9th November 2022
IS IT ever easy to say goodbye? I don’t think so and sadly this is what this column is all about as I say farewell to my role as editor of the Coolum and North Shore Advertiser.
After six years, four of which as editor I have been offered another role which felt like the right thing to do for my career and my bank account – working as a freelancer for the past ten years hasn’t exactly been the best paying job, though it has been nice to set my own hours and work from home.
I have loved my time working at the Advertiser and being a Coolum resident and “local” it has not been hard to represent this great community. I have loved getting to know the many community groups and people who make up our region. Coolum has always been a special place to me from first coming to the beach for swims in the late 80s and living in Longbeach Ave as a poor uni student in the 90s – and then to writing about my ‘home’ for the past six years – it really has been great. I hope I have represented what this community stands for well – it wasn’t always easy with some big items on the table, but I think I did my best to be objective and to represent everyone equally.
Whilst this might be “goodbye” from me at the Advertiser I will still be around in Coolum – this is my home and I’m not going anywhere. I hope all the great people I have come to know so well will continue to say hi and will also continue to support the Advertiser.
Coolum really is the best place, and it has been an honour to write and collate the stories which have shaped this community over the past four years.
31st August 2022
WE SAID that we were hoping to be double the size by the end of August and we are almost there! When we were coming out each week, we were 12 pages and with our fortnightly print schedule we have been aiming to be double the size which is 24 pages by the end of August and this edition is just shy of that. We thank everyone who supports us week in and week out for their continued support of our little independent voice which is here to represent our amazing community.
Speaking of community, I was lucky to go along to the Coolum Civic Centre on Saturday night for the ‘Playlist’ event which showcased the songs which make people think of Coolum. Produced by local arts production company – ‘Red Chair’ this sold-out event was a musical love note to Coolum and featured Warumpi Band’s evocative ‘My Island Home’ sung by the Cool Harmonies Choir, the live band belting out the punk anthem ‘Smoko’ by the Chats and then there was of course, ‘Music Makes Me Happy’ by the formidable Oka. These were just a small snippet of the songs played and to close off the night the choir and band joined forces for ‘Sounds of then’ by Gangajang – I guess you can say you’ve lived here awhile if you do in fact remember the cane fields burning along Coolum/Yandina Road! We are very lucky to have such a creative community here in Coolum.
The Playlist was also part of the Horizon Festival and I encourage everyone to set their alarm early for this Sunday morning and to make their way to Stumers Creek from 5am for the ‘Dawn Awakening’ event which closes off the festival. This event allows us to be bystanders to the ceremony of the oldest continuing culture in our world and we are all the better for this understanding and representation as a collective community. Dawn Awakening is a real highlight and is completely FREE!
Further showing how great our community is was the ‘Paint the town read’ event put on by Coolum State School for their youngest students. What a truly unique day of learning this was which saw the young students literally read to by representatives from local businesses and culminated with a ride on the Ferris Wheel. What great memories our young students will have created!
Of course, I am biased, but we do have the best community here – whether you’ve lived here for 70 years or just one day- our community is great at supporting each other and here at the Advertiser we thank you all for your continued support, especially over the past two months as we transitioned to our new print schedule.
6th July 2022
It’s with a little sadness that we must inform you that the Advertiser from this week will now be a fortnightly print publication – our next publication will come out on July 20. This is primarily due to the increased cost of producing the paper, most notably the print bill. Sadly, the Advertiser is not the only print publication across the country to be hit by these costs. Thankfully our industry body the Queensland Country Press and its national counterpart the Australian Country Press has stepped in and lobbied the Federal Government for help, and we are hoping to see some of these increased costs absorbed by the government as it is imperative that free and independent media is allowed to prosper, especially in these uncertain times of misinformation.
For our publication to remain viable, moving to a fortnightly product was the most fitting way to ensure the longevity of the paper. We moved to a fortnightly publication during COVID and the very fact that we are still in the community being published is testament to how much the community does love their local and independent newspaper.
