An hon­our to tell your sto­ries

The Advocate (Perth) - - NEWS - Lisa Thomas

FOR the past 20 years The

Ad­vo­cate has been de­liv­ered to house­holds, shops and li­braries in Bulls­brook, Gin­gin, Bin­doon, Chit­ter­ing, Up­per Swan and more re­cently the Swan Valley and El­len­brook.

A weekly paper filled with sto­ries on lo­cal sport­ing heroes, tal­ented chil­dren, lo­cal cham­pi­ons and com­mu­nity is­sues – a paper that I grew up read­ing as an Up­per Swan lo­cal.

It was funny that years later I would end up writ­ing for The Ad­vo­cate and af­ter mov­ing away to work in re­gional WA as a jour­nal­ist that I would find my way back to the Swan Valley as the lo­cal re­porter. I was the re­porter at The

Ad­vo­cate for only a yearand-a-half, but so many of the sto­ries I have heard and told are ones I will remember.

As a jour­nal­ist, I am so lucky to be able to share these sto­ries.

One that has re­mained with me is the story of Kai Nell, an Ave­ley boy who stole the hearts of thou­sands around WA dur­ing his bat­tle with a rare form of leukaemia.

I have been con­stantly amazed by the com­mu­nity spirit and the peo­ple who are will­ing to help strangers in times of need.

The El­len­brook and Oldridge Soup Kitchen was started last year by res­i­dent Lor­raine Oldridge who, af­ter see­ing how many peo­ple were go­ing hun­gry each day, felt the need to do some­thing.

This com­mu­nity spirit is what made working at The

Ad­vo­cate so en­joy­able. The de­ter­mi­na­tion of lo­cal res­i­dents to fight against devel­op­ments, clay pits, NBN tow­ers and the de­ter­mi­na­tion of the Bulls­brook Saints Foot­ball Club play­ers who have turned up ev­ery week to play, de­spite win­ning only one game in the past three years, and my per­sonal favourite the lo­cal land­care groups and Friends of the west­ern swamp tor­toise, who have helped boost num­bers of the adorable crit­i­cally en­dan­gered species.

There’s been a lot of joy for the re­gion too. The State Gov­ern­ment made the com­mit­ment last year that long­suf­fer­ing El­len­brook res­i­dents would fi­nally get their train thanks to the Metronet an­nounce­ment.

Al­though this is the fi­nal print edi­tion for The Ad­vo­cate, the news will still hap­pen and Com­mu­nity News will still re­port on it.

Thank you for let­ting us tell your sto­ries.

THIS will be the last printed edi­tion of The Ad­vo­cate.

We thank you for your sup­port over the years and look for­ward to bring­ing you lo­cal news on our web­site, com­mu­ni­, en­gag­ing with you on our so­cial me­dia plat­forms or in­clud­ing your news in neigh­bour­ing news­pa­pers which will be de­liv­ered to new pick-up points.

The dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to cease print­ing The Ad­vo­cate fol­lowed an ex­haus­tive re­view of all our news­pa­pers and dig­i­tal pub­lish­ing chan­nels.

The re­view looked at how well we en­gage with our read­ers, the eco­nomic con­di­tions across Perth and in each com­mu­nity, and how we could en­sure we have a sus­tain­able busi­ness to bring news and in­for­ma­tion to Perth’s res­i­dents well into the fu­ture.

Un­for­tu­nately, eco­nomic con­di­tions and chang­ing me­dia buy­ing habits mean that in the ar­eas The Ad­vo­cate cov­ers, it is no longer vi­able to cre­ate, pro­duce and de­liver a lo­cal news­pa­per.

But we have also found we have an in­creas­ingly en­gaged au­di­ence on our dig­i­tal plat­forms, so have pledged to con­tinue serv­ing our au­di­ence there.

We ap­pre­ci­ate all the sup­port of our great read­er­ship and the busi­nesses who have sup­ported us. It has been a real joy to bring you the best lo­cal news each week and we look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing that re­la­tion­ship on­line into the fu­ture.

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Re­porter Lisa Thomas with a west­ern swamp tor­toise.

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