Community organisations are the heart and soul of regional and rural Australia. Our country towns and villages are built by those who commit their time and energy to the common good. That's why I'd like to recognise that remarkable community publication the Cumnock Progress Review, which is celebrating 60 years this year. It's an absolutely remarkable achievement.
It was first published on 29 May 1958, by the Cumnock & District Progress Association. The first volunteers were Colleen and Pat Hopper, Nan Austin, Ruth Downey, Bruce Sparkes and Bob Hutchins. In its first editorial the Review stated:
We put forward this weekly news-sheet in the earnest hope that it will merit and encourage your whole-hearted support and thus further the progress of this part of Australia.
It then went on to state:
... it behoves us, who live in a small country town to do something about it; because if we are not prepared to help ourselves who can we expect to help us?
Since then the volunteers have run through the years and the generations. I'd like this House to recognise the wonderful work of the present editors Val McKenzie, Belinda Reynolds, Bron Flick and Robyn Bruce, along with the printing team of Alan Stanton, Sue Hogan, Pru Atkinson, David Price, Chris Townsend, Jan Townsend and Mark Giannis.
Returning to that first issue, the editors of the Cumnock Progress Review said they hoped that with the generous support of readers and businesses of the town it would be the forerunner of many, many more issues. Happy 60th birthday, Cumnock Progress Review. This House and this parliament salute you, and we wish you many, many more years of great publications.