The Westerner turned 10 in August 2006! And after 10 adventurous and prosperous years, the paper remains independent and privately owned.
Formerly a home-based one-man operation, The Westerner now employs four staff and has a host of deliverers, contractors and volunteers.
It was originally established as Samford Times by Heather Holcroft in August 1996 in an office in Main Street, Samford Village. The first issues were produced monthly and 4,000 copies were distributed.
Heather produced beautiful articles and photographs on issues ranging from wildlife to community events. The paper had a distinctive feel-good tone and quickly gained a strong followship.
From March 1999 to October 2002 the paper was owned by Tony Smith and Anna Ryngiel. Under Tony's leadership the paper took on a political theme, with the former Liberal Party member inspiring passionate local debate on a broad spectrum of issues.
As the Pine Rivers Shire continued to be discovered, neighbouring suburbs wanted a paper "as good as Samford Times", and over the next few years the circulation area was increased to 7,000 copies.
In 2001 The Westerner (incorporating the Samford Times) was created to reflect the larger circulation area.
After three years, Tony decided to hang up his quill and return full-time to the court room.
Carolyn Hammond enthusiastically stepped in to take the reins on 4 October 2002. Within two years the paper doubled in size and increased its circulation by 3,000. Incorporating Heather's community focus and Tony's political focus, Carolyn's vision was to provide readers with a paper that provided the lot.
Now the paper is owned by David Paterson. David brings a wealth of publishing experience to the paper. Under David's watch The Westerner continues to support the community and local businesses by bringing the local news that matters most to readers.
The Westerner is respected as a courageous and campaigning voice for its readers. It expresses opinions, reports on important local issues and runs strong and long letters from readers every fortnight.
Also, local businesses regard the newspaper as an indispensable way to tell residents about their goods and services.
Readers look to The Westerner as one of their primary sources of local news and business advertising.