History of CNAV
CNAV was established on 16 July 2005 following a Victorian Small Rural Communities Health Conference at Omeo in late 2003.
It is open to any community newspaper in Victoria. A community newspaper is defined as ‘one that is owned by its community’. Community newspapers have a very strong culture of volunteerism.
Associate membership is available to interstate and overseas community newspapers, natural persons, State and Commonwealth government departments, local government, business or community group having an interest in the area served by CNAV.
Community newspapers are the voice of the community
We will actively work with our members to enhance the capacity and standing of community newspapers to enable them to fully realise their role in their communities
- To develop an active network that will support the development and continuation of community newspapers in local communities.
- To raise the profile of community newspapers with all levels of government.
- To foster co-operation between community newspapers.
- To hold an annual conference and awards night.
Committee of Management
Mary Farrow is a native Californian and has lived in Australia for over 20 years. She is the editor of the Emerald Messenger and manager of Emerald Community House (ECH) Inc., located in the peri-urban fringe of the eastern Melbourne metropolitan area.
Mary first worked in publishing for Marshall Cavendish in London in the 1980s as a freelance sub-editor. She followed with a long career in IT as an executive manager before emigrating with her family to Australia in 1996. Mary has also been on the board of the ASEAN Literary Festival based in Jakarta, Indonesia from 2015-2018 and was a member of the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators organisation (APWT). She joined the CNAV board in 2018.
(Koo Wee Rup Blackfish)
Caroline arrived in Koo Wee Rup in 2007 and has been editor of The Koo Wee Rup Blackfish since 2008. She is compositor, layout designer, advertising executive, accounts clerk and printer, among other roles. She is president of the Koo Wee Rup Township Committee and works with many local community groups to improve the amenity of her small country town which is gradually transitioning to a dormitory suburb of Melbourne.
Sandi has been in Warrandyte for twenty years, after growing up in nearby Kilsyth and later Croydon, spending the long hot summers of her childhood swimming in the river at Pound Bend.
She loves being in Warrandyte where she can immerse herself in the environment, enjoying nothing more than tending her garden and going for walks along the Yarra with her dog Missy.
Being the editor of the Diary has also afforded her an opportunity to become part of the fabric of the local community, getting to know anyone and everyone with a story to tell.
She wrote for the Diary for five years before taking on the editorship, along with her life partner James.
Before getting into print journalism, she spent more than twenty years at the ABC, where she worked on a range diverse programs: from Natural History Documentaries, to Current Affairs, News, Sport and Business programs, and landmark drama and comedy programs such as Phoenix, MDA, The Micallef Program and Kath & Kim.
Meredith is interested in making life better. Happenstance led her to writing and editing for the Emerald Messenger, an initiative of the Emerald Community House. Her views are socially progressive, explorative and inclusive. Meredith has been an environmental activist for 30 years. After working in the university sector for two decades she now runs her own recycled clothing label locally in the hills. Meredith has always had a thing or two to say. She is grateful to her parents for her socially left, morally upright, arts and science based upbringing which she believes gives her a sensible head on socially conscious shoulders.
Jens Kristian Toft Hansen
(Ferntree Gully News)
Jens grew up in Denmark and through the family business was introduced to the publishing world early. He moved from Denmark to Melbourne in 2008. His first few years were spent away from publishing, but he was eventually pulled back into in in 2009 when Anne Boyd needed a formatter for a project which would become the Ferntree Gully News. Jens Joined the CNAV Committee in 2013. Jens served as President, and is the current Vice-President.
Growing up on the Bellarine, living in a family with a small business which included potato farming. I had a childhood a little different to many others. My parents were both committed community leaders holding roles in many different clubs always contributing to the community ahead of their business. I remember helping to water the bowling green during drought, before we would water the potatoes.
When I was seventeen, I was approached to reopen the Drysdale Guide unit, something I though I might get involved in once I had a daughter, later in life. Although I had been a guide for 10 years, I had mostly only focused on my goals, which culminated in becoming a Queen’s Guide, becoming a leader opened so many other opportunities. Becoming addicted to training and learning, innovating and implementing my life became very full and very interesting.
I completed a B.Sc (Physics), Grad Dip Computing, and gained a job at the State Bank as a Programmer, at the same time becoming a Guide Leader Trainer travelling all over Victoria on weekends. It seemed my husband, Ken and I couldn’t have babies until I left work in South Melbourne so I retired to start a family.
