Heatley and Michelle with new owner Rhyll Davis
By Michelle Gilmore
Congratulations to Rhyll Davis, the new owner of the Community News!
Since studying journalism in London (a long time ago!) Rhyll has had a fun and varied career as a freelance journalist, feature writer, and social media marketer for a range of amazing publications, specialising in local community news and events and writing about everyday people.
“I love hearing people’s stories. Every single person has an amazing story to tell, and I’m so lucky it is my job to be able to hear those stories and tell them to the world.”
Rainbow Beach and the Cooloola Coast have a special place in Rhyll’s heart as her most significant life events have taken place here – her husband Steve proposed at Carlo Sandblow and they were married in Tin Can Bay nine years ago.
“I’m so happy to be involved with this community again, it is such an extraordinary place and I can’t wait to spend more time exploring local events and meeting everyone.”
She will be regularly bringing her husband, six-year-old daughter Silvie, and Tenterfield Terrier puppy, Roman, to enjoy the area and get to know the locals. Make sure you go say hi!
Our very first edition was almost nine years ago – November 2012, and despite a rigorous handover from Tony Huxley, Heatley and I pulled all-nighters to create, edit and design, plus meet the printing deadlines, for those first editions.
Producing each newspaper was like birthing a baby. Except the same day it emerged, I would plan the next! Without fail, out on the first of each month.
Heatley quickly built a website presence, making sure we could proof and produce each spanking-new edition online. So much so, we produced three whilst lapping Australia.
Our four children helped with deliveries, put up with my photo-taking, telling me names for photo captions – knowing not to disturb me whilst I tried to make the paper ‘jigsaw’ at the end of each month.
The editor role was a natural progression, it is easy to write about something you love, like our beautiful community. Where can you hold babies at playgroup, report on the Bay to Bay Yacht Race or learn-to-sail classes whilst cruising; photograph my kids (and their peers) playing sport or at assembly, or meet so many wonderful locals – and call it work?
Heatley was our sales executive, after starting his sales career at The Chronicle in Toowoomba. Together, our local newspaper was awarded ‘Best Newspaper’ for the Queensland Country Press Association, raking in awards in advertising and journalistic excellence.
This was thanks to all of you – our contributors, advertisers, volunteers and community members. I feel privileged that each month I was first to read the Police Beat, IGA Sport’s Report (even though Heatley had to help me understand who was what) and lobby for issues for our towns (like the overgrown Cotton Tree at the lookout!).
I also personally thank our team members from over the years: creatives Darren Baker and Sally Joyce, Wayne Davy and his tech expertise, Victoria McGuin’s proofing, Barb Rees with her beautiful stories, Jess Milne and her flair with words, Jed Elmer’s considered prose, and the talented Brooke Bignall.
I will fondly remember our teamwork and editions.
After 16 years as ‘locals’ we continue to love living here, producing Australia’s favourite RV travel guides, Camps 11, and the Camps Australia Wide app. If you still want to keep up to date on our travels and news – check out our free fortnightly newsletter and socials: campsaustraliawide.com and rainbowgetaway.com.au
We release custody of this much-loved newspaper to you, Rhyll. And what a novelty it will be to sit down at the start of the month, and read the Community News for the first time!
Rainbow Beach Community News history
1997 Created byDebbie Clayton
December 1998 – New Owner: Tony Huxley
December 2012 – New owners: Heatley and Michelle Gilmore
August 2021 – New Owner: Rhyll Davis
2022 will be the Community News 25 year anniversary!