Canberra’s newly-minted Citizen of the Year, former ABC broadcaster Alex Sloan, has thanked the people of the ACT for allowing her to tell their stories.
Sloan, who retired from radio and her role as ABC Radio Canberra’s afternoon presenter last year, said she was “a bit gobsmacked” by the honour, which was announced by ACT’s Chief Minister Andrew Barr this morning.
“I know everyone says they’re humbled when these things happen,” she said.
“But … I look at people who’ve volunteered all their lives, or worked with the homeless, or worked with veterans.
“I think it’s about being able to tell those people’s stories. So I thank all those people, and acknowledge all those people, whose stories I’ve been able to tell.”
Before her retirement, Sloan worked for the ABC for 27 years.
“I was given such a beautiful send off from Canberra at the end of last year when I retired from radio,” she said.
“I think it’s about putting into your community and doing it with a big heart and lots of humour — I think that’s what this response is about.
“There’s so much nastiness and ugliness around … I think this is maybe just a bit of returned love, from Canberra.”
A ‘warm and engaging’ style
Mr Barr said the award recognised Sloan’s service to the ACT community, through her commitment to giving the people of Canberra a voice as a broadcaster.
“Alex presented various programs on ABC Radio Canberra, including Drive, Saturday Breakfast, Sunday Brunch, Mornings, and Afternoons,” he said.
“Over that time she supported artists, musicians and writers by exposing their work and was also well known for her warm and engaging interview style.”
Mr Barr said outside her broadcasting role, Sloan has also been a long-time supporter of a range of charities, including Hands Across Canberra and Project Independence — as well as taking on roles on the ACT Place Names Committee, the ACT Architect’s Board, the Churchill Fellowship Selection Committee and The Australia Institute’s Writer In Residence program.