Vale: Dawn Kenyon

Pioneering presenter and producer Dawn Kenyon, best known as Romper Room's "Miss Dawn", has died.

Pioneering presenter and producer Dawn Kenyon, best known as Romper Room‘s “Miss Dawn”, has died aged 91.

She died in Wahroonga earlier this year, a week from her 92nd birthday according to a report by the Sydney Mornong Herald.

Kenyon (then Dawn Dingwall) was ATN7 Sydney’s first coordinating producer of children’s programs and one of the first women on Australian television.

In 1956, on Channel Seven’s first day of broadcast in Sydney, 24-year-old Dawn found herself presenting in front of the camera as well as working behind the scenes producing the 90-minute daily Captain Fortune program.

It was the first dedicated children’s television produced in Australia, entertaining children every weekday afternoon at the Epping studios.

After high school at Toowoomba she moved to Adelaide to complete her Associate of Music. She was introduced by comedian and entertainer Jimmy Tonkin to broadcaster Eric Pearce, then 5KA station manager, who offered her a job as a scriptwriter and record librarian, as well as occasional station accompanist.

Almost 10 years before the ABC started Play School, ATN7 trialled its own version of Romper Room, a children’s TV program popular in the US at the time, as a 15-minute segment within the Captain Fortune show. Dawn (as Dawn Dingwall) became “Miss Dawn,” reluctantly stepping in front of the camera.

Advocating for Live television she once said, “Aim for perfection. It’s very important to try to be the best you can be, but if something goes wrong it doesn’t matter. It’s funny and you just accept that.”

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Photo: NFSA

Leave a Reply