Three years ago this week, we launched The Wombat Post. Our intention was to provide a village square, a place to exchange information about the news and events that contribute to community building and community well-being.

The world was a different place then. We were entering a time of unknowns. The COVID pandemic was changing the way we worked and the way we engaged with family, friends and the wider community. Governments were closing borders and imposing restrictions. Visitors were being asked to stay away. Supply lines were disrupted and supermarket shelves were empty.

Although we initially intended to provide a monthly print publication, the logistics of print were daunting and the pace of change in response to the pandemic was too rapid for a monthly publication to be relevant. Our web-based publication, originally intended as an intermediate and temporary space, proved invaluable as a way to reach the community.

Over the last three years, we have published over 1,700 stories about news and events in our local community. Our readership has grown from 90,000 page views in our first year to 151,000. People are reading well over 3,000 pages of The Wombat Post every week.

Our profiles of local candidates for state and federal elections have attracted very high readership highlighting the need for a truly local news service.

Our stories on local venues such as the Macaroni Factory, the Grande Hotel and The Savoia had huge readership. Locals are interested in our local venues.

Local planning issues raised concerns for local residents. Our stories on the Dan Murphy’s development, the Skybarrels, the Charlies Road glamping proposal and the Vincent Street accommodation development were clearly very important for the community and they valued objective, factual information.

And people are concerned about our local identities. Petrus’ story about surviving a wombat attack evoked enormous sympathy from the community. Our recent obituaries of David Endacott and Gael Shannon demonstrated the importance of these leaders to the community.

But the one time we strayed from our commitment to integrity and balanced, objective journalism, on April 1 last year, we had one of our biggest stories of all time: Lake Daylesford Threatened by New Gold Mine.

The Editorial Committee of The Wombat Post and the Board of the Daylesford District Community News Association thank our readers, our members, our sponsors and our advertisers for their continued support. We look forward to your readership and your involvement in The Wombat Post in years to come.