Talbot Duckmanton

Sir Talbot Duckmanton

General Manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission
In office
26 February 1965 – 1 July 1982
Preceded bySir Charles Moses
Succeeded byKeith Jennings
Personal details
Talbot Sydney Duckmanton

(1921-10-25)25 October 1921
South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Died12 June 1995(1995-06-12) (aged 73)
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Florence Simmonds (m. 1947–1978)

Janet Strickland (m. 1979–1981)

Carolyn Wright
EducationNewington College
Military service
Branch/serviceAustralian Army (1941–43)
Royal Australian Air Force (1943–45)
Years of service1941–1945
RankFlying Officer

Sir Talbot Sydney Duckmanton CBE (25 October 1921 – 12 June 1995) was an Australian broadcaster and radio and television administrator. As General Manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission he oversaw the advent of colour television, ABC Classic FM and Triple J.[1]

Early life

The son of Sidney James Duckmanton and Rita Margaret Hutchins,[2] Duckmanton was born in South Yarra, Melbourne.[3] He was educated at Newington College in Sydney 1934–1938.[4]

Broadcasting career

He began his career as a cadet announcer at the ABC in Brisbane in 1939 and had a wide ranging career working as a news announcer and sporting broadcaster. During World War II Duckmanton saw active service as a pilot and was later a war correspondent. From 1952 until 1954 he was the Assistant Manager of the Brisbane office.

He was Deputy General Manager of the organisation 1964–65,[3] and General Manager from 1965 until his retirement in 1982.

It was rumoured and is widely believed that Sir Talbot Duckmanton was responsible for choosing the ABC post office box number 9994 in recognition of Sir Don Bradman's batting average of 99.94. However this only became the ABC's box number in 1983, after Duckmanton's retirement. There is as yet no published evidence that the connection between the box number and Bradman's average was intentional.[5]

Other offices

Talbot Duckmanton was President of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union 1973–77, and President of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association 1975–82.[3] From 1968 until 1973 he was Chairman of the Executive Committee of Newington College Council.[6]

ABC legacy

In a story published on 4 October 2004 on the ABC Brisbane (612AM) website,[7] a task was set to find a name for the mascot of ABC Brisbane. In an article on the same website published on 27 October 2004,[8] "Talbot" (in honour of Duckmanton) was declared the winner over the other candidate "Gabba" (a reference to the nickname of the Brisbane Cricket Ground in the suburb of Woolloongabba).

Family life

He married Florence Simmonds in 1947 and had four children, Christine, Susan, Craig Talbot and Kim.[2] Florence died in 1978. The following year he married Janet Strickland, the Australian Chief Censor, but they separated two years later. His third marriage was to Carolyn Wright, an Englishwoman. This marriage also lasted only two years. He later remarried Janet Strickland.[3]



  • Inglis, Ken S., This Is the ABC 1932 – 1983, Black Inc 2006
  • Inglis, Ken S., Whose ABC? 1983 – 2006, Black Inc 2006


  1. ^ "75 Year of ABC". ABC Website.
  2. ^ a b "Talbot Duckmanton". The Duckmanton Family Website. Archived from the original on 28 January 2004.
  3. ^ a b c d The Independent, 17 June 1995
  4. ^ Newington College Register of Past Students 1863–1998 (Syd, 1999) pp55
  5. ^ Inglis, works cited
  6. ^ Gapps, Stephen; Newington College (2012), Newington College : a sesquicentenary history 1863-2013, Stanmore, NSW Newington College, ISBN 978-0-9873016-0-4
  7. ^ "Name 612 ABC's New Mascot". 612 ABC Brisbane. 2004-10-04. Archived from the original on September 9, 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  8. ^ "Would the real Talbot Duckmanton please stand up". 612 ABC Brisbane. 2004-10-27. Archived from the original on April 20, 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  9. ^ "It's an Honour". Retrieved 2008-06-12.
Preceded by
A.D.G. Stewart
Newington College Council

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sir Charles Moses
General Manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission
Succeeded by
Keith Jennings

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