Celebrating 80 editions – the early days

Celebrating 80 editions – the early days

By Kim Parnell, Editor/Owner

 The What’s On Fraser Coast Magazine debuted in January 2017 and featured poet and author Rupert McCall on the cover. This was my first-ever magazine cover shot and media interview. Nerves gripped me as I paced up and down and awaited my turn amongst all our local media. We were at the Hervey Bay Boat Club before the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce Long Lunch at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island, as it was known then.

Kim Parnell and Poet and Presenter Rupert McCall – Media interview – Edition 1 – January 2017

I was second in line and had done my research. A young TV reporter was first and had got the job at the last minute so had little time to prepare. It didn’t go well. My nervousness cleared, after all, I couldn’t do any worse, could I?

Our interview went well. I had been honest with him and told him that I was nervous. Rupert gave me some invaluable advice that I often draw on, even now. The advice was to not think of media interviews as interviews but as a simple conversation between two people. That mindset has certainly calmed my nerves many times over the years. That was where this story started.

In April 2017, Australian cricketer Beth Mooney graced our fourth edition cover and brought her Border Collie, Ruby, along for the photo shoot. Beth was looking forward to prepping for the World Cup in England and had just scored her first 100. She had so many dreams, and it has been great to see Beth achieve them in the years since.

In November of the same year, much loved local Triathlete Matthew Hauser didn’t just appear on the front cover but wrote a brilliant article about the life of a triathlete, which I am sure would have been inspirational to many wanting to follow in his footsteps. Only a few months earlier, Matthew had come first in the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam and had gone from forty-fifth to first in the space of a year. He has since medalled in the Commonwealth Games and continues to bring home medals from various competitions around the world.



2018 was a busy year with the likes of rocker Angry Anderson, singer-songwriter Wendy Matthews, singer-songwriter, and dancer Timomatic, and the beautiful Rhonda Birchmore gracing the cover.

Timomatic went above and beyond by creating a promotional video for the show he was touring, and he graciously gave our magazine a shout-out all the way from Los Angeles. That was a special moment.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our magazine couldn’t print as it wasn’t considered essential. Despite this, I created two special online editions, focusing on online events and documenting some of our shared experiences. These editions serve as a snapshot of our history at that time and will always remain relevant.

Despite the upheaval, we returned to print in July 2020. In a landscape that looked and felt a little different as newspapers in our region and beyond had stopped printing and gone online only.

A collection of signed copies

To me, it was more important than ever for the magazine to get back in print. Nothing beats picking up a physical edition, turning the pages, and smelling the ink.

Print media is a tough gig and as a sole trader, responsible for every aspect of the magazine, there are many hurdles to overcome just to break even let alone bring home any kind of a wage. But I love what I do.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my advertisers; We couldn’t do this without your support. Huge thanks to my dedicated writers for consistently delivering outstanding content, and to our cherished readers – I do this for you!

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