Today is my final shift as Bay Post/Moruya Examiner editor.
After 10 years with Australian Community Media and almost six years as editor, I am heading down a road less travelled. When I moved to the Far South Coast 13 years ago, it was to live a quiet life continuing to write children's books ... until then-editor Kim Treasure tracked me down. I found myself working on a busy country newspaper - and loving it. Then I found myself editor. It has been an exciting, satisfying, sometimes terrifying ride - and I am so glad to have made it with you.
The role of editor is a busy one and I have thrived in it - but it is time to do something quieter and more reflective. I think many of us recalibrated after the bushfires and the COVID crisis - my decision is to make my damaged patch of paradise front and centre for a while.
So many loyal readers have made my job a pleasure. Volunteers truly keep this community ticking and it has been a privilege to work with those who send their material to us and who have invited me into their worlds. A new editor will be announced soon - keep them in your loop.
One of the highlights of this role has been training so many young reporters and watching them fly. In January, Andrea Cantle - on the strength of her outstanding bushfire coverage - was appointed to a role with the SES. We will welcome a new voice soon.
The wonderful Claudia Ferguson goes from strength to strength and no new editor or reporter could have a better guide than this surf life saving, storytelling dynamo. My morning catch-ups with fellow coast editors John Hanscombe, Ben Smyth and Julian O'Brien (frequently hilarious, always inspiring) and all my coast reporting colleagues will be missed.
Highlights of my time here are the successful campaign for 24-hour doctor coverage in the Batemans Bay Hospital emergency department and the Fix it Now campaign for a safer Princes Highway. A solo voice can be pretty, but a chorus - whatever its pitch - can't be ignored in either Canberra or Macquarie Street. Keep on singing.