Stella HumePrint Page Print this page

The Plaque commemorates Stella Hume, who while raising her four children, taught elocution, served as art director of the Adelaide Repertory Theatre, pursued interests in sculpture, music, dancing, singing, and cultivating and arranging flowers, and also appeared in silent films, billed as `Leonora Starr`.

In 1923 her sons Ernest and Jack became fascinated with wireless. Believing in the cultural and educational potential of the new technology, her husband bought a transmitter and ancillary equipment, and set up a studio in their home, Peltonga, on Park Terrace (later Greenhill Road), Parkside. The Humes obtained a permit to make experimental broadcasts. By mid-1924 Stella was `the voice of 5 Don N`, as their station 5DN was known. Live broadcasts were made from the music-room at Peltonga and, by landline, from the Elder Conservatorium of Music and the University of Adelaide.

One of the world`s first female announcers and programme directors, she appeared on 5DN as `Miss Leonora Starr`, elocutionist, and as `Auntie Stella`, a children`s storyteller. In 1924 the Humes applied for an A-class licence—which would have enabled them to finance high-quality programmes from listeners` fees—but were disappointed when 5DN received a B-class licence, obliging them to seek revenue by transmitting advertisements. Mrs Hume arranged to broadcast the play, Lilies of the Field, in November.

In 1925 she engaged and directed approximately one thousand performers and speakers, in addition to orchestras and bands. Her transmissions were received in the United States of America. Because 5DN remained on air later at night than Melbourne and Sydney stations, enthusiasts in eastern Australia tuned in.


Address:Greenhill Road, Peltonga, Parkside, 5063
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.940781
Long: 138.610632
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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