Obituary: Caroline Jones

Caroline Jones, a veteran of over 50 years at ABC television and radio, died last week following a fall at her Sydney home. She was 84.

Raised in the NSW country town of Murrurundi, Jones first joined ABC in Canberra in 1963 as an announcer and the following year became host of magazine program Canberra Week. She joined the national current affairs program This Day Tonight in 1967 as a Canberra-based reporter before moving to Sydney. When host Bill Peach would take leave or be away on assignment, Jones would be his replacement.

One of her last stories for This Day Tonight was a two-part report on poverty. The special report earned Jones a TV Week Logie Award in 1973 for Outstanding Contribution To TV Journalism.

In 1973 she became the first female host of Four Corners, a role she held for almost a decade. During this time she was twice (in 1977 and 1980) awarded the Gold Sammy as Australia’s top female television personality.

Jones also presented morning radio for ABC in Sydney and for eight years hosted the Radio National program The Search For Meaning.

The Search For Meaning later provided an inspiration for a new biographical documentary series, Australian Story, with Jones hosting the program. Since its debut in 1996, Australian Story has covered the often-unique stories of a diverse range of Australians from their own perspective.

She left Australian Story on her retirement in 2016.

She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1988 for services to the media.

Jones was married and divorced early in her adult life and chose not have children.

Source: ABC, ABC, The Canberra Times.  TV Times, 15 July 1970, 17 March 1973, 31 March 1973, 22 October 1977. TV Week, 24 February 1973.



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Kath And Kim turns 20

It’s time to crack open the Bailey’s and put on the Footy Franks, Kath And Kim turns 20 today.

The initial series of eight episodes debuted on ABC on 16 May 2002, though the characters and premise of the show was born some years earlier as a series of sketches in Big Girl’s Blouse and Something Stupid.

Kath And Kim, following the antics of Kath Day (Jane Turner), her daughter Kim (Gina Riley), Kath’s fiancé (and later husband) Kel Knight (Glenn Robbins), Kim’s husband Brett (Peter Rowsthorn) and second-best friend Sharon (Magda Szubanski), was a huge hit for ABC. Viewers loved the suburban setting and cultural references as well as the phrases, mostly formed by Kath and/or Kim’s mangling of the English language, that became familiar colloquialisms.

The first series revolved around the engagement and wedding plans for divorcee Kath and her ‘hunk-a-spunk’ boyfriend Kel, while recently-married Kim returns to her mother’s house following a break up with husband Brett. The second series follows the rekindling of Kim and Brett’s relationship and the pending arrival of their baby daughter, Epponnee Rae.

A third series ran on ABC in 2004, followed by a telemovie, Da Kath And Kim Code, in 2005, before the announcement that the fourth series would be made by the Seven Network in 2007.

The series and telemovie also featured an impressive array of guest stars, including Marg Downey, William McInnes, Vince Colosimo, Tony Martin, Mick Molloy, Mark Holden, Mark Trevorrow, Annette Allison, Jane Menelaus, Glenn Butcher, Kate Atkinson, Rachel Griffiths, Judith Lucy, Lynda Gibson, Shane Warne, John Clarke, Sibylla Budd, Gerry Connolly, Barry Humphries, Rove McManus, Andrew O’Keefe, Matt Lucas, Shane Warne, Michael Bublé, Geoffrey Rush and Kylie Minogue.

Kath And Kim went on to win three TV Week Logies and four AFI Awards before producing a movie spin-off, Kath And Kimderella, and the concept being franchised to NBC to produce an American version.

But while Kath And Kim continues to live on with free-to-air and streaming re-runs, the “effluent” waterfront house in Patterson Lakes that was the central point of the series has only recently been demolished.

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TV Week Logie Awards — Nominations

TV Week has announced its nominations for the 62nd TV Week Logie Awards, to be presented at The Star Gold Coast Entertainment Precinct at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on 19 June.

Due to the pandemic, this is the first Logies presentation in three years.

