IN 1983, Gail O’Donaghoe (now Gail Bowdern) was a fresh-faced radio jock, pushing the boundaries on 2GN’s late shift.
Her quick wit and wicked sense of humour made her a big hit with her school friends and the Marian College student was never afraid to give it to her male counterparts over at St Pat’s.
She churned out the hits for three years, however, she quit her job after graduation in 1986 and did what most kids her age dreamed of, she got out of Goulburn.
Twenty-seven years later, the mother of four is coming home and back to radio 2GN - but now, instead of dominating the airwaves, she will be in charge of them.
Mrs Bowdern will take over as general manager of Goulburn Radio on February 4. She says she can’t wait to become active in the community and get stuck in at work.
She said the late Steve Swadling had done a fantastic job as a community advocate and that she wanted to continue that legacy.
“I do (feel like I have big shoes to fill) but at the same time I don’t want to be Steve Swadling and Goulburn doesn’t want me to be either,” she said.
“I would like to follow in his footsteps, however, in so much as to become a big part of the Goulburn community and do for Goulburn what Steve did, which is be a voice for Goulburn and a voice for the people… “I just want it to get back to being a community radio station in that the community feels as though it owns 2GN and Eagle FM.
“I know it was that way on Steve’s watch and I just want to get back to that good community feel.”
After she left Goulburn, Mrs Bowdern worked at Radio 2ST on the South Coast and 3NE in Wangaratta before moving to Canberra and starting a trucking company with her husband.
However, after 17 years in the transport industry she got sick of the ‘Hobnob boots and jeans’ and was keen to trade them in for ‘a pair of stilettos and some lippy’, going to work as a sales consultant for 2CA/2CC in Canberra.
Two and a half years ago she became sales manager.
Now, she has just been appointed GM of Goulburn Radio and says she couldn’t be happier about it.
Mrs Bowdern said she loved Goulburn and the way locals took so much pride in their city. She also loved the way people were so committed to looking out for one another.
“It’s a small country town but it is a town that has got a real community mind and a community focus,” she said.
Mrs Bowdern hoped a few of her old school friends might still remember her and that the people of Goulburn would welcome her back with open arms.
“You never know I might get shunted out of town on the first bus,” she joked, “I hope not though”.
Capital Radio Network said they had full confidence in the new GM.
“The Board of Radio Goulburn is delighted to make this appointment,” managing director Kevin Blyton said.
“Gail Bowdern has excellent management skills and extensive knowledge of the radio industry, making her the right person to lead Radio Goulburn into the future”.