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Tuesday 7 October 2014

Robin Bailey: Husband Tony Smart's Suicide - VIDEO on 97.3fm

I love hearing Robin Bailey speak on her weekly weekend segments on the 'Weekend Today' show.

I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of her husband Tony Smart by suicide - it happened on September 1, and for a few weeks, Robin understandably kept a low profile. About two weeks ago, I saw Robin on my TV screen again on 'Weekend Today' and thought, good on her. Managing one's grief is a very tricky thing (I can absolutely relate), and putting yourself headlong into your work and what you love is a good antidote (it has certainly worked for me, and clearly works for the very inspiring Robin).

Today was the first day Robin came back to her full-time role on Brisbane radio station 97.3fm. This message, below, was posted on the 97.3fm Facebook page today; Robin co-hosts the station's breakfast radio show, 'Robin, Terry and Rob'.

Here is the  video, with the transcript below:

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Following the death of her husband last month, Robin has returned to 97.3fm and wants to say thank you...


"Some of you may not know but on Sept 1st, just five weeks ago, my husband of 15 years Tony Smart, decided to end his own life.

"There are many things that are etched in my brain from the day that sadly I will never be able to forget but the worst is having to tell our three sons, (who I call on the radio) Renaldo Beckham (aged 14), Casanova (12)  and Big Boy (10) that their father was never coming home. But our boys are extraordinary, all three found the courage to say goodbye to their dad publicly at his funeral with Renaldo and big boy writing of their memories of him and Casanova playing a trumpet solo in front of his coffin.

"So the last five weeks for us have been about finding a new normal... something that has been both heart wrenching and inspiring.

"So many people have stepped up for us from my two best girlfriends - Alex who dropped everything and got on a plane from Mauritius with her kids and only left on Saturday, and Vanessa who sadly was intricately involved on the day but has been here for me every single minute... to my friend Rebecca who said I have three kids under five, and while I can't cook you a meal or clean your house, I can find you a child care solution and she did within three days (we now have a fantastic au pair called Charlotte who is coming on this journey with us).

"Joe, my 12 year old's godfather, who has just turned up at night to tuck my son into bed or watched him play soccer and Tony’s best mate Dash and business friend John who are helping me navigate Tony’s business Smartmen which is still very much continuing (who knew I could be an entrepreneur).

"To my family... my mum who drove through the night nine hours to get on a plane from a remote aboriginal community.

"To all the people who have cooked us meals and continue to do so as we all know I am not a great cook and finally to my wonderful colleagues here. Ruth who has baked my children’s favourite treats week in and week out while being my security chief - monitoring my contact with the outside world,  to Bobby who broke into the chapel before the funeral while Tony’s family were saying their goodbyes, just to give me a hug cos he could see I needed one. Louise for filling in – your humour so surpasses mine and you kept Tez on his toes – which I love! And to Terry for just making me feel normal!

"The list goes on and on. You know who you are - Ken, Fiona, the soccer crowd and our school communities thank you.

"But I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you Brisbane. For anyone who said a prayer for us or lit a candle; who sent a Facebook message or email - from cards to flowers, we felt it all.

"Believe me, there were times in the numerous sleepless nights I've had when these messages kept me going. My boys and I really felt the love of so many of you and at times it held us aloft. I can honestly say I felt your arms around us and it got us through.

"So what now? The boys are back at school and the final piece of the puzzle was for me to come back to work. As my 12 year old said… “Mum you have to go back on the radio you are using to many words on us” - and he's right, boys do not need a lot of words… so here I am.

"Despite tony taking his own life after struggling with depression, I do not want to become the poster girl for either. You know me, I will never shy away from talking about these topics, but suicide was his decision and I refuse to let it scar my children or I for the rest of our lives.

"This 97.3fm Brekkie show has been built on fun and entertaining content - and let me promise you, that is exactly what I want to do. Please keep sharing your stories with us and let's laugh and have fun, entertain and learn stuff, as I am desperate for a bit of light entertainment.

"I have been warned that at times things might overwhelm me, so forgive me if I cry (although Tez that is hardly out of character). But I am so glad to be back... so glad to have this job and so grateful to be part of this amazing Brissy community.

"I never thought this would be part of my journey but after five weeks of feeling completely overwhelmed and unsure, it is great to be back doing something I feel I know how to do - because one thing I’ve learnt is that life really does go on… and maybe I am believing our own publicity when I say that right now I chose and will fight for my children and I to be happy."

- Robin


In honour of Tony, a special fund administered through the Future State Greats Aspirations4Kids program, has been set up to provide kids with these opportunities - any kid, any sport!

You can donate via direct transfer to this account:

Account Name Future State Greats
Bank QT Mutual Bank
BSB: 514179
Account Number: 1661901

If you would prefer to donate via credit card you can do so online at futurestategreats.com.au.

Robin also posted a very sweet photo of her three sons, with the caption:

Robin here in my brave new world ! Returning to work tomorrow so the boys are now In charge of making their lunches . They are being absolutely amazing in stepping up and taking on the jobs Tony used to do (mind you a 14,12 and 10 year old should make their own lunch) well done boys I am so proud of you x

This post was originally published on the radio's site here.

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