Vale 2GLF’s Joan Killorn

Joan Killorn was one of the early leaders of Australia’s community radio movement.

She passed away last week, aged 87, and her funeral was held today in Liverpool.

Joan was one of the co-founders of what later became 2GLF. She was also a powerhouse in the NSW Community Broadcasting Association, a precursor to the CBAA

Joan McConkey  was born at North Sydney in 1930. In 1967 she married Kevin Killorn and moved into the then very new housing estate at Busby in Green Valley.

Once settled in Green Valley, Joan found a lot of women with nothing much to do outside of the home and it was there her tireless and almost endless community work begun. At the time “The Valley” was very short on community facilities and Joan and her friends sought to change that.

In the early 1970’s, the Whitlam government through the Australian Film Institute, set about establishing a series of Video Access Centres in Liverpool and Fairfield with the Liverpool centre being in Green Valley. Joan became involved with the Video centre and later became its manager.

Meanwhile a movement began across Sydney that saw the establishment of self-help clinics for Women. The first was established in Leichhardt and the response was overwhelming. It was the first women’s health centre in Australia and it was fully funded by the Federal Government.

In 1973 Film Australia and director came to Liverpool to record a community meeting and produce the landmark documentary called “Whatever Happened to Green Valley.” Shortly afterwards, Joan with neighbours Frank Scambary & Jim Tumeth came up with the idea of starting community radio.

At that time, broadcast licences were not easily handed out and following the first FM Australian test transmission in 1975, it took until 1982 for the permanent FM licence to be granted – and in September 1983, 2GLF-FM was born.

2GLF started in a disused council building in Christie Street that came about purely because of Joan’s powers of persuasion with Liverpool Council. Joan Killorn continued to work tirelessly to keeping 2GLF in the minds of Liverpool Council and in the minds of residents and community groups.

News came in the mid-1990s council notified 2GLF they intended to sell the Christie Street property. This set Joan in motion to hit up council for a new location and after many negotiations, Liverpool Council agreed to allow 2GLF to use the School of Arts Building in Macquarie street in 1999.

Joan continued to volunteer day in and day out for 2GLF as well as raising a family and somehow managed to fit in time to do work for the Young Adults Disabled Association (YADA) and run as a candidate for the Liverpool City Council elections.

Joan withdrew from 2GLF in 1999 but continued to work continuously for the community until relocating to the Gold Coast a few years ago to be with two of her children and her grandchildren.

The people of Fairfield and Liverpool as well as the members and presenters of 2GLF remain indebted to Joan’s hard work over the many years and for having the vision to create a local community radio station in the first place.

Thanks to 2GLF for supplying this information.

RIP Joan


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