In Memoriam

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Phil Chubb ( 31.1.51 - 9.11.17): Educator, leader, and award winning journo

Monash University's deputy head of Media, Film and Journalism Associate Professor Philip Chubb has died after a battle with cancer.

Monash's Dean of Arts Professor Sharon Pickering said Phil, who was also head of journalism, worked at the university after a long and distinguished career as a journalist and won numerous awards, including a Gold Walkley, a Gold UN media peace prize and a Logie.  Read the full Monash story here:

Jillian Hocking (24.5.59 - 8.11.17):  Passionate international educator and trainer

by Colleen Murrell, Monash University

Jillian Hocking was a wonderful human being – whip-smart, passionate, warm, funny and with a true gift for friendship. Jillian believed that she was here to make a difference and her journalism teaching was sharply focused and impassioned. She would go out of her way to help all students, but especially those whom she felt shared her desire to improve the conditions of the underdog. She was outraged about the situation of asylum seekers and never failed to get out onto the streets to voice her protest, despite her illness.

Jillian loved radio and over the years she worked for a number of different organisations as a reporter and presenter. She presented the morning show on ABC Radio Gippsland, was a researcher and presenter for the Law Report on Radio National and read the English news on Blue Danube Radio for the Austrian state broadcaster ORF.

I first met Jillian when she was the training manager at SBS, where her job was to improve the skills of broadcasters from 68 language groups. Jillian was a wonderful mentor to all the people who passed through her training sessions, including me. She had so many friends in the building, and those journalists have stayed in touch with her and organised delightful Yum Cha lunches and gatherings during these past two years of her illness.

Other jobs from Jillian’s portfolio include setting up a bilingual internet radio station ‘Radio Aquitaine’ with contributors from all corners of that area of France. She worked for the BBC, setting up online training modules, training adult journalists in London, and then in China, in Egypt, and later in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Burma. She also spent a year in Afghanistan running the UN Radio Station at the UNAMA mission in Kabul, training Afghan journalists.

Jillian taught Journalism courses at the European Humanities University in Vilnius in Lithuania and then in Melbourne at Deakin University, Victoria University and Swinburne University. At Deakin she received great plaudits from the students for her teaching and took a keen interest in a program which linked up with SBS to mentor students whose first language wasn’t English.

Along with her many friends, I have watched Jillian battle cancer for the past two years. It has been a rollercoaster of hope and disappointment. Despite the constant pain she was in, she was determined to live to see her youngest son through school. Both sons, Max and Oscar, are now students at the University of Melbourne. Jillian was so proud of their achievements and they are a credit to her and to Jillian’s husband, Bruce Kirkman.  

Jill Singer (1957 -2017): Educator and award winning journalist 

Award-winning journalist, broadcaster and former RMIT television lecturer Jill Singer has died from a rare blood disorder.  She was 60. Singer joined RMIT’s Journalism Program in 2008 after an illustrious career in radio, television and as a columnist and commentator that saw her win a Walkley Award for investigative reporting in 1992 and two Quill awards for current affairs journalism in 1999 and 2010.

Singer used her experience as a journalist to enrich her classes. After starting her journalism career as a trainee with ABC radio in the mid-1980s, she moved to television as a senior reporter, presenter and executive producer for the ABC’s 7.30 Report before being poached by the Seven Network to host the Victorian edition of its nightly current affairs program Today Tonight.  In 2005 her book, Immaculate Conceptions: Thoughts on Babies, Breeding And Boundaries, was published by Lothian Books.

In February, Singer was diagnosed with the terminal disease AL amyloidosis after more than a year of misdiagnoses of mental illness and depression. In early April she married lawyer Anthony Brand, whom she described as her “true and steadfast love” and two weeks after her wedding, Singer wrote about her illness for the Herald Sun.

Known as a fierce and fearless journalist, Singer was determined to remain positive, despite being told by doctors that her disease was incurable and she was likely to have only six to 12 months to live.

