The winners of the Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 Awards have been announced, with more than 21,000 people voting for this year’s winners. Silver Memories General Manager, Gary Thorpe OAM, has been named one of 2022’s most inspiring and influential people working for social change.

With over 40 years of broadcasting experience, Thorpe developed Silver Memories in 2007 to address social isolation in the aged in the community. Gary was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2011 to research the use of music in the management of dementia and related issues.

“The immense joy and benefits that Silver Memories has brought listeners across the country has been a testament to the effectiveness of the service,” Thorpe said.

“Our Patron, Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, recognises the importance of this service in the community and is one of its strongest supporters. Over the past 15 years, Silver Memories has grown to be one of the most vital services in aged care, with live performances and travelling road shows supplementing the 24/7 nostalgia music broadcasting service and accompanying visuals.”

Silver Memories has attracted internationally renowned Ambassadors including ‘The Angel of Australia’, Mirusia, together with the versatile Australian tenor, Paul Tabone, and the ever popular Andrew Sisters Tribute Band. The service has been widely embraced in aged care facilities across Australia including Arcare, Bolton Clarke, Blue care and many others.

Not only available to aged care residents, Silver Memories is also available to people living at home via a custom designed and competitively priced app, available for android and iPad use. 

In addition to Silver Memories, Thorpe also manages two other radio stations, including 4MBS Classic FM – Brisbane’s multi award – winning classical station.

When asked what he will be doing to celebrate, the ever-humble Thorpe laughed: “Silver Memories is organising some more concerts and roadshows in aged care homes locally and interstate as we know it brings so much joy to the residents and staff in these difficult times.”

In addition to Silver Memories, Thorpe is also the General Manager of MBS Light and 4MBS Classic FM, which presents its Festival of Classics – Australia’s largest classical music festival – in May.