ABC radio personality Sarah Tomlinson dies unexpectedly: 'Devastated'

A popular ABC radio personality has died unexpectedly after going into anaphylactic shock.

Sarah Tomlinson has been a broadcaster since she was just 14, and became the ABC Mildura-Swan Hill Chief of Staff in 2018.

Sarah Tomlinson at a microphone
Sarah Tomlinson was a beloved radio personality. Photo: Facebook

Heartbreaking tributes have come flooding in for the much-loved radio star, with friends and colleagues praising her ‘brilliance’ and calling her legacy ‘immeasurable’.

The broadcaster has had a varied career, starting out in community radio before joining the ABC team. She also worked as a lecturer and radio trainer in Adelaide, and was a beloved mentor to many.


She previously hosted Mornings and Regional Drive for both ABC South Australia and Broken Hill. According to one of Sarah’s friends, the radio star passed away while on annual leave.

“Sarah Tomlinson passed away on the evening of Nov 8th from anaphylaxis. I’m so very grateful that her last days were in sunshine and happiness on holiday with her beautiful doggo Harley whom she loved so much, and who gave her unconditional love,” her friend wrote on Facebook.

Sarah Tomlinson selfie with red lipstick and a bright dress
Tributes have come flooding in from Sarah's colleagues, friends and relatives. Photo: Facebook

Previous Radio Adelaide colleague Dan Davis shared a touching tribute, writing: “This one hurts. Sarah Tomlinson was so kind to me during my time at Radio Adelaide and continued to reach out years after I left. A true advocate for regional voices and one of the sharpest wits I’ve ever known. The world is worse off without her in it.”

9News reporter Adam Hegarty added: “This one broke me. There’s no better human than Sarah Tomlinson. Tragic.”

Sarah’s cousin Kimberley Price also posted a heartbreaking tribute on Twitter alongside a selfie of the pair, saying: “It is with deep sadness I reflect on the life of my dear cousin, idol and friend Sarah Tomlinson. Her life was full, her jokes were hilarious/cringe-y, and her voice had that beautiful husk. She was everyone’s cheerleader and the greatest gift-giver. I will miss her everything."

L: Sarah Tomlinson and Carly Findlay. R: Sarah Tomlinson, Chris Testa and Santa
The star was known as an amazing mentor and friend. Photo: Facebook & Twitter

ABC reporter Casey Briggs wrote that it was “genuinely awful news” and shared what he loved about the star.

“Sarah Tomlinson was enthusiastic, funny, hardworking and a fierce advocate for community and regional media and the power of radio. She was one of my first mentors and trainers in community radio and I’ve learnt so much from her,” Casey penned.

Writer and close friend Carly Findlay also shared a number of touching photos with Sarah and called her ‘sunshine’.

“Devastated to learn the news that Sarah Tomlinson has died. What a joy she was, such a brilliant friend,” Carly wrote on Facebook. “Sarah and I bonded over our love of clothes. Many of our chats were about the clothes we bought/lusted after/didn’t buy/wish we had bought. Vale Sarah, may you have an endless wardrobe of bright clothes.”

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