The Star was founded in 1979 under its original title The Sydney Star. In later years a few different publishers had their hand in running the paper involving just a little of the drama and wrangling gay and lesbian community organisations are so famous for. In February 1988 the Sydney Star Observer was purchased by a company formed specifically to continue publishing the paper under community ownership, Cobyork Ltd. There were 200 shares in Cobyork Ltd until 1993, when a Special General Meeting voted to split each share into four. This broadened the range of shareholders involved with the company with a special effort to engage the lesbian community..
In May 1994, a Special General Meeting voted to change the name of the company to Sydney Gay & Lesbian Community Publishing Limited. Each year, at the Annual General Meeting, shareholders elect the next year’s Board. They may also vote at this meeting or at Special General Meetings, if called, on various aspects of the company’s operation as defined in its Memorandum and Articles of Association. Resolutions and other matters for discussion can also be raised at these meetings.
As at 30 June 2008, the total number of shareholders was 393.
At the Annual General Meeting in November 2008 the company’s name was changed to Gay & Lesbian Community Publishing Limited, in recognition of the organisation’s broader national focus. The company commenced publishing Southern Star in the Melbourne market in early October 2008.
The company supports an independent editorial policy and the journalist code of ethics.
The company’s shareholders have never received a dividend on their shares. Those who buy shares do so with the understanding that dividends will not be paid when the Sydney Star Observer and other ventures of the company do return profits each year. However, as the company is a community-owned and oriented business, these profits are used to maintain the growth of the business, ensure all staff and contributors are paid equitably and (as far as possible) in line with market rates, and also make a contribution to the broader gay and lesbian community through donations and sponsorships.
The company also pursues other publishing ventures from time to time.
At the 2010 annual general meeting the company adopted an updated constitution to bring it into line with recent changes in legislation.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors oversees the general management of the company.
There are ten directors in all, eight are elected by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting, company staff elects one and the other is the incumbent editor of the Sydney Star Observer.
The Board elects the Board’s Chair and Treasurer.