Melbourne’s gay and lesbian community lost a mentor and much-loved broadcaster with the death of Addam Stobbs last week.
Since news of Stobbs’ death at his home in the early hours of Wednesday, June 16, there has been an outpouring of admiration for the man best known for his razor-sharp wit on JOY94.9’s longest running program, Allegro Non Troppo.
In a statement, Stobbs’ Allegro Non Troppo co-presenter Peter Fortey said Stobbs was “tireless in [his] efforts to make life a better place for gays and lesbians”.
“For me he was an exceptional friend and someone who always had words of encouragement when I wasn’t feeling very positive,” Fortey said.
Passionate about community radio, Stobbs was a board member of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia and helped train JOY’s many new recruits in media law, presentation and production.
Fellow JOY presenter Doug Pollard said Stobbs would be deeply missed at the station.
“He impacted many lives at the station, he was a mentor,” Pollard told Southern Star.
“He could be a glorious bitch, but underneath he was a very genuine person.”
Friend Michael Barnett told Southern Star that during his time volunteering at JOY, Stobbs was “the most colourful and dynamic personality at the station”.
“Addam brought so much enjoyment into my life, whether it was relating a hilarious self-deprecating moment, or crucifying an ill-meaning personality over the airwaves of Melbourne in his inimitable style,” Barnett said.
Apart from his radio commitments, Stobbs contributed a monthly column to national gay publication Q Magazine.
Q Magazine publisher Brett Hayhoe said his friendship with Stobbs grew when they met at JOY 10 years ago.
“Addam said one night he wanted to write and I said I really need a bitchy column, I want a column that will make people react,” he told Southern Star.
“Of course he did that beautifully.”
Hayhoe said Stobbs’ bitchy on-air persona did not reflect the man off-air.
“Anyone who knew Addam knew he wasn’t a bitch.”
“He was a really, really sweet man.”
In April this year Stobbs and his partner Yoda celebrated their nine-year relationship with a commitment ceremony.
“He cared incredibly and loved Yoda,” Hayhoe said.
“At the ring-swapping ceremony he was really sweet and you could see the two loved each other very much.”
Stobbs was also a passionate classical music lover and music teacher.
Friend Tina Johnston told Southern Star she met Stobbs over 28 years ago studying the keyboard and organ.
“There is no question that Addam guided me along paths I would never have taken,” she said.
“He pushed me to explore not only my musical potential, but my abilities and strengths as a human being.”
The cause of Stobbs’ death is still unknown.
info: A memorial service will be held 2.30pm today, June 24 at Springvale Botanical Cemetery.