The team at The SE Voice pulled together a community newspaper within a matter of weeks, determined to give the region its own voice.
And it seems we’ve achieved our goal. We printed 6000 copies of our launch edition last week – and we’ve basically sold out. Some stockists reported people waiting outside their stores before opening last Thursday morning to ensure they got their hands on our first edition, while some stores sold out within four hours of opening.
Not only that, despite focussing on Mount Gambier, Millicent, Penola and everyone in between, we’ve had queries from businesses in Naracoorte, Kingston and over the border into Dartmoor and Casterton who would like to carry our paper.
Our model is simple: We are a locally owned and produced newspaper with the goal of covering local issues. The only thing we can’t do locally yet is print the paper – but we are still printing it in SA.
The team at The SE Voice pulls together former The Border Watch staff who lost their jobs when the masthead closed, and some new faces.
The group is led by Lechelle Earl, who started her cadetship with TBW, before moving on to The Mount Barker Courier, then working as a media advisor in Parliament House. Upon her return to Mt Gambier she drove the Every Drop Counts campaign to return the Australian Red Cross blood collection service to the city. She started Blue Lake Media Services and worked as a stringer for The Advertiser, The Sunday Mail, and various other national papers. Lechelle is also the chief executive of Onions Australia.
Christian Fleetwood joins The SE Voice as a journalist with experience writing nationally about tourism, events, and marketing, state-wide on sports, and voluntarily on animal welfare.
Christian brings with him the ambition to write about the Limestone Coast community—for the Limestone Coast community, with the objective of shedding light on unknown corners of the region.
He has academic qualifications in journalism, professional writing, and creative writing- alongside soon-to-be psychology qualifications.
Sports Journalist Thomas Miles has called the Blue Lake city home for his entire life and been surrounded by sport, whether that is watching, playing, umpiring or reporting.
Thomas’ sports writing journey began at The Border Watch within one week of completing his final year 12 exam.
“It was my first experience of full-time employment and the rewarding one and half years provided me with the perfect tools for my next opportunity at The SE Voice,” Thomas said.
“Almost everywhere you turn in the Limestone Coast, sport is there bringing generations together. It is part of the fabric of the community and deserves a significant amount of coverage.
“I am passionate about covering all ages and abilities and cannot wait to provide the Limestone Coast sporting world the opportunity to have a voice once again.”
Another new face is journalist Ebony Raymond, a born and bred Mount Gambier local.
Ebony has returned to Mount Gambier after completing a 3 year Bachelor of Media Degree with a Major in Journalism.
“Writing has always been a passion of mine, so I am very excited to pursue my career as a qualified journalist in my home town,” she said.
“I enjoy going to local sport and events and learning about the wonderful people that make up our community. I am thrilled to be a part of the team as a journalist at The SE Voice and can’t wait to bring you some great local stories.”
Working hard to ensure local businesses get their message out to readers is the sales team, comprising Melissa Prior, Karla Bradshaw and Kelly Costin. The trio is committed to ensuring outstanding service to our strong business community.
Kelly will focus on servicing the Millicent area, Karla will be looking after Penola and the classifieds section, while Melissa will take care of real estate in all areas.
Former TBW staff Sophie Bohner and Dean Hill are the duo behind the scenes working to lay out the paper. The talented pair is looking forward to bringing you the fresh new look of The SE Voice.