These were the remarks as prepared for delivery. Lindy ran short on time and did some on the run editing for length. Final show audio here. From 2.51.00
Well, finally, after 28 years of broadcasting, it’s come to this – there are a few people I’d like to thank.
Brian Burke, Murray Finlay and John Clarke (not the much missed funny one) put me on air in the first place. It was 1990, I had no idea what I was doing but they had faith.
Craig Hamilton was the co-host of my first radio show – a Saturday morning sports program. We remain friends to this day and he’s still responsible for my most hilarious on-air moment. I’ll tell you all off air.
Mike McCluskey and Linda Bracken gave me my first show – a three-month stint doing Drive in Newcastle. This was despite the then state director saying don’t do that, I don’t rate her, she won’t last a year.
Jeannette McMahon was my producer for the bulk of my years in Newcastle – the funniest, cleverest, most distracted producer I ever worked with. When I left Newcastle to work in Melbourne, I never thanked her on air. I do that now.
To the listeners of ABC Newcastle, I know I said in 2005 that I’d only be gone a year but I hope you forgive me for taking 13 to finally come home.
Michael Mason and Sue Howard (ABC senior radio managers at the time) convinced me that I should take the plunge and ply my wares in Melbourne. For a time, I hated both of them for making me do that but now I am simply grateful. They gave me my career.
I am reticent to name specific producers because I have learnt something from all of them but some have a special place in my heart - Dave “the Scotsman” Cook (who gave me licence to cover news and current affairs “like a real person”), Erin Mathews (who despite having run off to TV, came and helped pull together these last four shows in her usual organised and creative manner), Sally Rope (who could talk me into doing any story and often did) and of course, most recently Amber Tripp, aka The Gatekeeper (who has put up with me for the last 6 years without once ever losing her temper.)
The rest of the ABC Melbourne & Victoria crew are quite simply, remarkable. Funny, supportive, creative and clever, I’ve never worked with better people.
To all the guests and regulars over the years who have given up their time and talent, I am simply in awe of you. You are the people who have made me look and sound good.
To anyone who has ever called or texted or came to an outside broadcast like this, thank you. You are why we are here. You are why we do what we do. And the fact that some of it has managed to resonate with you over the years is just fabulous.
To you Damian Rabbitt, thank you for you company over the past few days and for keeping us all sane and to you David Astle, I couldn’t think of a better person to hand the torch onto.
Finally, and here’s where it might get tricky for me emotionally, to three people who are still with us and one who isn’t. To my Dad for not laughing when I said that I wanted to change careers and do something with radio, thank you. To my brother Andrew, a person who struggled with a stutter so badly when he was a kid that the thought of public speaking still fills him with horror, thank you for thinking I’m some kind of superwoman. To my extraordinary husband, the inimitable Pete Ritchie, I am nothing without you and I love the fact that you decided to play basketball tonight instead of coming to my final ever show. That’s how we roll. And finally, to my much missed mother who told me when I was in despair that people in Victoria would ever warm to me, said “stick it out darling. You are such a precious person. They will eventually work that out.” And god love her, she was right.