This year brings in a change to the nominations process, where names and titles are shortlisted by Logies organiser, events company Rizer, in partnership with the networks and streamers. From the shortlist of nominations, the public can now make their vote for the winners of the Most Popular categories via the Logies’ website:

Also new this year, the Silver Logie for Most Popular Presenter is now named in honour of Bert Newton, who hosted the Logies 20 times and won four Gold Logies. This year also marks the debut of a new award — the Silver Logie for Most Popular Australian Actor Or Actress in an International Program, recognising the achievement of Australian talent overseas.

Still to be announced is the recipient of this year’s TV Week Logie Awards Hall Of Fame.

Hamish Blake (LEGO Masters Australia)
Julia Morris (I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!)
Karl Stefanovic (Today, 60 Minutes)
Melissa Leong (MasterChef Australia, Celebrity MasterChef Australia)
Ray Meagher (Home And Away)
Sonia Kruger (Big Brother, Holey Moley, Dancing with The Stars: All Stars, The Voice, The Voice Generations)
Tom Gleeson (Hard Quiz)

(Previous winner: Tom Gleeson)

Bernard Curry (Wentworth)
Guy Pearce (Jack Irish)
Hugo Weaving (Love Me)
Ray Meagher (Home and Away)
Rodger Corser (Doctor Doctor)
Stephen Peacocke (RFDS)

(Previous winner: Luke McGregor)

Ada Nicodemou (Home and Away)
Anna Torv (The Newsreader)
Bojana Novakovic (Love Me)
Deborah Mailman (Total Control)
Kitty Flanagan (Fisk)
Sophie Dillman (Home and Away)

(Previous winner: Deborah Mailman)

Carrie Bickmore (The Project)
Hamish Blake (LEGO Masters Australia)
Leigh Sales (7.30)
Melissa Leong (MasterChef Australia, Celebrity MasterChef Australia)
Sonia Kruger (Big Brother, Holey Moley, Dancing with the Stars: All Stars, The Voice, The Voice Generations)
Tom Gleeson (Hard Quiz)

(Previous winner: Costa Georgiadis)

Alessandra Rampolla (Married At First Sight)
Carlos Sanson Jr (Bump)
Matt Evans (Home And Away)
Melanie Bracewell (The Cheap Seats)
Tony Armstrong (News Breakfast)
Will Lodder (Love Me)

(Previous winner: Dylan Alcott)

Doctor Doctor, Nine Network
Home And Away, Seven Network
Love Me, Binge/Foxtel
RFDS, Seven Network
The Newsreader, ABC
Total Control, ABC

(Previous winner: Mystery Road)

Anh’s Brush with Fame, ABC
Gogglebox Australia, Foxtel
Hard Quiz, ABC
LEGO Masters Australia, Nine Network
The Masked Singer Australia, Network Ten
The Voice Australia, Seven Network

(Previous winner: Gogglebox Australia)

7.30, ABC
Australian Story, ABC
A Current Affair, Nine Network
Four Corners, ABC
The Front Bar, Seven Network
The Project, Network Ten

(Previous winner: The Project)

Aftertaste, ABC
Fisk, ABC
Have You Been Paying Attention?, Network Ten
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, ABC
The Hundred with Andy Lee, Nine Network
The Cheap Seats, Network Ten

(Previous winner: Have You Been Paying Attention?)

The Block: Fans Vs Faves, Nine Network
Celebrity Apprentice Australia, Nine Network
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, Network Ten
Married At First Sight, Nine Network
MasterChef Australia, Network Ten
SAS Australia, Seven Network

(Previous winner: MasterChef Australia)

Better Homes and Gardens, Seven Network
Bondi Rescue, Network Ten
Gardening Australia, ABC
Love It Or List It Australia, Foxtel
The Living Room, Network Ten
Travel Guides, Nine Network

(Previous winner: Gardening Australia)

Angourie Rice (Mare of Easttown)
Jacki Weaver (Yellowstone)
Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus)
Sarah Snook (Succession)
Troye Sivan (Three Months)
Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaids Tale)

(New Category)


Bump, Stan
Love Me, Binge/Foxtel
RFDS, Seven Network
The Newsreader, ABC
Wentworth – The Final Sentence, Foxtel

(Previous winner: Wentworth)

Fires, ABC
New Gold Mountain, SBS
The End, Foxtel
The Tourist, Stan
The Unusual Suspects, SBS

