In late 2021 my long-term boss and mentor, Ian Osterman, arrived at work and told me something I had hoped I wouldn’t hear from him for at least a few more years.
After more than two decades as the editor of The Courier, he’d decided it was time to move on. Four weeks later I was in his vacated editor’s chair.
It seems an age since I walked through The Courier’s Mann Street doors for the first time in 2015.
I’d made the decision to leave a nursing career for the excitement of journalism and was looking for a couple of days work experience. Two days later, Ian offered me a job and I’ve never looked back.
Over six years with The Courier I’ve reported on council decisions that have divided parts of the community, the changing face of Hills politics at both a State and Federal level, the never-ending needs of a region marked by rapid growth, devastating bushfires and more recently the once-in-a-century pandemic that has changed life in ways many of us never felt was possible.
But it’s the Hills’ community spirit that has left the biggest mark on me.
It’s the kind of community I just didn’t find growing up in the city and the kind of community that makes a place hard to leave … and so here I still am.
As Ian Osterman wrote in his final piece for The Courier on November 24, “a town without its own paper is just a group of people sharing the same space, add a newspaper and it can become a tight and cohesive community”.
I, like Ian, believe this to be the truth.
There are few individuals or organisations that have the same ability as the local paper to shine a spotlight on local issues until a solution is found, to keep the local community up to speed with changes unfolding around it, to keep politicians and governments accountable and, of course, to honor the countless unsung heroes living in the region.
As I step into this new role – acutely aware of the very large shoes I have to fill – I’m excited for the year ahead.
The year that is 2022 promises to be more than eventful, as our State continues its path out of Covid-19 and faces both State and Federal elections that are shaping up to be very tightly contested in the Hills.
But it’s a journey on which I’m excited to embark and one on which I hope you will join me.
– Elisa Rose, Editor