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Neil Mitchell pays tribute to philanthropist and ‘tireless community man’ Tony Beddison

Neil Mitchell

Influential businessesman and philanthropist Tony Beddison died on Tuesday morning.

He was a successful self-made businessman, who built The Beddison Group into a national recruitment giant, but it’s his philanthropy that he’s best remembered for.

Mr Beddison chaired the committee that built the new Royal Children’s Hospital, which opened in 2011, and many say the world class hospital wouldn’t exist without him.

He also served as  a director for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Australian War Memorial Anzac Foundation.

Neil Mitchell knew Mr Beddison well, and has described him as a “a very close friend, a mentor, and an adviser”.

“He couldn’t say no,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“People would say ‘can you help? Can you do this?’ and he’d take it on.

“He built an extremely successful business but I don’t know where he found the time, frankly.

“He certainly was a tireless community man.”

Neil spoke of Mr Beddison’s compassion and empathy.

“Once I had him on air, and he’s quite comfortable on air, but he started to get tense,” he said.

“We were talking about the Royal Children’s Hospital appeal and he was crying, he was shedding a tear.

“He admitted to me that even as chairman he couldn’t walk into the Royal Children’s without getting emotional.”

Neil also revealed Mr Beddison had a hand in his long, successful radio career.

“He, several times, talked me out of resigning on some silly point of principle and brought me down to earth,” he said.

“More than once he’s turned up late at night, when I was in the middle of a battle with management, previous management of course … when I was on the verge of resigning or being sacked.

“If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t be here [on 3AW].”

Press PLAY below for Neil Mitchell’s full tribute to Tony Beddison.

Image: Quinn Rooney/Getty

Neil Mitchell