(Previous winner: Bloom)

Hugo Weaving, Love Me
Jamie Dornan, The Tourist
Richard Roxburgh, Fires
Sam Reid, The Newsreader
Scott Ryan, Mr Inbetween

(Previous winner: Scott Ryan)

Anna Torv, The Newsreader
Claudia Karvan, Bump
Deborah Mailman, Total Control
Isla Fisher, Wolf Like Me
Miranda Otto, Fires

(Previous winner: Jenna Coleman)

Colin Friels, Wakefield
Damon Herriman , The Tourist
Hugh Sheridan, Back To The Rafters
Matt Nable, Mr Inbetween
William McInnes, The Newsreader

(Previous winner: Frankie J Holden)

Heather Mitchell, Love Me
Katrina Milosevic, Wentworth — The Final Sentence
Mabel Li, New Gold Mountain
Noni Hazlehurst, The End
Rachel Griffiths, Total Control

(Previous winner: Jacki Weaver)

Hard Quiz, ABC
LEGO Masters Australia, Nine Network
Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, ABC
The Masked Singer Australia, Network Ten
The Voice Australia, Seven Network

(Previous winner: Have You Been Paying Attention?)

Beauty and The Geek, Nine Network
Celebrity Apprentice Australia, Nine Network
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Network Ten
MasterChef Australia, Network Ten
SAS Australia, Seven Network

(Previous winner: Australian Survivor: Champions Vs Contenders)

60 Minutes – ‘Nazi’s Next Door’, Nine Network
Seven News – War In Ukraine, Seven Network
Four Corners – Bursting The Canberra Bubble, ABC
Insight – Intimate Terrorism, SBS
The Project – Brittany Higgins Interview, Network Ten

(Previous winner: “Out Of The Dark”, Four Corners)

2021 AFL Grand Final, Seven Network
2021/2022 Fox Cricket Ashes Coverage, Foxtel
2022 Australian Open Women’s Final, Nine Network
Olympic and Paralympics Games Tokyo 2020, Seven Network
State of Origin – Game 1, Nine Network

(Previous winner: FIFA World Cup)

Bluey, ABC
Dive Club, Network Ten/Netflix
Hardball, ABC
Little J and Big Cuz, NITV/ABC
Mikki Vs The World, ABC

(Previous winner: Bluey)

Burning, Amazon Prime Video
Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra, ABC
Incarceration Nation, NITV
See What You Made Me Do, SBS
The School That Tried To End Racism, ABC

(Previous winner: Ron Iddles: The Good Cop)

Source: Now To Love

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New doco to explore our LGBTQ TV journey


It is fair to say that Australian television has had a progressive approach to queer representation, dating back to 1970s serials Number 96, The Box and later Prisoner, when other countries were still barely touching on the subject.

While the AIDS crisis in the 1980s led to a regression in this representation, things started to improve in the ’90s (including the ABC series GP, pictured right).

The situation has now improved to the point where queer representation is seen as almost routine on any drama or reality series and in mainstream advertising, including Australian TV’s first same-sex married couple in Neighbours.

Number 96

But there is so much more to this history than many of us are even remotely aware of.

TV historian Andrew Mercado and Margee Brown have been putting together the full history of this journey for the past three years, and now through Documentary Australia are seeking funding assistance to develop the project into a fully fledged two-hour documentary supplemented by a podcast, an app and a book.

To make a donation and contribute to the project, click the link below or follow Andrew Mercado on Instagram @ lgbtaussietvhistory for further information.

Source: Documentary Australia

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Obituary: Ernie Carroll

Ernie Carroll, the man who gave us Ossie Ostrich for over 30 years, has died at the age of 92 from natural causes.

Starting in radio in the 1950s, he made the move to the new medium of television, joining GTV9 in its first year of operation. He worked as a writer, cartoonist and performer on children’s show The Happy Show (later called The Tarax Show), introducing the puppet character Ossie Ostrich. He also wrote for Graham Kennedy on In Melbourne Tonight and was a cartoonist, penning cartoons depicting characters Gerry Gee and later Ossie Ostrich in weekly comic strips for TV Week.

