Vale Phebe Irwin

Radio announcer Phebe Irwin has passed away from complications during an operation. The former Wave FM breakfast co-host will be farewelled at Albury Crematorium at 1.30 next Wednesday, followed by a wake afterwards at La Maison Albury.

Tributes have been flowing in since news of her death broke earlier today. Marcus Paul, host of Canberra Live on 1206 2CC posted the following message on Facebook:

“Farewell to my dear friend. I will miss your infectious laughter, and will always remember our time together on the air. Time to rest now beautiful, knowing so many of us are better people having been a part of a life too short.”

Phebe Irwin graduated from the Australian Film, Television and Radio school in 1995 before moving to Albury to co-present Truck Radio, a late night program aimed at helping drivers overcome fatigue. Then, in 1996, she took a holiday to Wollongong and fell in love with the Illawarra, staying there for over a decade. At first she joined Don Mayo on Wave FM’s breakfast program in 1997 but five weeks into the gig, the talented presenter was lured away to i98 FM to present the morning show where she remained until December 2000.

Irwin was then invited back to Wave FM to join breakfast host Dave Gorr and the rest, as they say, is history. The Big Breakfast with Phebe and Dave ran for the next eight years winning a number of Australian Commercial Radio Awards and nominations.

She spoke of her love of radio during in interview with the Illawarra Mercury in 2007, saying, “I couldn’t stand doing the same thing every day. I like the variety of what I do. I get to meet some great people through my job.”

David Rogerson has contributed these memories of Phebe:

It is with great sadness that  I learned that Phebe Irwin formerly of the WAVE Wollongong breakfast show, Truck Radio and one of my early AFTRS radio students has passed away. For those of you who knew Phebe, she was a larger than life, fun loving, person who gave everything should could and more.  Phebe loved radio and always was the first to share an opinion with you, most often hers backed with a smile and a high level of passion.

I recall during her time at AFTRS she was always wanting to know more, wanting to learn as much as she could about radio and had a cheeky smile that engaged you every time  she spoke up in class.   It was always a challenge to rein Phebe back in as her enthusiasm and keenness to get out into a commercial radio studio and ply  her new found trade meant that she was always wanting to just move ahead much faster.  Often so much faster than the others around her could keep up with.

In the late 1990s, Phebe and I met up in my role as a consultant to the then Ray Gamble owned  B104.9 in Albury Wodonga where she began working on the initial team that created Truck Radio. Phebe had such an affinity for the people she spoke to at night and into the early hours of the morning.  It wouldn’t have mattered if Phebe was playing classical music, the love for just being on the radio carried her through.  And so it did for many years to come including a stint at WAVE FM Wollongong with her on air co team member Dave Gorr.  Among many in radio, and the listeners who she engaged with while on air , Phebe Irwin will be sadly missed

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