Stephen Lamble leaves strong legacy in journalism

WRITTEN WORD: Associate Professor of Journalism Stephen Lamble with his book, News as it Happens: An Introduction to Journalism, when it was first released in 2011.
WRITTEN WORD: Associate Professor of Journalism Stephen Lamble with his book, News as it Happens: An Introduction to Journalism, when it was first released in 2011. Contributed

HE left high school early, went jackarooing, became a teacher, an ambulance officer, a journalist and then an academic.

Associate Professor Doctor Stephen Lamble was as interesting as any of the stories he wrote in his many years in journalism.

And when it came to writing his story, there was probably no one better to tell it than Dr Lamble, who scribed the eulogy which will be read at his funeral at St Mark's Anglican Church, Buderim, today, September 14.

After staving off cancer for six years, the well-liked and respected founder of the University of the Sunshine Coast's journalism program and former journalist, succumbed to illness last Thursday.

Although Dr Lamble's journalism career got off to a late start after working in various jobs, his dedication to his craft lasted a lifetime.

One of his last missions was to update his textbook News as it Happens: An Introduction to Journalism, which he completed barely two months ago.

Dr Jane Fynes-Clinton, who is now coordinator of the university's journalism and communications degrees, said the book would be one of her former colleague's lasting legacies.

Another would be the careers of many journalism graduates who had secured work thanks to his guidance and his foresight in moulding a broad course to meet the needs of a changing industry.

Dr Lamble got his start in photojournalism at a small paper, the Bairnsdale Advertiser, in country Victoria and later started a newspaper, The East Gippsland Review.

He later moved to Queensland with his partner, Lyn, to be editor of the Noosa Citizen and from there went to the Sunday Mail where he wrote investigative stories and headed up the Sunshine Coast bureau.

During his years as a journalist, he was a finalist for three Walkley Awards.

One of his biggest stories involved exposing National Safety Council of Australia fraudster John Friedrich in the 1990s.

Dr Fynes-Clinton described Mr Lamble as a "forward-thinking" man who was always "hungry for information" and who would not let a story go once he got his teeth into it".

She said Dr Lamble always maintained his belief in the power of passing information to people and tried to instil the same commitment in the way he taught his students.

"If you're going to be a journalist, be a damn good one, follow ethics, have your skills ready to go and give it your best shot and that's something he did at every step."

Dr Lamble was appreciated by his students, including two who gave him the maximum five stars on Rate My Teacher website.

"Stephen is one of those teachers that can teach anyone, anything. He is inspiring and no matter how much you think you know he can teach you more," one wrote.

University of the Sunshine Coast vice-chancellor Professor Greg Hill said Dr Lamble had done a fantastic job in establishing a journalism program that was "one of the most successful in the state".

Prof Hill said Dr Lamble, who received the vice-chancellor's medal for outstanding teaching in 2009, had maintained an interest in the university and the course into his retirement.

Dr Lamble was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and retired in 2012 but was diagnosed with a second, unrelated cancer in 2013.

After travelling Australia with his second wife, Lyn, the couple settled at Buderim last year. Dr Lamble is survived by Lyn, six children and their families.

Topics:  university of sunshine coast walkley awards

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