This year the Hills News celebrates 60 years of delivering local news to you.
Raised in The Hills, I did work experience at the News in 1995 while at uni – I even put together the souvenir 40th anniversary edition in 1997. And what a history!
The success of the News since its inception in 1957 comes down to the combined effort of the community and the staff who helped get it out every week.
I leave 20 years on as caretaker of five mastheads in north-west Sydney, all of which I have grown very fond of. But anyone who knows me knows how much the News means to me. It’s where I began my journalism career and dreamed of returning as editor – and it brought my husband and I together.
I left after four years as a reporter in 2002 and returned as the editor in 2010 where I was embraced once more. I know this community and I know its people and every week I wanted to make sure we told their stories.
There are so many events we will never forget: the annual Orange Blossom Festival, the North West Rail Link, opening of Norwest Private Hospital, the building –and continuing expansion – of Castle Towers, the debate over the airport, the three “target sites” around Castle Towers which has transformed the CBD, the buiding of the ring road… too many to list.
I must give a special mention to the members of Castle Hill Rotary Club and Tour de Hills, which we supported for 20 years thanks to a meeting between Mike Blair and myself back in 1997.
To all the pollies in both The Hills and Hornsby shires –thank you for your professionalism, through the good times and the bad.
To look back on my stories on our 2000 Olympians: hurdler Jana Pittman, horse rider Stuart Tinney and rower Julia Wilson – all still achieving great things.
To be media partners with Hear the Children in 2011 and see all those mums rally together to get the early intervention service back up and running was formidable. To see Yvonne Keane create Run for the Hills, and then go on to be mayor.
Every week we strived to deliver a paper that not only kept you informed, but celebrated the wonderful things happening.
The digital world brought us closer to our readers; we could ask you directly the questions we wanted answers to and you were quick to respond.
And for that I say: thank you. Thank you for inviting us into your homes and sharing your personal and inspiring stories – it’s been a privilege.
I’d like to thank my team for delivering their absolute best each week, I will miss you.
I return in January to launch the exciting new Hills lifestyle magazine. I hope you will embrace it like you did the News.