Sand mine opponents attend the Nambour Council Chambers.
Sand mine opponents attend the Nambour Council Chambers.

We remain committed through the changes

OPINION:

SO THIS marks the last weekly column I’ll pen in print for this newspaper.

For some of you this will no doubt be met with a smile.

But don’t fear, I’ll still be able to have a say online when the issues arise, and you’ll still be able to spray me.

It’s been an interesting past few weeks.

A little like the Twilight Zone, putting out this daily publication, knowing there was an end date in sight.

Two thirds of my life has been spent on the Sunshine Coast.

I grew up reading the likes of Hoffman, Hill, Bathersby, Bode, Remeikis and more.

As a young guy playing sport it was always a novelty seeing your name in print.

Usually it was for conceding too many goals.

After university and a stint in central Queensland, it was a dream to be able to move back to the place I love and work in the vocation I adore.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had mixed feelings about the decision. After 20 years, I consider myself a local too, and I know how important our role is in this community.

There’s been plenty made of the decision to end this paper.

The outpouring from the community has been equal parts heartwarming and bittersweet.

So many hours poured into this place, above and beyond what we were paid to do, simply because we love the region, and love what we do.

I wouldn’t change any of it.

Journalists cop a lot of criticism, plenty of it deserved, but the majority I’ve worked with on this product have been humble, down to earth, hardworking, passionate people.

It takes a special kind of person to reach out to others in their darkest hours and tell their stories.

We’ve achieved incredible things for this community as well, working alongside them.

My passion for the region hasn’t changed.

Raising my daughter here is living out a dream, and I’ve got as much desire to make sure this region is a great place as anyone.

Our shift to online is going to be different, but my goal remains the same.

I’ll keep telling your stories and using our digital platform (backed up by a statewide paper) to hold people to account, to make sure this place is the best it can be.

The paper was never about us, the journalists.

It’s always been about you, the community.

The faces, the triumphs, the tragedies, the trust you’ve placed in us over the years, it’s not a contract taken lightly.

It’s incredibly humbling to be trusted by those in this community who tell us their stories, and I truly hope you’ll continue to do so in the future.

Us that are left to carry on the incredible work of those that went before us are processing the changes and preparing for the new normal.

What remains unwavering is our commitment to having your backs.



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