Alumni

Kinsey, Don

  • Don Kinsey AMDK small

    2nd May1931- 30th August 2017

    Beginnings

    Don Kinsey was born in Mentone but grew up in Camberwell, where the Hartwell Presbyterian Church provided the centre for many Kinsey family activities, including the choir. As a member of the children's and youth choirs Don gained a great appreciation of music and at age 18 he was awarded a scholarship to study singing at the Melba Conservatorium.

    Don Kinsey's talents, like his career were diverse and varied.  

    Career

    He left school in 1946 to undertake an apprenticeship at C.Telford Smith.  After completing this he continued his studies gaining a Diploma in Engineering Design and Supervision. Following brief interlude at G J Coles as a trainee manager, Don returned to engineering as Production Manager at Flexdrive Industries.

    His aim to work in radio was realised after an intense period of self imposed voice training, and in 1957 he joined the staff of 3DB working there as a broadcaster and executive for almost 20 years.  As a result of his work at the radio station, Don became involved with The Royal Children's Hospital's Good Friday Appeal.  His passion and love of the hospital encouraged him to seek and gain employment as the hospital's Public Relations Manager. From 1976, Don made it his mission to have the Royal Children's Hospital known and owned by the community, as one of the four best paediatric hospitals in the world.  He committed to ensure the hospital became the 'go to' place for any issues relating to children's health.  His knowledge of the media and his community connections, achieved this goal.

    RCH contributions

    His contribution to RCH was also significant in other ways.  Don and his business partners conducted a business in effective speaking - "Communicators Melbourne".  Don was quoted as saying "public speaking is making yourself heard - effective speaking is making people listen".  Several hospital departments realised the value of this in relation to their work - presenting at conferences, and importantly dealing with patients. Don provided these courses to staff free of charge for many years.

    Other interests

    His personal interests were diverse and he devoted many hours to them all.  He was a Director of The Mazda Foundation for many years - assisting Mazda Australia in the establishment of this Philanthropic Trust.

    Don was a Freemason, a Patron of, and active member of the Royal South Street Society. For many years, he was the Master of Ceremonies of the Reserve Forces Day at the Shrine, and provided training to volunteer guides at the Shrine when he was not acting as MC at the Shrine's many official ceremonies.

    Don was a very active member of The Victorian Historic Racing Register, a member of the Eltham Historical Society, a member  of the 44 Club, and an official commentator at The Royal Melbourne Show for  many years,  He had a great interest in Military history  and was widely read on the subject.

    In recognition of his extensive contribution to many causes, Don was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2008.

    Family & legacy

    Don leaves a wife of 50 years, Margo, a son Cam, and a granddaughter Marli. He will be remembered for his generous nature, his melodious voice, his contribution to so many causes and especially his ability to make everyone he met feel special.

    By Christine Unsworth