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Olle, John Andrew (1947–1995)

from Canberra Times

Respected ABC broadcaster Andrew Olle died yesterday, five days after collapsing at his Sydney home from an inoperable brain tumour.

Olle, 47, underwent neurosurgery at the Royal North Shore Hospital early on Friday night, but had not regained consciousness. Doctors had told family and friends on Sunday that he would not survive and his life-support machine was turned off on Monday.

He leaves behind wife Annette and three children, Nicholas, Sam and Nina.

A spokesman for the family, broadcaster Mike Carlton, said that Olle had died peacefully in his sleep shortly after 6pm with his wife by his side, and family and friends at the hospital. "Mrs Olle said she and her children were deeply grateful for the care shown by the staff of the Royal North Shore which had been magnificent over these recent days," Carlton said.

"Mrs Olle said she had been deeply moved by the hundreds of letters, cards and faxes and public support which had come in not just from Sydney but indeed from around Australia.

"Andrew was the best of the best, but above that a great guy and true friend."

ABC managing director Brian Johns said ABC television audiences knew Olle well for his role as the regular anchor of state and federal election night coverage.

He had hosted Four Corners for 10 years from early 1985 until the end of last year.

He was also the popular host of ABC radio 2BL's morning program, and was due to take over the drive-time shift next year.

"The quality of his work was widely acknowledged by his peers," Mr Johns said in a statement.

"He will be missed by the many thousands of Australians who enjoyed his daily presence in their lives, and his loss will be felt intensely by all at the ABC.

"Andrew was a distinguished journalist and broadcaster. He was one of a remarkable generation of talent who helped shape news and current-affairs broadcasting in Australia."

His death has brought in tributes from many, including Australia's political leaders, who had often been at the sharp end of Olle's persistent interviewing.

"I am desperately sad for his family and as [Olle is] someone who is well known in the community I am sure there are many Australians who think the same," Prime Minister Paul Keating said.

Opposition Leader John Howard paid tribute to Olle on a personal level, saying he was not only a great journalist and fine interviewer but a fellow "soccer dad" for the local soccer team.

"That was part of his life that was very dear to him and I know how devastated his wife and children will be," he said.

National Party Leader Tim Fischer also expressed his deep sympathy to the Olle family.

Olle's broadcasting career began in Brisbane where he had joined the ABC as a cadet journalist in 1967.

His reporting, presentation and production skills had contributed to the success of some of Australia's finest television current-affairs programs: Four Corners, This Day Tonight, Nationwide, A Big Country, Sunday (on Channel Nine, where Olle had worked for three years), and the 7.30 Report.

No funeral details have been announced.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Olle, John Andrew (1947–1995)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/olle-john-andrew-27542/text35931, accessed 11 April 2021.

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