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Vale Shirley Meade

By Robert Altamore

We are sad to report the death of Shirley Meade on 1 February 2021. Shirley lived a full and rich life of 90 years and we are grateful that she chose to spend 34 of those years with us at Radio 1RPH.

Shirley came to Radio 1RPH in June 1987 and quickly joined the Program Team with Zillah Williams to start her 34 years of contribution to our programs. Her skills as a librarian, her love of books and learning and her work experience in a variety of settings in Australia and overseas, including work with a blindness organisations in America, both drew her to Radio 1RPH and enabled her to make such a wonderful contribution.

In her early days at the station, Shirley also contributed to station administration and as a reader and presenter. Shirley had a rapport with people who are blind or vision impaired, especially older people and for several years convened a group of listeners who provided advice to her and the station on its programs. Shirley strongly promoted Radio 1RPH to the community establishing the foundations of the Community Round Up Program which linked the station with community organisations enabling them to provide their information to our listeners through radio.

Shirley was a valuable member of the committee for almost 30 years mainly in the Program Director role. As a member of the Committee I was often grateful for her common sense approach to matters arising in the running of the station.

Shirley’s love and knowledge of books meant that she chose excellent books for reading on Radio 1RPH. In particular, she went to great lengths to ensure that the reader’s voice was appropriate for the book. The outcome was that Radio 1RPH established a reputation throughout the network for the quality of its book readings. Shirley was highly regarded by her colleagues in the other RPH stations around Australia for her professionalism and efficiency.

Shirley is remembered for her contribution to Radio 1RPH, especially in building the foundations of our programming. Shirley made a number of very close friends through Radio 1RPH, especially Coral Nag (dec.), Lorraine Litster who worked with her in Programs, John and Patricia Howard, Pat Wearne, Sue Farrelly and Wendy and I. Her close personal friends have their fond memories of her as a highly intelligent and dignified person. We miss her and she keeps a fond place in our memories.