Ernie Carroll (third from left) in The Happy Show

When Hey Hey It’s Saturday launched on Nine in 1971, Daryl Somers originally co-hosted with footballer Peter McKenna. McKenna’s stint with the show was brief, and Carroll decided to resurrect the Ossie Ostrich character as the replacement.

The chemistry between “Daryl and Ossie” was a winner for the Saturday morning show, with the pair also hosting the after school show Cartoon Corner. They released albums and hosted a prime time special, The Daryl And Ossie Show, in 1978. This was followed by a move to rival channel ATV0 to present a new game show, also called The Daryl And Ossie Show. The new show was short-lived and the pair ended up back at Nine to revive Hey Hey It’s Saturday in 1979. Carroll later extended the Ossie Ostrich character to co-hosting a children’s show, The Ossie Ostrich Video Show, and appearing in TV commercials.

YouTube: Classic Australian TV

Carroll later went on to become business partners with Somers to produce the show. He retired from playing Ossie Ostrich at the end of 1994 but returned for the second of the Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion specials in 2009 and for the follow up series in 2010.

A tribute to Carroll was played in the recent 50th anniversary special for Hey Hey It’s Saturday, which aired last year.

Ernie Carroll is survived by daughter Lynne, son Bruce, his grandchildren and his partner of almost 50 years, former TV presenter Miffy Marsh.

Source: Hey Hey It’s Saturday, Sydney Morning Herald, TV Week, GTV9 Archive



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TV Week Logie Awards return in 2022

Having had to abandon both the 2020 and 2021 presentations, the TV Week Logie Awards is set to return later this year.

The awards will take place at the Gold Coast Convention Centre within The Star precinct on Sunday 19 June.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the awards’ return to the Gold Coast: “Queensland is the home of the screen industry in Australia. It’s great to have the Logies back on the Gold Coast in 2022 – our third time hosting television’s night of nights. I can’t imagine the Logies being anywhere else.”

Fiona Connolly, Group Publisher, Are Media said: “We are thrilled that the TV Week Logie Awards are back in 2022 and we can’t wait to head to the Gold Coast to celebrate and honour the best in Australian TV. It’s sure to be an unforgettable night!”

This year will also start a new era for the awards. Starting this year, TV Week, while maintaining ownership of the awards, has outsourced the nominations and voting process to events company Rizer. Rizer has previously produced various elements of the Logies presentation, such as the red carpet arrivals.

Details of the nominations and voting process for the 2022 awards are to be announced. Based on past media reports, the eligibility period for this year’s awards is expected to be from January 2021 to March 2022.

The 62nd TV Week Logie Awards will be telecast by the Nine Network and through 9Now.

Source: Now To Love, Mediaweek

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Obituary: Alan Hopgood

Alan Hopgood, veteran actor and playwright, has died from cancer at the age of 87.

Born in Tasmania, Hopgood made his TV acting debut in 1957, starring in the ABC play Sound Of Thunder. He went on to appear in a number of one-off plays for television including Tragedy In A Temporary Town, Antony And Cleopatra, The Astronauts, Who Killed Kovali? and the TV adaptations of his own plays And The Big Men Fly and The Cheerful Cuckold.

The Astronauts: Alan Hopgood, Anne Harvey

Later credits included Dynasty, Homicide and Matlock Police before scoring an ongoing role in the ABC serial Bellbird. He played the part of Dr Reed for five years. In 2003, he and co-star Maggie Millar reprised their husband and wife roles from the series in a stage play.

Other television credits included Skyways, Burn The Butterflies, All The Green Years, Cop Shop, Sword Of Honour, The Petrov Affair, A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors, Good Vibrations, Phoenix, Wedlocked, Law Of The Land and State Coroner.

He played the recurring role of Wally Wallace in Prisoner for four years and played the caravan-residing entrepreneur Jack Lassiter in Neighbours. His Neighbours role was short-lived though the hotel and retail complex that carries the Lassiter name continues to feature prominently in the series.

He narrated the special 40 Years In The Making, commemorating 40 years of ABC television in Melbourne in 1996, and continued to make guest appearances in various series, including The Games, The Secret Life Of Us, Round The Twist, The Saddle Club, Blue Heelers, MDA and City Homicide.

