Graham Grant White, OBE, ASM
Graham White had a distinguished career spanning 50 years in the Australian television industry.
Graham grew up on a 5,000 acre wheat and sheep property in central Victoria before attending BGS as a boarder, where he was Captain of the First XVIII. He studied commerce at the University of Melbourne,
then began his career at the ABC in 1952 and as a TV producer-director was involved with the launch of ABC Television in 1956. Graham was also one of just three MCG commentators at the Melbourne Olympic Games in that year.
While at the ABC Graham held several senior roles, including Head of Rural Broadcasting (1953), Controller of TV Programs (1971) and then in 1973 he was promoted to General Manager of ABC Television, a position he held for ten years.
During the 1970s Graham launched many well known Australian series such as Countdown, A Big Country, the Magic of Music and countless drama series such as Rush, Ben Hall and Power Without Glory. He expanded ABC’s current affair presence and devoted a great deal of time to widening the scope of sports programs.
Graham was also responsible for extending television services to all regions of Australia. Initially in 1956, only Melbourne and Sydney had TV. Yet in the next few years Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart had TV; next came the provincial centres including Darwin, Townsville etc. But there were still vast areas without TV service.
Graham was instrumental in changing a Cabinet decision in Canberra to provide a satellite service with a footprint across the whole of Australia, giving the remotest outback areas TV at last.
As Director of Television Graham established ABC Enterprises with the publication of ABC Books and opened the first ABC shop in Sydney in 1982. ABC shops in all states now generate millions of dollars in revenue.
While on secondment from the ABC, Graham worked for the United Nations in Asia, South America and the Pacific region with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN. His role was organising and conducting broadcasting training courses.
After leaving the ABC, Graham became the Managing Director of RKO Pictures and a consultant to many organisations including BBC Worldwide, IMG, AGU, and several commercial companies.
Graham has sat on several boards over the years including the Australian Confederation of Sport, in Canberra.
In 1981 Graham was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to national broadcasting and public service. In 2000 Graham was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for service to golf and sport in Australia.
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