The ABC Friends WA Committee 2021/22
Cathy Bardon grew up in rural Queensland in a family that only listened to ABC radio, and largely watched only ABC TV. She worked as a technical librarian in the mining industry, then in publishing for Jacaranda Press as a book editor, and then worked in Sydney as a petroleum geologist. She and her husband lived in Denver, Colorado, for two and a half years, where she listened to National Public Radio (NPR) and experienced their fund-raising periods! After moving to Perth she retrained in computer science and worked in IT at Curtin University for 16 years where she was an active member of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU). She believes an independent, adequately funded public broadcaster is essential for healthy democracy. Cathy also represents WA on the committee of ABC Friends National. Cathy joined the committee in 2014 and was Secretary from 2015 to 2022, when she became President on the resignation of Bobbie Mackley.
Jenny Meyrick is a retired veterinary nurse and was born in Perth. She grew up with ABC radio and television, and as a child has a fond memory of going to a live show of the ABC’s Children’s Hour in the old ABC Studios. Her childhood was spent with ABC Cricket broadcasts in the background as her father was an avid cricket follower. Her own children watched Playschool when they were pre-schoolers and as a family, enjoyed many great ABC programs. Jenny is a “rusted on” ABC fan and is keen to see the ABC continue to produce great current affairs programs that keep us well informed on all kinds of issues, as well as providing some great entertainment with its drama productions. Jenny first joined the committee at the 2018 AGM, and became Vice-President and National Committee representative at the 2022 AGM.
Richard J. Harding joined the ABC Friends in 2018 and has now joined the ABC Friends WA Committee as Secretary. He has been a watcher of the ABC since an early age, the science fiction program Doctor Who most notably; and he has many ideas both for the public broadcaster and for ABC Friends. He had an article advocating a science channel for the ABC published in the August 2022 edition of Update.
Liz Millward arrived in Australia in 1986 via England and South Africa and has listened to, and watched, ABC since then. Firstly in Kalgoorlie where she worked in museums, libraries and women’s health then, after moving to Perth in 2000, while working in finance for a public company. She has served as treasurer for many community and not for profit organisations including ten years as Treasurer of Friends of Kings Park. Since retiring in 2015 Liz has volunteered within her local community including at her Local History Centre and Repair Café Perth. Her passion for the ABC is evident as she listens to ABC Perth on her app when she visits he eldest son and his family in England. Liz does admit to watching commercial TV but only during the Footy season. She is extremely concerned by the funding cuts to the ABC and the impact this is having on Australian content in particular Liz joined the Committee, and took on the role of Treasurer, at the 2019 AGM.
Danelle Baxter worked in corporate communications and issues management, mostly in the resources sector, until retiring in 2014. Danelle has been an avid Radio National listener since living without a television for a decade and a half in the 80s and 90s. Whilst now an ABC watcher as well as listener, Danelle believes that a well-funded public broadcaster is not only important in reflecting our own unique stories, but is a crucial source of accurate and objective information and an essential contributor to democracy.
Terri Brown retired in 2012 after more than 26 years at the Australian Taxation Office where she was a staff representative for CPSU/PSU. She now volunteers in the community sector helping refugee schoolchildren. Terri is concerned about the cuts to the ABC and the effect they are having on programming and independence. She has been a member for many years, a committee member for four years, Secretary for one term and Treasurer for two terms. She is Assistant Treasurer for this term.
Meg Durston has been a member of the Friends since 2005 when she joined the Victorian branch, transferring to the Perth branch on her return to Perth in 2006. Soon after she joined the Committee, serving variously as Treasurer, Secretary and President. Meg has rejoined the committee this year, having ‘retired’ recently. Working in the Emergency Services sector, Meg and her colleagues highly valued the ABC as providers of emergency warnings and other community services.
When growing up in the country, for Meg and her family the ABC was the only radio and TV option. Weather, news, drama, and children's TV were all sourced from the ABC and always appreciated. Now, in retirement, Meg enjoys listening to all ABC programming across Classic FM to Triple J, and watching ABC iView and TV.
Maintaining an ABC which is free from political interference, including threats to funding for specific programs when the government doesn't like what is being said, is a major concern for Meg. She also wishes to see an ABC that reflects the current composition of the Australian populace.
Jacqueline Kane grew up watching the BBC in the UK so comfortably transferred to the ABC when she moved here in 1974. After completing her teacher training in Perth, she moved to the eastern states. During one year in Adelaide she worked for the Program Director at the ABC in a temporary capacity. She was a member of the NSW Teachers Federation for many years. Since her retirement from teaching, she has served as a volunteer management committee member (Treasurer) on a women's refuge and resource centre and more recently on the management committee of a not-for-profit palliative support organisation. She returned to Perth four years ago to be closer to family.
The unbiased current affairs and news reporting of the ABC has always been important to Jackie, and never more so than through recent years of fires, pandemic and floods. Like many, she has been concerned about funding cuts to the ABC over the last decade and interference in the independence of our national broadcaster.
John Macgowan grew up on a farm in the South East of South Australia in the 50s listening to 5PA Penola, a repeater station of the ABC in Adelaide. After school he would listen to the Argonauts and in the evening remembers the Hit Parade when at one stage Slim Dusty’s ‘A Pub with no Beer’ was number 1. His parents rarely missed Blue Hills and the Country Hour!
John went to boarding school in Adelaide, started work in a bank, then on a water drilling rig, back to school, the Public Service, then headed to Papua New Guinea working with TAA, which began his working life in aviation. From PNG to Alice Springs, up to Darwin then down to Derby, Port Hedland and Karratha he has always maintained a close association with the ABC including a memorable interview on 702 Karratha, Ted Bull’s ‘Baby Boomers' program. Now that he is a retiree, the ABC continues to be ever present for both news, information and entertainment.