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Jeannette Smith (nee Ashley) (TVW 1971-1973)

Posted by ken On September - 13 - 2009

My days at 7 were some of the happiest.


2009: Jeannette Smith (nee Ashley)

Company Secretary – Kingsrose Mining Limited

Having only recently arrived from Africa the year before joining TVW, it was all rather exciting as a 21 year old to be given an opportunity to work at a television station!

Ernie Taylor interviewed me and I recall at that time being informed how strict the organization was regarding accuracy and presentation of documents. How true!

Ernie Taylor.jpg
Ernie Taylor

I remember the first couple of weeks so well: I would arrive home each day with loads of paper stashed in my handbag (and anywhere else I could hide it) not wanting anyone to see how many mistakes I had made, or my numerous visits to the loo to dispose of excess paper! I’m sure some of the staff must have thought I had a serious health problem. Each day I kept thinking, today I will get fired if anyone sees this! However, as time went by and my confidence improved – like all the other secretaries – I became very proficient and my masterpiece was a document of 120 pages for Max Bostock and only two small errors – which I subsequently corrected of course!

I worked primarily in Sales and Production and periodically in the News Room at weekends. I also assisted with make-up when required. As with all jobs, some duties were routine and others exciting but the memories I hold today prove that it was far more exciting than routine.

1972: Jeannette applying make up to the script writer of the popular US show “Mannix”

I loved the live production side of my job, especially accompanying the (still) handsome Jeff Newman on the beach recruiting entrants for “Miss West Coast”; helping with Telethon; meeting Johnny Farnham and Kamahl, to name a few, and being part of the inaugural Channel 7 Christmas Pageant.

1972: Jeff Newman and Jeannette Ashley

1972: Johnny Farnham and Jeannette Ashley

Of all the wonderful people I worked with, the one who will always hold fond memories for me is Frank Moss. He was always so warm and kind and had such an infectious smile. When he asked a question – pretending to be serious – he would then burst out laughing, but it was always done in a fun-loving way.

Frank Moss.jpg
Frank Moss – TVW Company Secretary

Our uniforms! – well, that’s another story. The hem had to be a certain length, no exceptions, and certainly nothing added to try and make it look more interesting (apart from the TVW emblem).

I recall making a bow out of a thin black shoelace and pinning it to the top of my dress just to be different. Frank Moss saw it – “hmm Jeannette, that doesn’t look like Company uniform to me!” Needless to say I only wore it once! I grew up with an Army Major father who said ‘jump’ and I said ‘how high’. No wonder I felt at home at TVW – just joking Mr Moss! 

… and what did the men wear – free dress, of course! As much as I hated wearing the uniform it made the decision of what to wear each morning very easy!

Why did I leave 7 if I loved it so much? – because I was becoming married to my job and despite working with a wonderful bunch of people and meeting so many interesting celebrities, I realized that I had to leave and meet some ‘ordinary’ people, especially as I was a new arrival to Australia.

I am certainly looking forward to the reunion, and thank you to all who are working so hard to put it together, but 37 years on, with skin now too big for our bodies, children, wear and tear, I just hope we all recognize each other!

Mignon McCurry, Jill Korbosky, Jeannette Ashley, Glenys Andrijasevich, unknown, unknown

Jeannette at the 1972 Christmas Pageant

Jeannette Ashley, Linda Brownrigg and Anne Pick

Linda Brownrigg, Anne Pick, Louise Borsje, Jeannette Ashley, Lyndell Carter and Maureen Burgwyn

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Dave Gordon and Jeannette in the TVW canteen in 1972


Jeannette Ashley, Rick Rogers, Fat Cat, Sandy Palmer and Percy Penguin

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