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These are our stories.

Gippslandia's General Manager Michael Duncan shares the lay of the land, outlines the future of the paper and presents ideas to keep Gippslandia flying off the printing press.

Mar 6, 2023


Words: Michael Duncan

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What better way to celebrate our 30th edition than by handing over the reins to the future of our region and giving them the opportunity to show us the Gippsland they see?

Providing the chance to mentor these talented young people was a terrific partnership with Regional Arts Victoria (RAV), and our collaboration with RAV has proven as powerful as the relationships that have since flourished between the inspiring mentees and the Gippslandia contributors who mentored them.

“After an edition created by exceptionally talented Gippsland youth, our belief in this community has never been stronger.”

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This edition – like all the work we do – has been about delivering for the region first, providing opportunities and building capability. The byproduct of this is that the fiscal needs of Gippslandia have to come second. Unfortunately, this approach is unsustainable.

For a few years now, I’ve been using this page to talk about the inner workings of Gippslandia – the opportunities we see and the challenges we face. Currently, the challenges have never been more pressing.

In 2019, we brought you our first, and only, book – The Book of Life cookbook. Not only did this great keepsake heighten awareness, and provide support, for some community members that were doing it tough, but it breathed some life into Gippslandia coffers too. That boost has just about expired and the reality is that, without more money, Gippslandia won’t survive much longer.

Putting it bluntly, it’s likely Gippslandia will publish its last edition in December 2024 – just nine months away.

Personally, I’m hoping that isn’t the case. After an edition created by exceptionally talented Gippsland youth, our belief in this community has never been stronger. I’d love to see Gippslandia handed over to these young people or others one day, rather than shutting the publication down, but there are changes to be made for that to become possible.

The costs of producing the publication have steadily increased over the past few years (thanks to inflation, Covid, etc.). A project that was designed to break even each edition now runs at a loss of around $30k per year.

While our advertising rates haven’t increased in the past two years, raising them modestly wouldn’t make much of a difference to Gippslandia’s revenue and may actually price out wonderful local businesses that we hope to showcase. The format of the paper is partly due to our desire to best represent our incredible supporters: large pages, clean design and minimal competing advertising. Adding another five or 10 advertisers per edition would see us become less of a showcase and more of a brochure.

Our partners are sensational and they’re genuine in their support of the region – I dare say that if we asked them to contribute more, they’d do their best to be there to assist, but I believe they already do more than enough as it is now.

It’s not in us, as a region or as a publication, to lay down easily. Gippslandia has always been about ideas, so in keeping with this I’ve included some options that we’re looking to explore to boost support for Gippslandia. I am keen to hear your thoughts on these concepts:

  • Could our local councils get on board? Imagine an inside cover with a bold statement declaring ‘Gippslandia printed and distributed to you by Gippsland’s local councils’, and all their logos below it – unified in support. It could be a more powerful partnership for them and for us. For example, all the stories on our website are categorised in the local council where they occur – there’s an opportunity ripe for seizing there.
  • A read of some like-minded metropolitan magazines show how they highlight their successful relationships with major education providers and universities. Previously, showcasing the work of the Gippsland Smart Specialisation Strategy felt like a great fit – innovation, inspiration and education are worthy attributes to present.
  • Local educators, let’s talk! In this edition, we’ve welcomed a four-page spread from the great team at Regen Gippsland. If someone is keen to be highlighted and put on a centre-spread pedestal each edition, we’d survive. Are there other industry leaders, innovators and change-makers ready to present their stories so boldly? Get in touch with us.
  • There have been discussions on ‘theme’ partnerships. For example, if a member or a collective from the renewable energy industry were to fund an edition, together we could land on a theme for the issue, but then the Gippslandia team would go hunting down the stories ourselves.
  • We have an incredible ‘Best of Gippslandia’ book that is ready to be let loose on the world. To make this a reality, we require six partners to get on board; currently, we have three. Whilst such a publication won’t necessarily be our saviour, the revenue it could generate would certainly buy us more time. Plus, it allows us to share more amazing local Gippsland stories.
  • And lastly, there’s no cover price on this special issue, nor any previous Gippslandia edition. This could change. This isn't an idea we are keen on, as we don't want any barriers between you, our beloved reader, and the region’s positive and uplifting stories that we’re sharing. But, we’d like to know... would you be willing to pay for a copy of Gippslandia?


On the cover is a QR code that allows you to pay a value that you believe is fitting for our newspaper. We’d be incredibly grateful if today was the first time you scanned that code, so we can gauge the level of support Gippslandia has to keep going.

As Gippslandia’s readers, you’re the reason why we create the newspaper each quarter. How can we shape these papers, so you fall a little more in love with it each issue?

If you fast forward 12 months, you’ll be a year older; Gippslandia will have printed its 33rd edition in December… but will you be getting a 34th in March?

If you’re in a position to assist – through ideas, advocacy, or money – we can’t wait to hear from you.

Gippslandia – still alive in 2025?

If there is something in particular that you wish to know or discuss, please get in touch and I’ll either address it here in a future column or via email at md@gippslandia.com.au.

Gippslandia - Issue No. 30

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