The Meredith and District News was established in 1972. It grew out of a Meredith Primary School newsletter when people outside of the school community started asking for copies to keep them informed. At first it was a weekly publication but was soon changed to fortnightly. In the early 1990’s it became a “twice monthly” publication and, in 2006, was changed again to monthly. For most of its life it has been only a few pages - around four to twelve for the first 25 years or so.
It has been produced on “roneo” machines (you’ll know them from their smell of methylated spirits) a “Gestetner” which was an inked based system using a “punched through” paper master, and was photo copied for a time. All of these processes required hand collation and stapling which was often achieved by several volunteers circling a table piled with the separate pages. For a short while it was produced by a local printer on an off-set printing press but, since the early 1990’s, it has been produced by a commercial printer in Geelong. This absorbs most of our advertising revenue, but relieves the small production committee of what would now be an enormous assembly task. It also produces a very high quality print job.
The change to a monthly production coincided with a substantial increase in size to about 24 pages. Around 2011, advertising demand grew rapidly, necessitating even more editorial to keep a good content balance. This was achieved mainly through recruiting several new columnists and the newsletter now offers many articles about people, events, history and happenings, as well as several columns covering a diverse array of topics. Issue size is now usually in the order of 40 to 48 pages.
From 2015, the use of full colour covers was increased from once per year to four times a year.
In the early 1990’s the operation also came under the auspice of the Meredith Community House (now the Meredith Community Centre) as a sub- committee of the House. This provided an incorporated entity in which to operate and a measure of continuity and security.
The Committee operates quite autonomously with its own mission statement, publishing guidelines, financial responsibilities, and advertising and operating policies. It submits an annual operating and financial report to the Community Centre’s AGM which also appoints the membership of the Newsletter Sub-Committee.