WA Committee Bios

WA Committee Bios

The ABC Friends WA Committee 2021/22


President - Cathy Bardon

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.


Vice-President - Jenny MeyrickJenny 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.


Secretary - John MacgowanJohn 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.


Liz Millward, TreasurerLiz 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.


Committee Member - Terri Brown

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.


Richard Tarala. Richard Tarala trained as a doctor at Edinburgh University and worked in the UK and the USA before moving to Australia to join the Medical School of the University of Western Australia. Richard then relocated to Royal Perth Hospital where he continues to practise as a consultant respiratory physician, now on a part-time basis. In addition to clinical service Richard played a key role in designing and establishing training and support regimes for Junior Doctors and still travels throughout WA to help oversee such programs. Richard supports the restoration of appropriate funding of the ABC, to provide news, information and entertainment across television, radio, podcasts and websites. The wide number of offerings by the ABC enriches Australia. Diversity of media, and an authoritative and credible and fully funded ABC, are very important for the future of Australia. 

Valerie LyonValerie Lyon has over 45 years in construction across various industries and continents. She treasures time with family, reading, gardening, and travel. As well, Valerie contributes to various volunteer activities having served as an elected councillor for the City of Nedlands and a committee member of the UWA Choral Society. She has been involved in Perth Children’s Hospital and Cancer Council fundraising. The ABC became important to her as the most reliable source of information when she immigrated, from the United States to Australia, in 1985. Ensuring a prosperous future for the ABC is an essential aim of Australia’s progressive community.