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Derryn Hinch's final opening editorial

Posted by: Derryn Hinch | 30 November, 2012 - 4:18 PM
<B>LAST DAY:</b> Read Derryn Hinch's final opening editorial.

Different start. Different day. That was Big Bob Valentine - performing my theme song of more than 35 years - live - here in the studio.

A different start, because today is going to be different. Different and special. Happy and sad. Lots of shared memories and we want to include you, my loyal, sometimes long-suffering, listeners, include you in a big way, for this my final program here on 3AW Drive. Final program after ten years of top-rating radio.

LISTEN: All the 'Hinch on Drive' Flashbacks from Derryn's final week

We’ll have some more flashbacks, as we’ve had all week. Some classic moments from a program that goes out on top. And proudly so.

VIDEO: Derryn Hinch's final show

A program from which I was sacked three months ago even though I won national awards for being the best talk personality or best current affairs commentator in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Plus entry into the Hall of Fame. Go figure.

I know, the day after the axe fell I came back on air, still shell-shocked – and to their credit – they let me back on air. Didn’t escort me off the premises. And left me on air even after I said you can’t legislate against stupidity.

I’m not going to kick the crap out of management today. You all did that when the news broke. And they’ll find out the wisdom of their ‘forward-thinking’ and ‘different direction’ when the ratings start coming in next year.

I will admit, I felt strange this morning preparing for this last program. Thinking about what I’d say. I did go back, for the first time, to the statement 3AW put out the night they ambushed me as I came off air after that classic interview with moonwalker Buzz Aldrin.

I was looking for the reason. It wasn’t there. It talked about ‘changing audience expectations’.

I thought your expectations included a host who tried to tell the truth, championed your causes, often unpopular ones, challenged politicians and even challenged my bosses when I thought they were wrong.

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I now know why they sacked me. I was the rebel with too many causes. One senior executive did say that they planned to ‘push the boundaries’. Jeez, if you pushed the boundaries any further than I have on radio and television, you’d fall off the edge. I have been to jail for causes. Been fined. Done community service. Done five months under house arrest for causes. And AW just got tired of my causes. Even if you didn’t. One exec did tell me, when I came back here for my third stint at AW, that he hoped I wouldn’t ‘go on and on about the paedophile thing’. Well, I did.

And on that issue, I have never been more proud than when Prime Minister Gillard announced, in this time slot, that she was appointing a Royal Commission into child abuse and the cover-ups by religious organisations - especially by the Catholic Church. I said that day, the news meant I would leave AW a happy man. And I meant it.

It’s been a long haul, especially the last couple of years. Been to the High Court and back. Been to death’s door and back. And I’ve shared it all with you. For better and for worse.

But put today into perspective. One man is losing his job. Sadly, it’s happening, has happened, to thousands of you in these tough times. And I’ve got somewhere to go. As I said the night they got me: ‘Hey, put this into perspective. I wasn’t even meant to be alive for you to sack me’.

So I have been alive one more year than I thought. One more year than some people hoped.

My philosophy remains the same. In the dedications in my new book, I quoted my then 90-year-old grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Hinch. She said: ‘It’s not what happens to you in life that matters. It’s how you handle it’. I think I’ve managed that, Nanna.

So let’s handle the next two hours with some style, some shared memories and some fun. Because as the theme song says That’s Life.

FOOTNOTE: You know, looking back there are some things from the Drive program that make me feel really proud. And you helped do it. I mentioned the Royal Commission. There’s also the law change coming over suppression orders for serial sex offenders. I may have led the charge, but I don’t forget the several thousand of you who stood on the steps of Parliament House at the Name Them Shame Them rally and shouted the names of two serial offenders. That’s the bad law I spent five months under house arrest for. And it is changing.

There was the annual Bikeathon for disadvantaged and disabled kids. The Variety Club Christmas treat that 3AW cancelled this year. We kept it on Drive and you gave me more than 700 bikes this year.

I gave some away at the Freemasons this month and last night got this email from Chris Kelly. She said:

Yesterday I went to Cranbourne to be part of the Variety club’s bike event. It was fabulous to see all the kids’ faces when we handed them their own bike.

Some couldn’t wait to ride and others were just speechless with huge smiles. It made me all mushy as I didn’t have a bike growing up. This event was priceless’.

And an email from Bianca Wood, mother of young leukemia sufferer Maybelle. The girl whose dream was to visit the Ellen deGeneres show in the U.S.

Bianca wrote:

Totally forgot this week is Derryn’s last! We have wonderful news about Maybelle’s wish to go to The Ellen Show! She’s going !!! March 7 next year. Because of the help of Derryn and 3AW we raised enough money for ALL of us to go and have our first family holiday! About $20,000 all up. We are so grateful for all your help and support.

There was the ongoing BloodOath! campaign with Dr Jodie-Ann Senior. Since we started that blood donor awareness drive back in March the Blood Bank has signed up 25,000 new donors. One in three of you will need blood products some time in your life. Only 3 per cent donate blood.

Still, there’s some unfinished business. The campaign for more organ donors, and the opt-out system, and your decision to be an organ donor to be binding. That fight goes on. And my dear young friend, Marianne Thrush, still waiting for a multiple-organ transplant. Eight months on the waiting list. In and out of hospitals for years. Hang in there, kid.

There’s never been a truer slogan: So much to do, so little time. At least I’ve been given a little more time than I thought. I thank my organ donor Heath Gardner’s family for that. Will try to use it well, if not always wisely.

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Blog comments Your Say

  • what a sad loss for melbourne, the world needs more people like Derryn Hinch, to expose injustice and provoke us to thought and action. I admire his passion,courage and the strength of his conviction. i wish him well in his journey and say thankyou for all hes done. one person can make a difference, good on ya mate!!!!

    kerry estoppey Saturday 8 December, 2012 - 11:10 PM
  • "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"
    Goodbye and good luck.
    Have enjoyed your shows.

    tina Sunday 2 December, 2012 - 7:24 PM
  • I bought a transistor two years ago so I could listen to you when I was travelling home each day from work. You've always been so interesting to listen to and I'm going to miss you terribly. You are as big-hearted, empathetic and kind as you are courageous and outspoken. You're a very special person indeed and your Nan would be very proud of you! I wish you all the very best for the future, Derryn.

    Debs Sunday 2 December, 2012 - 8:45 AM
  • Derryn, I have been a loyal listener to you since your 3XY days and followed you to AW, now I will be following you out the door. I certainly won't be listening to the accountant!
    Not being bitter but I find him boring.
    All the best in your future endeavours.

    Mark Sunday 2 December, 2012 - 12:27 AM
  • Sorry that your going .Shame on 3AW management.Did not always agree with your opinions but i admired how you stood up for the underdog even going to jail for your principles . I won't be listening to 3AW anymore and good luck at channel 7 oh well that's life- thank your mother for the rabbits

    Nicole Saturday 1 December, 2012 - 10:50 PM
  • Best of luck Derryn, I have followed you over the years from station to station wherever possible and will look forward to your next career move. 4:00 - 6:00 weekdays on 3AW is banned in our household from now on.
    Digital and internet radio is wonderful, it's amazing how many alternatives you can find, think about that one 3AW management. An audience is no longer confined to Melbourne radio....5AA in Adelaide is looking pretty good for a start.

    Peter Saturday 1 December, 2012 - 10:05 PM

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