FOR most of the last 40 years, Sean Dorney has been the voice of Australia on radio and television. But his gentle cadence, "bruised by a north Queensland accent," he jokes, isn't a voice that many Australians would immediately recognise.
Dorney has reported on the South Pacific for the ABC since 1974, starting in Papua New Guinea. In the decades since he has traipsed back and forth across each of the tiny independent nations in the neighbourhood. He's covered coups, corruption and natural eruptions - a warlord once put a price on his head and he's twice been deported.
But much of Dorney's reporting about the Pacific has been aimed at an audience in the Pacific, a service Australia provided to foster good will in the region and a sense of community.
Now that voice is lost to the airways. Dorney's job is one of dozens axed from the ABC in the wake of the Abbott government's decision to squeeze the broadcaster's budget and cancel the $223 million contract for the overseas television service, Australia Network.
The cuts have also cost Radio Australia after ABC management combined the once separate radio and television newsrooms in 2012.