A goodbye from departing Mail journalist, Blayde Grzelka.
My journey with Fairfax Media has spanned three years and taken me across the state.
From the Collie Mail to the Wagin Argus and beyond.
My odyssey is coming to an end now and I can confirm it has been a trip.
I’ve written for the Esperance Express, Central Midlands Advocate and the Donnybrook Mail, each town very different to the last but similar in community-focused ideals.
The community value of the local newspaper is in the power it wields as an informative source, especially in towns like Wagin where internet connection is sketchy at best and the ageing population relies on the paper to remain informed.
After a year driving the dusty roads of the Great Southern, seeking out news for the now no longer published Wagin Argus, I was given the opportunity to return to Bunbury – my home town – and report for the Bunbury Mail.
I’m leaving Bunbury to travel around the country in a 1993 Land Cruiser, essentially bringing my journey full circle as I make a return to the country roads of Australia that launched my career.
I’ve met the talent Bunbury has to offer in Andrew Frazer, Kelsie Miller, The Green Depot’s Kim Rossiter, Kerry Gelmi and life artists like Jinny Morton and Julia Bell.
The 12-year-old philanthropist from Dalyellup, Bella Burgemeister left me feeling both astounded that someone so young could have ideas so grand and beyond their years and excited to see what she achieves in the future.
I’ve seen stories of finger-less fence jumpers and teens getting bitten by monkeys, so to say it’s been a boring 12 months would be an outright lie.
Even though I’m excited for the next part of my journey, I’m saddened I’ll miss out on the exciting projects coming up for Bunbury including the Bunbury-Geographe Gift and the waterfront.
It’s safe to say the Bunbury community has an amazing future ahead and when I return I’m sure the city will be a much different place.
– Blayde Grzelka