The Australian playwright and author Gwen Meredith has died at her home in the New South Wales southern highlands, aged 98.

Mrs Meredith was the writer of the ABC’s radio series Blue Hills which ran for more than 5,500 episodes over 27 years.

Mrs Meredith wrote every one of the episodes.

In 1967 she received an MBE for her services to radio entertainment and later an OBE for her services to the arts

Mrs Meredith’s cousin Jackie Treseder says she died yesterday morning at her Bowral home.

“She has been unwell for a little while with her heart,” she said.

“Over the last week her health has deteriorated.

“She’s had two cousins and a longstanding friend with her for the last week by her bedside.

“Her wishes have been that she had a very quiet peaceful private funeral which we had today.”

Ms Treseder says she was an inspiration.

“She’s achieved a lot in her writing years,” she said.

“It’s been wonderful to have been able to stay at home and be at home and die with the dignity and the grace that she deserved.”

Mrs Meredith’s friend Ian Doyle says her work on Blue Hills will never be forgotten.

“Well 5795 episodes was the number [of episodes she wrote] … she didn’t write it, she spoke it … recorded it on a tape machine and it was then transcribed at the ABC,” he said.

“That’s why the people who were in Blue Hills felt as if the serial had a real life to it because Gwen, actually spoke the words before they were then typed.”

(source abc)