His last credited TV acting role was a return to Neighbours to reprise the role of Jack Lassiter in 2013.

In his later years he wrote a book, Surviving Prostate Cancer – One Man’s Journey, before writing and performing plays aimed at addressing various health issues under the banner HealthPlay. He also became a regular speaker at conferences and seminars.

As well as his plays, Hopgood’s writing credits for television included Barley Charley, Alvin Purple, And Here Comes Bucknuckle, Prisoner, Sugar And Spice, Flair, Chances, Pugwall, The Flying Doctors, Blue Heelers and Neighbours.

Earlier this year, Hopgood was an interview guest on the YouTube channel Talking Prisoner and recently featured on ABC Radio National‘s Big Ideas.

YouTube: Talking Prisoner

In 2005 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the performing arts as an actor, playwright and producer, and to the community through raising awareness of mens health issues.

Source: IMDB, The Age, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Creative Representation, ABC, HealthPlay

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Obituary: Rob Readings

Former Brisbane reporter and newsreader Rob Readings has died at the age of 79 after a long illness.

Over the course of his career, he worked in radio and at all three Brisbane commercial channels, but most notably as newsreader on Eyewitness News at TVQ0/10 in the 1980s and as newsreader for Nine‘s Gold Coast news bulletin from when it debuted in 1996 through to his retirement.

YouTube: Australian TV Fan

He also anchored Network Ten‘s Olympic Games coverage in 1984. He was the presenter to “sign-off” TVQ0 just before it changed frequency to TVQ10 in September 1988, and a reporter for Nine’s Brisbane-based lifestyle program, Extra.


Source: Nine News

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Number 96 at 50

Number 96, the hit series of the 1970s that changed the course of television, turns 50 years old today.

In 1971, the six-year-old 0-10 Network was in a perilous state. Its member stations were struggling to break the dominance of the older Nine and Seven networks and were either compounding financial losses year after year, or at best only making modest dividends.

In a final act of desperation, producers Bill Harmon and Don Cash were commissioned to propose a serial-based drama. The pair summonsed writer David Sale (The Mavis Bramston Show, The Group) to form the basis of an adults-only drama to run a couple of nights a week. Sale’s pitch based around a fictional Sydney apartment block — titled, even then, Number 96 — was an instant hit with Sydney’s TEN10, which then ordered the show to run five nights a week. The pilot was produced in October 1971 and went into regular production in January 1972. On the day of its debut in Sydney on 13 March 1972, newspaper ads claimed: “Tonight at 8.30, television loses its virginity”.

The following day, ATV0 was a little less salacious in promoting the Melbourne debut, but the emphasis was on the show being “Strictly for Adults”. A week later, Brisbane’s TVQ0‘s newspaper ad claimed Number 96 as “a searing exposure of Australian life so raw, it almost bleeds!”.

With its assortment of storylines tackling sex, adultery, racism, homosexuality, cancer, drugs and rape, combined with casual glimpses of nudity and loads of comedy, Number 96 had an immediate impact on the 0-10 Network’s ratings and financial position. Within two years, Sydney’s TEN10’s full-year profit had skyrocketed from less than $200,000 to $1.55 million. Number 96 went on to top the national ratings in 1973 and 1974 and for the first time 0-10 was seen as a formidable rival to Nine and Seven.

Dorrie and Herb Evans
(Pat McDonald and Ron Shand)

The show’s characters became suburban heroes and the cast would be met with massive crowds when they made the annual train trip to Melbourne to attend the TV Week Logie Awards. Pat McDonald, who played “concerge” Dorrie Evans, became the first actress to win a TV Week Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality On Australian Television. Abigail, who played Bev Houghton, was the show’s drawcard as its major sex symbol, though the character, despite her outward sexual confidence, was later revealed to be a virgin.

Joe Hasham

Joe Hasham‘s portrayal of homosexual Don Finlayson was seen as groundbreaking for a series anywhere in the world. Finlayson’s sexuality would have inevitably seen the character relegated to ‘bit part’ status or a crude homophobic caricature in any other series, but in 96 he was a leading character portrayed with depth and sensitivity and without any sense of derision or gossip from the block’s fellow occupants.

