Vale: James Dibble

Legendary newsreader James Dibble, who presented the first ever ABC TV news bulletin in 1956, has died from cancer aged 87.

Dibble presented ABC News in Sydney for 27 years, becoming one of the most recognisable faces on Australian television.

His last bulletin was in 1983 before he was succeeded by Richard Morecroft, who paid tribute yesterday.

“I was a little surprised at how modest a man he was for somebody who had such an extraordinary reputation,” he said.

ABC managing director Mark Scott described Dibble as “a gentleman, a fine newsreader, much loved across Australia”.

“He was the figure of trust that we all turned to at 7 o’clock every night, bringing the great events of the world and the great events of Australia.”

Source: ABC


  1. It was a privilege to know Jim. He worked with us for 25 years, from the day after he retired from the ABC. His leadership as Chairman for 17 years and later as Director and Patron was invaluable to the growth of the organisation. Teachers in schools still talk about James handing out Peer Support Leadership certificates to students at school assemblies. It would be interesting to know how many students remember him.

    He was our computer expert for many years and designed and developed our first website. His grasp on technology was amazing for someone of his vintage. I can remember being amazed to see him texting on a mobile phone long before I even tried.

    Jim continued to attend Board meetings here up until 2008 when his failing health made it difficult for him to climb the stairs. We visited him quite regularly and I was really pleased to have seen him twice last week when we a little laugh and a few chuckles about old times. It was a busy weekend for him as several of the Board members visited. I think we might have worn him out. He will be greatly missed by all his friends at Peer Support Australia.

  2. Vale Mr James Dibble.

    Around 40 years ago, I had the honour, several times, of meeting James Dibble and served him as a customer of the keyboard (music) retailer I worked for at the time. He was an enthustiac amateur keyboard player and a genuinely nice person, unaffected by his high profile. Mr Dibble always conducted himself with the utmost courtesy, even to those (like me) who were from ‘ordinary’ walks of life.

    To me, he was (and is) an icon and I was totally taken back by his humility and gentle nature.

    The world has lost a truly great gentleman who, in his own low key fashion, pioneered more than his television firsts and perpetuated everything that should continue to be important today: good manners, respect and caring about others.

    Rest in peace and may he long be remembered.

  3. Wow three legends in just over a week Norman Hetherington, Gus Mecurio and James Dibble. I remember coming home from school at lunch as a seven-year-old and watching him on TV with my dad.

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