Anne Dunn, 1950-2012

August 2, 2012

A successful broadcaster who went on to become a leading academic expert in the field has died.

Anne Dunn was born in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire on 12 August 1950 and educated at St Paul's Girls' School in London before emigrating to Australia with her family in 1965.

After completing a degree in education at the University of Sydney in 1973, she went into children's television at the BBC before returning to Australia in the late 1970s to work for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as an on-camera presenter.

She later moved on to management roles, as well as a stint as a researcher on Parkinson when the chat show was broadcast from Sydney in the early 1980s.

After a television and radio career spanning two decades, Professor Dunn secured an academic position in the media department of Charles Sturt University in 1997.

This was followed by a spell at the University of Western Sydney and then an appointment as lecturer in Sydney's fledgling department of media and communications in 2001.

Promoted to senior lecturer in 2005 and associate professor in 2009, Professor Dunn also served as chair of department, pro-dean and then acting dean in the Faculty of Arts, and finally, from 2011, pro-dean (academic) in the newly created Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

A leading authority on public broadcasting, which she saw as crucial to the health of democracy, Professor Dunn was the co-author of Narrative and Media (2005) and Media, Markets, and Morals (2011).

In March, she was the only female member of a panel of journalists in an online debate on state regulation of Australia's news media.

Just a month before she died, she spoke at a conference at the University of Westminster on the impact of the News International phone-hacking scandal on Rupert Murdoch's Australian empire.

For Duncan Ivison, dean of Sydney's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Dunn was "a person of unimpeachable integrity" who "had the uncanny ability to transform often difficult situations into constructive conversations that left everyone feeling as though they had genuinely been listened to".

He added: "She had a wonderfully calming and inclusive way of pursuing her work - a rare quality, especially in the often frazzled world of university politics." Professor Dunn died on 1 July of liver failure following several years of treatment for cancer. She is survived by her husband Peter and daughters Alice and Claire.

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