When the opportunity came to become the Neighbourhood House Coordinator in Drysdale, as our three children were all at school, I took the opportunity with open arms and never looked back. Part of the role was to publish a community newsletter nine times a year, the SpringDale Messenger.
I have been lucky enough to do every part of the creation of the each issue for the last almost 15 years. Most of our processes have changed a few times, we have taken an up to 24 page, Black and White, A4 newsletter being delivered to up to 3,000 homes, into a full colour, 24 page, A4 magazine delivered to up to 24,000 homes.
Many of the people tell me how much of a difference the magazine has made every month.
The SpringDale Messenger became a member of CNAV many years ago – this is the first time I have been part of an emerging organisation and I have loved the ride.
James came from a television background working on domestic and international broadcasting in Europe and the Middle East, before emigrating to Australia in 2014, having met Sandi at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
He is also an internationally published writer, having penned a book examining the rise of Donald Trump through the lens of his social media output.
James passion is long distance running. You will often find him hitting the trails in all manner of unusual places, from the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula to the Snowy mountains of South Korea and of course the forests, deserts and mountains around Australia.
James and Sandi began editing the Diary in 2017 and James joined the CNAV Committee in 2019. James has a passion for technology and a keen interest in finding innovative ways to keep his community informed in the changing world of communications.
Member of CNAV committee since 2005
Part of the Village Bell team, Upper Beaconsfield’s community magazine. The “Bell” has been published by the Upper Beaconsfield Association since 1978.
Background in teaching, school library and administration. Now retired.
History of Committee members
Aborete, Terefe 2007
Allen, Daniel (Around Altona) 2008-2009
Beales, Jenny (Mountain Monthly) 2006-2007
Billings, Graeme 2006
Bolmat, Michelle (Mountain Monthly) 2005-2006
Boudourian, Thea (Ferntree Gully News) 2013-2015
Bourke OAM, Mick (Traf News) 2005–2008, 2013-2018 (President 2005-2008)
Brackley, Anne (SpringDale Messenger) 2016-ongoing (Secretary 2016)
Bradfield, Karen (Churchill & District News) 2008-2009
Burgoyne, Sandy (Warrandyte Diary) 2006–2008
Campbell, Berni (Bridge Connect) 2008-2009
Cole, Meredith (Emerald Messenger)
Cook, Marina (Upper Gully News) 2013–2014
Croucher, Tim (Tallangatta Herald) 2013-2016
Downie, Alexia (New Woodend Star) 2015-2018 (Vice President 2016)
Ellis, John 2008 (Chewton Chat) co-opted, 2009, 2011–2018 (President 2013–2016)
Farrow, Mary (Emerald Messenger) 2018-ongoing
Fortuna, Mary Jo (Waranga News) 2005–2013 (President 2009–2011, 2012-2013, Vice President 2011-2012, Secretary 2006–2007, 2008-2009)
Hart, Elizabeth (Associate Member) 2007–2012 (President 2008-2009, 2011–2012, Vice President 2007–2008, Secretary 2009-2011)
Hawkins, Vanessa (Goonong Guide)2012–2013
Huggins, Tim (Mountain Monthly) 2008-2010
Holschier, Bob (About Town) 2005–2006 (Vice President 2005–2006)
Jacapino, Lois (Traf News) 2007-2008 (Secretary 2007–2008)
Miller, Sandra (Warrandyte Diary) 2018- ongoing
Mortimore, John (Boronia The Basin Community News) 2006-2007
Mynard, Jim (Associate Member) co-opted 2012
O’Mara, Mick (Winchelsea Star) 2017-2019
Osman, Khalid (The Ambassador) 2006
Oshlack, Ian (Guilford Globe) 2012–2014
Poyner, James (Warrandyte Diary) 2019-ongoing
Roff, Caroline (Koo Wee Rup BlackFish) 2010–ongoing (Secretary 2011–2015, Treasurer 2016-)
Smith, Helen (Village Bell) 2005–ongoing (Treasurer 2005–2015)
Toft-Hansen, Jens Kristian (Ferntree Gully News) 2013–ongoing (Vice President 2013-2016, 2019-) (President 2017-2019)
Villagonzalo, Walter (Heathdale Chatter) 2005-2006
Vondra, Jo (Lorne Independent) 2006–2012 (Vice President 2008-2012)
Walters, Anne (Heathdale Chatter) 2005–2006 (Secretary 2005–2006)
Wood, Georgina (Goonong Guide) co-opted 2013
Woodhouse, Fay (Lancefield Mercury) 2019-2020