South Burnett Times team at the 2019 Queensland Country Press Association awards night. (Photo: Contributed)
South Burnett Times team at the 2019 Queensland Country Press Association awards night. (Photo: Contributed)

OPINION: Recording and making history along the way

BEING with my camera at the centre of the excitement as Kingaroy came alive for the first BaconFest will be a memory that will always stay with me.

I moved to Kingaroy in early 2018, fresh out of university to start my cadetship.

Little did I know I would be here two-and-a-half years later pulling together the historic South Burnett Times’ final print edition.

South Burnett Times editorial team leader Jessica McGrath
South Burnett Times editorial team leader Jessica McGrath

As I started telling the community’s stories, I quickly claimed the 2018 Queensland Country Press Association Young Journalist of the Year.

I climbed my way up to a senior journalist role and then a digital producer as our site moved to Premium, switching our focus online.

I stepped up again as an editorial team leader this year and I’ll always be thankful for the start Kingaroy gave me in my career.

South Burnett Times team at the 2019 Queensland Country Press Association awards night: Matt Collins, Jessica McGrath, Daniel Pelcl, Elaelah Harley, Marguerite Cuddihy, Madeline Grace, Claudia Williams and Molly Hancock. (Photo: Contributed)
South Burnett Times team at the 2019 Queensland Country Press Association awards night: Matt Collins, Jessica McGrath, Daniel Pelcl, Elaelah Harley, Marguerite Cuddihy, Madeline Grace, Claudia Williams and Molly Hancock. (Photo: Contributed)

Dedicated local news will always be important, whether the platform is digital or in a printed paper.

Some of the biggest stories I covered were breaking news updated online every hour, like the severe storms ripping apart homes in October 2018 and the horrific crashes in May 2019.

It was the community stories I loved the most, like Ethel Ryan’s 103rd birthday party and the Danger Close movie fever at Wooroolin.

Young Journalist of the Year winner 2018, Jessica McGrath, deputy editor Marguerite Cuddihy, editor Christian Berechree, journalist Michael Nolan and sports journalist Claudia Williams.
Young Journalist of the Year winner 2018, Jessica McGrath, deputy editor Marguerite Cuddihy, editor Christian Berechree, journalist Michael Nolan and sports journalist Claudia Williams.

I will never forget the ratepayers stepping out of their comfort zones to ensure their voices were heard when the council announced a rate hike, the fight to ensure a proposed mine was not built on prime Kingaroy farming land and the countless shows and festivals.

This edition marks my last week with the Times but I’m leaving your stories in good hands. Thank you for trusting me with your stories.

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