The voice of the Australian gay and lesbian community, the Sydney Star Observer, celebrates its 30th birthday this year.
Originally called The Star, the paper was founded by American Michael Glynn who emigrated to Australia in 1971. As reported in The Australian, Glynn published the first issue on credit and distributed it out of a backpack, using public buses, on the night of July 6, 1979. The paper hasn't missed an issue since.
The weekly publication has an audited distribution of almost 21,000 copies a week with an estimated readership of 70,000. The website www.starobserver.com.au gets about 40,000 hits per week on its website.
Publishing editor, Scott Abrahams stated, "The gay and lesbian community needs to have its own news and voice, and to be able to deliver that for 30 years is an honour and a privilege and something we're immensely proud of."
The paper is such an integral part of the community that it is now produced by Gay and Lesbian Community Publishing which is owned by 480 shareholders drawn from the gay and lesbian community. With the launch of a Melbourne sister publication, Southern Star, nine months ago with a distribution of 10,000 copies and an estimated readership of more than 30,000 the group will be looking to expand further when the economy picks up.
Abrahams told The Australian the bumper "Pearl Jubilee" anniversary issue of the Star Observer is out now however the official celebratory events will be held later in the year to coincide with the publication of its 1000th edition on December 9.
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