Veteran sound recordist Don Connolly passes away, ASSG calls for tributes

The ASSG has today informed membership of the regrettable passing of veteran sound recordist Don Connolly.

Connolly has worked on a number of Australia’s most iconic films including Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Devil’s Playground and Gallipoli. 

He was awarded two AFI Awards, one for his work on The Last Wave in 1978 and then for Gallipoli in 1981. 

In 2000, the ASSG recognised his contribution to the Australian Screen Sound industry and awarded him with the ASSG Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was also awarded the Australian Centenary Medal in the 2001 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Australian society through Australian film production.

The ASSG are calling for tributes to Connolly to be emailed to 

Tributes are also welcome to be posted below. 

  1. Don was such an iconic Aussie film person, I remember him well from the70’s and early 80’s. R.I.P.

  2. I LOVED Don’s sense of humour. On location at the beach one day he said to me “You like the beach, don’t you?.” I said “yes I do”. He pointed to the rocks at the end of the beach and said “I’m going over there now – I’ll give you a wave”

  3. When I first started in the industry in 1965 at Crawford’s I soon discovered that there were two iconic sound recordists in Australia at that time who did all the movies. One was Ken Hammond and the other Don Connolly.
    They became my heroes and the technicians I most wanted to emulate. I always admired Don’s work and came to understand what it meant to work on feature films.

    I always felt honored to walk in his footsteps.

    Gary Wilkins

  4. It seemed for a while the only people who did Sound on Film s were Don and Greg Bell. Two more different men you would probably struggle to find, They were however United ( Hi Coach Fenton!) by a couple of things. A Love for Life and Laughs and a Pursuit of Sound Perfection. Now they are gone, but Not Forgotten, things seem a little emptier or maybe quieter. A bit like the “industry” itself perhaps?— But wait!.What’s that great Atmos track I hear a-buzzing!!!…Vale Don…Best and Many Many Thanks…

  5. Don Connelly was the leader of a marvellous army of sound men in the Australian film industry. From Arthur Smith to Alan Allen to Ron Purvis and more, Don was always the one to lighten the moment, ease the load and still capture the audio. Perfectly. Miss you Don.

  6. What a gentleman. Don had the most perfect, wicked, sense of humour. I first met him on FJ Holden, he made a tough day into smiles. RIP Don.

  7. We had the great fortune to spend nearly two years working alongside Don on Heartbreak High.
    He was a true gentleman and a fantastic technician.
    He had been working in the industry before 95% of the cast and crew where born, yet managed to fit in like a favorite Uncle.
    His corny jokes and one line asides gave us a laugh every day and was always bringing in amazing photos from his career and of course his collection of banknotes from his travels.
    Rebecca and I happened to catch up with him at an ACS function last year and he was still as sharp as ever.
    Our condolences to his family, he will be fondly remembered.

  8. Don was my boss at ABC TV Gore Hill for awhile, truly an inspirational guy with a wealth of experience and knowledge and a wicked sense of humour – sadly lost

  9. My father, Syd McClory was in Hi-Fi manufacturing in the 60’s and 70’s and would talk about Don and Dolby. I always thought they were connected. Years later I had the good fortune to work with the lovely funny man that dad had talked about. A real giant of the industry, that laugh will be missed. Vale Don.

  10. I had the privilege of working with “The Don” for many years on numerous productions ,the most memorable being Heartbreak High for two and a half years. He was not only a very dear friend of mine but a gifted sound mixer …and I mean GIFTED!!! and a true gentleman with an extraordinary sense of humour. He was a young man trapped in an older body ,as was obvious to all who met him . He was an inspiration to all who met him !

  11. Watching Don stand firm against every effort by the psychopathic director Collinson to humiliate a great Australian crew was an inspiration for all who survived The Earthling. A master craftsman, generous, patient, a true gentleman. A great loss.

  12. I had the privilege of working with “The Don” for many years ,the most memorable being the Heartbreak High series.We worked bloody hard on that show for two and a half years and I loved his unique sense of humour ,apart from his youthful spirit .He was definitely a young man trapped in an older body. He was a true gentleman and a gifted sound mixer . RIP Don .

  13. It was a privaledge to have known this good man. What a wonderful character and mentor to all of us he was. Don always left me smiling or laughing and was so generous of spirit… My condolances to all the family…

  14. Don was more of a mate than a boss at the ABC. He was the template for so many of us.
    Our condolences to Don’s family.

  15. I was on many film productions with Don, a great guy and a pleasure to work with.He was on sound with Lowal Thomas’s documentary in outback Australia to find the remains of John Bell Lassiter.He had some great stories to tell. RIP Don.
    Bill Lambert

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