“I am determined not to be average though, to make the most of every moment I have left and to will myself, somehow, to outlive the most pessimistic of pundits,” she wrote. “Do you believe in magic? I don’t know many things, but I do know this, if we open our hearts to all that is good around us, then we can and will find we can have lives rich enough to constitute more than a passing facsimile of magic.”

On June 8, Mr Brand announced her death in a Face Book post:  “Jill Singer @snooplady Our friend, colleague, teacher, my wife, proud mother and grandmother, lover of life has "got on with it". So missed, a bright life who made a difference.
Always loved. RIP”

Alan Knight (1949 - 2017):  Valued friend, colleague and mentor

(Photo by Anna Zhu)

Emeritus Professor Alan Knight has passed way after several months of ill health.

In advising the membership of his death, Assoc Prof Angela Romano wrote: "Alan was a kind and generous person to me. When I met him, I was a PhD candidate. Alan was not just interested in research on Asian journalism but also one of the few people in Australian journalism education with a PhD at that time. He was ever the cheer squad for budding journalism researchers—encouraging us to persist and progress in our studies. He was also constantly entertaining with his vibrant personality and colourful storytelling skills. Most of all, he was passionate supporter of journalism, journalism education and journalism research."

Alan’s career was a bit like the old song, ‘I’ve been everywhere’. His journalism career started in 1973 when he became the Nation Review’s Brisbane correspondent. He moved into various reporting and editorial positions for Queensland Newspapers, AAP, the ABC and Radio Television Hong Kong, and also worked as a ministerial public relations staffer.

When Alan announced to his journalistic colleagues in 1990 that he was leaving the media for a job in academia, it seemed like a bold move. Some of his colleagues wondered how long such a thing could last. Of course, Alan went on to work for about 25 years at UTS, QUT, CQU and Hong Kong University, reaching the rank of Emeritus Professor. He was also active in community service and served on many bodies, including groups as varied as the JEA (now JERAA) executive, Asian Media Information Research Centre, Friends of the ABC and 4ZZZ.

JERAA has expresed condolences to Alan’s wife Kathy Egea, his family and friends. 

Details of memorial services in Brisbane and Sydney will be shared in coming days.

Stephen Lamble ( - 2016)

Stephen Lamble, former journalist and founder of the University of the Sunshine Coast journalism program, passed away after an extended period of ill health.

It’s a sad loss for journalism education and research. Although Stephen retired in 2012, his legacy is ongoing.

Stephen is particularly well known in Queensland, where he’d worked as a senior staff journalist and bureau chief with The Sunday Mail newspaper. He was multi-skilled, and had also worked as photojournalist, sub-editor, editor and pioneer in computer-assisted reporting.

Stephen was well regarded as a teacher and received an ALTC Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for creating innovative curricula and developing research-informed teaching resources. He was also awarded USC's Vice-Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding University Teacher.

Stephen had a significant influence on Australian journalism education with his research about a wide range of issues in journalism and journalism education, including computer-assisted research, multi-platform news reporting, and investigative journalism. Journalism students across Australia make substantial use of his highly popular text, News as it Happens: An Introduction to Journalism, now in its second edition. Stephen also co-authored two other well-regarded texts—Online Newsgathering: Research and Reporting for Journalism with Stephen Quinn and the third edition of The Daily Miracle: An Introduction to Journalism with David Conley.

Read The Queensland Times' obituary here.


David Conley ( -2016): Former journalist and journalism educator

Dr David Conley passed away in April 2016.

David will be remembered for his great contribution to journalism and journalism education. He’s best known to Aussie journalism educators as a former University of Queensland Journalism professor, and author of many excellent articles and other texts, including his popular textbook, The Daily Miracle.

David lived in Oklahoma in his retirement years. He is remembered fondly in an obituary by his local newspaper:


Peter Jeppesen ( - 2014)

Peter Jeppesen has died at the Caritas Christi Hospice in Kew after a battle with cancer.

