Mabury calls time on career
Presenter Graham Mabury. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

Few in the rough-and-tumble business of talkback radio last long enough to be labelled an institution.

But after 33 years and thousands of programs for 6PR, Graham Mabury has announced his retirement.

Mabury, who is also a Baptist minister and founded the Lifeline telephone support service, told his loyal audience of his decision last night.

"It's time," he said."When you've done something for 33 years it's a big investment of your life. But I leave with great relationships, fond memories and a deep gratitude."

During more than three decades hosting his Nightline program, Mabury has literally saved lives and is still in contact with people he pulled back from the brink.

"There's one person that I know of whose life I didn't save and I will never forget that," he said.

Mabury, 67, began at the talkback station in 1981 believing that if he lasted six months it would be an experience worth having.

"I started because I thought radio was a perfect way to engender a sense of community," Mabury said. "It was intimate and interactive. I think even with the internet, radio still plays that role and it does so person to person rather than something tapped into a phone or computer and sent.

"I think talkback has adapted because I notice there are few or fewer of the classic shock jocks."

His program has regularly been the timeslot winner across Perth radio stations.

He has received accolades such as the Order of Australia Medal and Australia's Volunteer of the Year.

Mabury entered broadcasting after working on Perth's streets with his wife Merle caring for homeless and troubled youth. He admits there were times when sticking to his core values presented challenges.

"One of the best calls I ever took was from a leader of the Islamic community who rang to say thank you because I would never allow the community or its members to be vilified," he said.

6PR general manager Martin Boylen described Mabury as the "backbone" of the station. "He has provided companionship, entertainment and assistance to many hundreds of thousands of Perth radio listeners," Boylen said.

A replacement for Mabury will be announced soon and the veteran broadcaster will continue to play a role with community projects.

The West Australian

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