The storylines became larger than life, including the block’s tenants being terrified of the mysterious ‘Knicker Snipper’ and ‘Pantyhose Strangler‘, and the bomb blast that wiped out four characters in an attempt to revive its falling ratings. But the storylines weren’t always salacious. Lucy Sutcliffe’s (Elisabeth Kirkby) storylines around her eye surgery and a cancer scare also struck a chord with viewers.

Despite more than 1000 actors having speaking roles in the series over the course of its six-year run, only three actors (McDonald, Hasham and showbiz veteran Ron Shand) lasted the distance from episode one to the final episode — 1218 — in 1977. Other actors to have ongoing roles in the series included Joe James, Lynn Rainbow, Johnny Lockwood, Bunney Brooke, Tom Oliver, Elaine Lee, Jeff Kevin, Bettina Welch, Philippa Baker, Tom Oliver, Vivienne Garrett, Robin Gurney, Mike Dorsey, Wendy Blacklock, Frances Hargreaves, Norman Yemm, Briony Behets, James Elliott, Gordon MacDougall, Sheila Kennelly, Carol Raye, Chard Hayward, Jan Adele, Pamela Garrick, Peter Adams, Chantal Contouri, Harry Michaels, Josephine Knur, Pamela Gibbons, Carmen Duncan, Paula Duncan, Thelma Scott, Justine Saunders, Paul Weingott, Vicki Raymond, Candy Raymond, Vince Martin, Anya Saleky, Kit Taylor, Margaret Lawrence, Lynne Murphy and Chelsea Brown.

The series ended up winning four TV Week Logie Awards for Best Drama. As well as McDonald’s Gold Logie in 1974, she also won Best Actress in 1973, 1974 and 1976. Bunney Brooke, who played Flo Patterson, won the Logie for Best Actress in 1975 (pictured, with Logies guest John Wayne).

Despite its phenomenal success in Australia, including a movie spin-off in 1974, Number 96 failed to make a significant impact overseas. It was deemed too risque for many overseas markets, although it did have minor runs in Italy and Canada. An attempt by NBC to make an American version in 1980 failed dismally.

There has been so much more written about Number 96 — including the Number 96 Homepage, David Sale’s book Number 96, Mavis Bramston And Me, Andrew Mercado’s book Super Aussie Soaps, Nigel Giles’ book Number 96: Australian TV’s Most Notorius Address, TV Tonight‘s interview with David Sale, plus further blog posts on this site including Number 96… in their own words, 96 mix-up confuses viewers!, From 96 to Neighbours, TV’s long walk to marriage equality, TV Week’s front covers of ‘96’ and feature article Number 96.


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Obituary: Brian Davies

Brian Davies, a former journalist and TV producer turned refugee advocate, has died at the age of 86.

His career started at age 18, when he joined ABC in Sydney in the mid-1950s. He started in radio but made the move to ABN2 soon after it commenced transmission.

Over the next twenty years he worked on and off at both ABC and at ATN7 in Sydney. His credits at ABC included ABC News, Weekend Magazine, This Day Tonight, Four Corners and, as an external producer, the children’s program Lens On Lilliput. He also served as a foreign correspondent for ABC in London. Under his tenure, Four Corners collected a number of awards, including a TV Week Logie Award, a Sammy Award and a United Nations Peace Prize.

At Seven he reported for and produced current affairs show Seven Days and produced Sydney Today in the 1960s. Twenty years later he produced Seven’s late night news bulletin Newsworld.

He worked at SBS, producing the discussion show Issues ’84, hosted by Margaret Throsby, and was involved in the development of regional broadcaster Imparja Television.

He was also an author, with a number of titles to his credit, including the 1981 publication Those Fabulous TV Years, documenting the first 25 years of Australian television. (And, as a side note, one of the first references of Australian television to be in this blog writer’s possession)

In retirement, Davies became a refugee advocate, making regular visits to Villawood detention centre and negotiating with lawyers and immigration officials, as well as providing financial support and supplies such as groceries to those in need.

The full obituary, written by his son Luke, is published at The Age.

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