Colleen Murrell, who is pictured wth Peter at the UN Media Awards in 2013, has written a little about her Deakin colleague.

Peter was a brilliant and motivated journalist and educator who will be sorely missed by his colleagues at Deakin. Peter worked for ABC radio news and current affairs for 30 years, and some JERAA colleagues  will remember him from that time. I first worked with Peter at SBS back in 2002/3. He was then the editor of the World View current affairs programme, which he managed with great enthusiasm, flair and dedication. Working there was always fun and intellectually stimulating. 

He was intrigued when I left to take up a job in the academy and a year or so later he joined me here at Deakin, where he has taught a wide range of subjects. He really took to the role of lecturer and enjoyed mentoring the next tribe of journalists. He also said that working in a university helped him to be more in touch with his own children's lives, as all three were students at the time.

Peter never gave up his enthusiasms. Last September, despite his ongoing treatment, he insisted on taking part in a judging panel for the UN Media Awards and he cycled into the CBD, something I probably wouldn't do these days. After that we decided to blow some money and attend the swanky awards, which Peter really enjoyed. Peter was always railing against injustice. Two weeks ago he told me he was still listening to the radio and was relieved that Jon Faine was back as nobody else was asking politicians the tough questions. Last week he badgered two colleagues Jillian Hocking and Andrew Kruger about what they were going to do about the state of the world. He was interested in everybody and he was always kind and thoughtful.

A notice will be put in The Age announcing the funeral, which is likely to take place next week.

John Herbert 1942-2012

Journalism professor John Herbert died in the United Kingdom on December 9, 2012. Journalism academic Wendy Bacon advised the JERAA membership that John was executive producer of ABC radio's AM program for a period in the 1970s.  He had earlier worked at the BBC. He co-founded the UK’s first postgraduate diploma in radio journalism in London and was Head of Radio Training for the BBC.

He started both undergraduate and postgraduate journalism at Staffordshire University and was foundation Professor of Journalism there. He wrote three books including Practising Global Journalism and Journalism in the Digital AgeJohn was always a generous and encouraging colleague who participated in our debates and journalism education in the region even when he was in the UK. He attended conferences when he could. John's contribution to journalism education was very significant but those of you who knew him will not be surprised to learn that he also made a major contribution until the end of his life in the parish of Sheldon Village where he lived. Indeed he was still providing an accurate account of events in the village until a week before he died. Here is a message to the village about his death.

And here is John's last piece of reportage, one week before he died, John leaves his wife Margaret and his family in UK and Australia.


Anne Dunn (1950 - 2012)

Journalism education has lost one of its true advocates with the death of Anne Dunn, former ABC journalist and lecturer at the University of Sydney.

Dunn was also president of the Journalism Educators Association and was as passionate about passing on her skills to young journalists as she was about practising journalism herself.

She died aged 62.

Read The Australian newspaper's article Journalism mourns loss of Sydney University  lecturer Anne Dunn.

Christine Fogg (1950 - 2012)

Read a tribue by Nisar Keshvani here


Tony Barrell (1940 - 2011) 

Tony Barrell was a writer and broadaster who lived in Sydney. He produced several award-winning radio and television programs for the ABC and the ABC. He was an adjunct professor at UTS.

Read Mark Colvin's piece And so farewell then, to Tony Barrell


Errol Hodge (1936 - 2010)

Roland Errol Hodge was born on July 29, 1936 in Sydney. After Bellevue Hill Primary School, he attended Newcastle Boys' High, where his father taught economics and geography. From there, he secured a cadetship on The Maitland Mercury, combining this with study for a BA (majoring in English) at Newcastle University College. On graduating, he joined the ABC - first in Newcastle and then Sydney.

Read the Sydney Morning Herald's article Foreign correspondent had the bush in his blood