The death notice says:
SHIRLEY JOYCE BIDDULPH Late of Nyngan and formerly of Bourke, passed away on 6th March 2017 aged 74 Years.
That’s not enough.
Not nearly enough for a legend of outback broadcasting.
Two of Shirley’s great loves were country music and radio.
She was a presenter on Outback Radio 2WEB Bourke for over thirty years, delighting country music listeners throughout the huge coverage area of the iconic station with a mix of new and old country music.
She particularly liked the oldies like Chad Morgan, Tex Morton, Reg Poole and of course Slim Dusty. And so did the audience, they rang in to tell her so every time she was on air, and she would send requests and shoutouts to all the aunties and uncles who called up during her show, never missing anyone.
I first met Shirley when I worked at 2WEB decades ago, and each time I returned to the station I made sure I took time to chat with her. She always mentioned the latest country artists she was listening to in preparation for her next show.
Shirley was a character. It was sometimes difficult to get her to learn new equipment or stick to the format, but the listeners didn’t care about that, they just loved her cheery voice and the music she played.
Shirley’s name will never be known across the wide radio industry. She never got an ACRA or a CBAA Award. She was content to spend time on the property with her husband Noel and her siblings, nieces and nephews. Shirley was happy to be a big fish in a small pond, because, like so many other presenters on community radio, she didn’t present her radio show to be famous or recognized, she did it because she knew the listeners loved the music she played and that was enough for her.
A walk down the short main street of Bourke took a long time for Shirley, because everyone stopped her and had something to say about a song she played that day or a comment she made. It made her trips into town from up the North Bourke road much longer than expected, but Noel was always patiently waiting back at the property for her to return.
When Shirley walked into the radio station there was no way you could miss the fact that she was there. Loud voice, big personality, always a new topic of conversation.
Shirley was one of the great characters of the Outback. She will be missed.
RIP Shirley Biddulph.
Obituary by Steve Ahern