Beyond Radio : Linc Kelly

Staff Writer

In 'Beyond Radio' we profile people who have translated successful careers in radio into spectacular ventures beyond radio.

It is easy to observe issues and opportunities in society where we could make a difference; it is harder to actually make the decision to move from observation to action and to do something about them.

Linc Kelly is a radio veteran – a production superstar formerly of Austereo, DMG, and GWR in the UK. His former boss, Radio Today’s Scott Muller, speaks glowingly of Linc:

“Linc worked for me in a number of places, discovered him when he sent a demo in from regional Vic when I was at Fox. He was one of the few who paid very close attention to feedback.

Got Linc to 6MMM then Simon took him to SAFM. I took him to the UK to be Group Production Director of the GWR Media Group. He's one of the best, would have him on my team any day”

Perhaps more importantly however, Linc is a terrific bloke and a dedicated family man. In his time ‘beyond radio’ Linc is doing some fantastic work raising awareness and money for people, particularly children, impacted by cancer.

Here is Linc's story:

Linc left full-time radio a couple of years ago when he and his wife Robyn made the decision to relocate their young family to her hometown of Bairnsdale in Victoria. With three young children, two of whom have autism, the desire to be close to family and to care for his family was the priority.

A few years ago, Linc and Robyn were impacted by cancer: “A few years ago I lost both my dad and my wife’s dad, and then three years ago my son had a cancer scare. We had to go to the Peter Maccallum institute in Melbourne, and we sat down with the counsellor to find out the news”

“Obviously they have to prepare you for the worst, and we’re sitting there listening and a single tear rolled down my sons face, and I thought we have to do something to help these kids……thankfully, he’s all clear now”

Subsequently Linc became involved with the ‘Tour de Cure’, which raises awareness and money for cancer research, and to help those with the disease through cycling events. Linc's particular motivation is in assisting children impacted by cancer.

The ‘Tour de Cure’ run a major annual event called ‘The Signature Tour’, which this year will ride from Brisbane to Mission Beach across 11 days, Linc has completed one signature tour.

And this year, a smaller regional-focused tour was launched called ‘The Cancer Awareness for Country Kids Tour’, which Linc was was heavily involved in. This cycling tour involved a 475-kilometre ride from Geelong to Colac, on to Warrnambool, to Apollo Bay, and finishing in Torquay. The ride took place last week, finishing on the weekend.

Linc commented: “in regional areas the death rates from cancer are 35% higher than those in the capital cities because of limited access to specialists”

“So we decided to start in the country, and with the kids. We teach them about lifestyle choices to prevent cancer – many people don’t realise that 60% of cancers are preventable, and many kids don’t understand a lot about it”

“We teach them that you can’t ‘catch’ cancer, and if someone you know is impacted by it, the most important thing you can do is give them a hug….a gentle hug (laughs)”

A bonus of being on the cycle tour is the opportunity to become involved in presenting funds to those in need.

Linc said: “We handed out 3 cheques on this tour, one to canteen to fund a person to visit country kids affected by cancer and assist with their ongoing mental health. This is a cause very close to me, and meant a lot”

“We learnt from a lady in Warrnambool that one of the many side effects from breast cancer chemotherapy can be shingles, and presented her with a cheque to help continue the great work she is doing. And we were able to give a cheque to the flying doctors for petrol money to help transport country people impacted by cancer to the city for treatment”

The Tour de Cure has been running for six years, with a major ride annually, and an increasing focus on regional areas, all riders in the Tour de Cure have to qualify and put in their own funds. 

Linc: “For the big tour, you put in $2000 of your own money, and you have to raise at least $10,000”

The cycling tour last week required a significant commitment not only from Linc, but from his wife Robyn and kids Oskar, Elliot and Ashar as the final day of the ride (saturday) was Oskar's 18th birthday. The Tour de Cure team all celebrated by singing Oskar happy birthday whilst on the tour.

So after all riding that distance, time away from family, missing Oskar's 18th birthday, time off work, does Linc feel it is worth it?

“Oh yeah, I’ll do it every year, it’s the best feeling, it’s really close to my heart, with my family, and it’s amazing to be able to make a difference"

(picture: on the tour the yellow jacket is awarded daily to the rider who demonstrates a "good and positive attitude' on the ride, Linc is pictured above wearing the yellow jacket in his 'superhero' pose)

Whilst Linc Kelly is a loss to radio, it is difficult to argue that the work he is doing now is not significantly more important.

The tour de cure website is here and if you would like to make a donation – no matter how large or small it would be appreciated. Here are the steps:

  Step 1 Visit the website here and click donate.  
  Step 2 Click donate to ‘individual’  
  Step 3 Select the ‘country kids tour – victoria’  
  Step 4 Select Linc Kelly’s name  

Very important to note, putting Linc's name there doesn’t mean the money goes to him, it all goes to the various projects the Tour de Cure supports. Donating and noting Lincs name simply enables him to see that you donated and to say thank you.

All donations are tax deductible.

In a week where the AFL community lost Jim Stynes to cancer, and where the ‘Cancer Awareness for Country Kids tour’ has just been completed, it reminds us that some things are more important than radio and ratings.

Linc observed the issue, observed the opportunity, and made the decision to move from observation to action and do something tangible about it. Now it’s our turn to help out by giving something back.

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