We are aiming to be double the size by the end of August, so that will mean that you will have more to read in our paper every two weeks. Many other local community newspapers are printed on either a fortnightly or monthly basis and whilst it was not an easy decision for the Publisher Michelle Box to come to, continuing as a weekly print publication was not cost-effective.
With the mention of costs, we want to thank each and every one of you who support the Advertiser either by advertising, reading or commenting on our stories online etc.- our paper would not have survived for more than 30 years without you, the community. We want to continue for another 30 years and more and cannot do so without your support. Even though we might now be coming out in print fortnightly, you can keep up to date with news via our website and FaceBook page. We will continue to be your independent objective voice representing the people and community from Bli Bli and up to Peregian Beach.
Voluntary Assisted Dying – Conscience Vote
27th May 2021
Almost five years ago I watched one of my best friends pass away from terminal cancer. She was warm and content, at home and surrounded by love. She was my beloved collie and I held her little paw as the vet gave her the ‘green needle’ on our couch in the living room. It hurt, it was sad, but it was humane and free of suffering.
Three years before that in the same month I watched my beloved grandfather pass away from metastatic prostate cancer. He had been a hugely successful businessman – he towered over me in stature and I admired him like no other, but the last year of his life was arduous, painful and debilitating. The last two months – undignified and cruel as he shrivelled into a frail shell of a human who never left his bed. Even on his cocktail of opiates, his suffering was tangible and inescapable. As a family, our only consolation for this horrible passage was that he was able to pass away at home when that horrible time came and he was not in a sterile hospital.
Right now a Bill is being debated in our state parliament on allowing Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) in Queensland for the terminally ill. So far Victoria and Western Australia already have such laws, which allow for VAD.
I urge everyone to voice their opinions on the VAD Bill and to make it known to your state representative. This is one time, with the upcoming conscience vote that these elected representatives have huge power and they are mandated to vote for the people they represent and they cannot represent you if you do not make your voice known to them.
I respect that this is not an easy discussion to have, especially when it is literally talking about life and death and there are moral and religious beliefs present in this discussion, however, this debate is going forth and will be voted on.
Many have argued that we all deserve the option to be able to die humanely and if you are not religious, then you should be able to end your life if you have a terminal disease before your suffering is beyond what is humane and keep your dignity right to the very end, surrounded by your loved ones.
The night before my collie passed, I stayed up one last night all the way through with her as her tumours were breaking open and bleeding. Thankfully I could let her be free of her suffering when the vet arrived in the morning and she did not have to endure more pain. I would like to think that we owe this same humanity to our own kin.
We’re ready for you 2021!
14th January 2021
It’s cliché, but thank … you know what should go there, 2020 is done, dusted and bowled out! Although, just as we were marvelling in our idyllic COVID free state, that pesky green pronged assailant kicked us in the proverbial and swiftly reminded us that QLD is no more immune to COVID than anywhere else and we are ALL to not let complacency get the better of us. Remember to keep washing and sanitising your hands, keeping your distance and staying in if you feel like crap.
With the start of 2021 comes the ability to really strive for new goals and one that we are featuring is the Go Local campaign. As our front page picture this week recognises, why not make it a real priority to as much as possible only buy local? After the horrendous year that so many endured last year, supporting local is one of the best economic drivers for our region.
The start of a new year is also a time to start those new fitness regimes – I certainly have noticed more people out and about walking in the mornings and why not take advantage of the Sunshine Coast Council’s free ‘Lift Project’ online wellness program as a way to kick start those mental and physical fitness goals?
This year the Advertiser marks 31 years in print and after last year we know that we can survive anything and as always I am always open to hearing your suggestions and feedback on what you would like to see in YOUR community newspaper. Have a story idea, or celebration etc. that you would like featured, then please drop me a line – either via phone 0422 059 769 or via email email@example.com Here’s to a great 2021 for all of the Coolum and North Shore region.