once people see it and get used to it, they're like, 'that's just what Jack does'."
When Hodgins was five he first heard Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue and That'll Be The Day. Something clicked.
It began a love affair with '60s and '70s acts like the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. For Hodgins it all comes back to authenticity.
It's always gonna be the '60s and '70s for me.- Jack Hodgins
"Clearly music is very different now in terms of the charts, to what it was in the '60s and '70s," he says. "I think there's not as much authenticity today and not as much diversity in the sounds charting at the moment.
"I'm not disinterested in it [modern music], if it's good, it's good. But it's always gonna be the '60s and '70s for me."
Hodgins' radio work is also being recognised nationally. In 2022 he was nominated for Outstanding Youth Contribution at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia Awards for Wellbeing.
In September he scored another nomination for Vinyl Vibes in the Best Online Content category.
Hodgins was 17 when he first began hosting and producing the nationally-syndicated Wellbeing series. The program covers mental and physical health topics such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, anorexia and cancer.
"I remember starting off and talking to people who'd gone through alcoholism and those kind of things," he says. "It wasn't confronting, and it certainly was an eye-opener being 17 at the time and talking to people who'd gone through those kind of things."
Again, Hodgins says his age was actually a benefit when approaching mental health topics.
"I've grown up at a time where mental health was always talked about really," he says. "I don't remember it not being talked about. So I have a positive outlook on it and know it's positive to talk about mental health."
Hodgins is studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring political science at the Australian National University in Canberra and is undecided about radio as a future career path.
"I'm keeping it open-ended at the moment," he says. "I'm not sure yet because I really do love media."
The next episode of Vinyl Vibes is on Sunday at 6pm on 2NURFM.