Childers Chitchat, the small monthly publication with the big community messages, is approaching its 20th year of publication.
Proprietor Debbie Williamson-Gleich is unsure exactly when the anniversary falls because “we never really had a launch” but believes it will be late next year.
With local newspapers now reverting to online digital publications, Childers Chitchat is virtually ‘last man standing’ when it comes to local print media.
Debbie says the publication was born out of frustration.
“My husband Trevor and I had a small business in Childers, and we became a little frustrated with street closures that were not being advised to local traders.
“It was the sort of thing that has a direct financial impact on businesses when people can’t get to your premises,” said Debbie.
“I think it was a Council-sponsored Criterion Bicycle Race that was the first event that really impacted our business.
“It seemed that all of a sudden the street was blocked, no parking available to customers, and bikes where whizzing around the main street area.
“Not a word shared directly with local traders which, I understand, is a far cry from the way Council liaises with property owners today who are affected by street closures.
“The hostel fire probably added to the chain of events that led to us producing Chitchat,” she said.
“There seemed to be numerous times where the street (service lane) was closed to allow for a royal visit or other dignitaries or items being moved into or out of the hostel construction site.
“We had some unsuccessful conversations with Isis Shire Council and decided that we would be better off putting out our own publication to inform locals and businesses of these events and their impacts.
“We started rather modestly with a photocopied and folded sheet,” said Debbie.
“The publication continued to grow with people contributing items and wanting advertisements.
“We supported many social occasions with plenty of photographs which were always popular in Chitchat.
“While we still continue with Australia Post delivery, the publication is online, with the July edition now available.”
Debbie said it was now more important than ever that local communities like Childers and Woodgate continued to have a publication to keep them connected.
“We have an older demographic in our publication area, and they find Chitchat is valuable in keeping them informed on current and future social and community happenings.”
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