The publication today of the 1000th edition of Sydney Star Observer is another milestone in the publication’s long history.

The 1000th edition falls in the paper’s 30th year, making it the oldest gay and lesbian publication in the country, as well as the highest-circulating and the most-read.

Letters of congratulations have been coming from across the country.

The Liberals’ Don Harwin, who is Opposition Whip in the Legislative Assembly, put a motion to the NSW Parliament congratulating Sydney Star Observer last Wednesday, which was agreed to by the House.

The motion read “…this House notes that on Wednesday 9th of December 2009, the 1000th issue of the local community newspaper, Sydney Star Observer, will be published.

“For 30 years the Sydney Star Observer has served the Australian gay and lesbian community as the pre-eminent provider of news and information.

“The Sydney Star Observer is distributed in regional New South Wales, capital cities and tourist gateways such as Cairns in North Queensland.

“The Sydney Star Observer has the highest audited circulation of any gay and lesbian weekly newspaper in the country.
“And the Sydney Star Observer website is one of the most popular online sources for Australian gay and lesbian news and views with an active interstate and overseas readership.

“…[T]his House congratulates the staff, contributors and volunteers, past and present, that have made the Sydney Star Observer such a successful publication and such an important part of the gay and lesbian community.”

Letters also came in from former NSW premier Nathan Rees, Member for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull, NSW Opposition leader Barry O’Farrell, Sydney mayor and Bligh MP Clover Moore, Australian Greens leader Bob Brown and former High Court judge Michael Kirby.

Community groups to offer their congratulations include ACON, BGF, Positive Life, Harbour City Bears, QueerScreen, the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, New Mardi Gras and Team Sydney.

Sydney Star Observer will host a number of special events for SSO Media shareholders and community members during the first half of 2010 as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations. Watch this space for details.

The premier voice in gay and lesbian news

This issue marks the 1000th time this newspaper has hit the streets — not a bad achievement for a newspaper whose first editions were hand delivered by our founder.

Sydney Star Observer is truly your newspaper. It is jointly owned by hundreds of gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and queer Sydneysiders who believe in the importance of an independent community news source. No shareholder or board member has ever been paid; all profits are retained in the community.

Since the first issue in 1979 we have been breaking news — from the first Australian reference to AIDS, the battles to legalise homosexuality to the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic.

Over the years SSO has acted as a platform for hundreds of community organisations, and I am delighted to report that in the last year alone we have been able to provide over $300,000 worth of support to community organisations.

The fight for equality is constant and ongoing and SSO’s reputation for fair and balanced reporting has won it respect and support from religious figures and politicians on both sides of the house.

As well, SSO has campaigned to improve safety in our ghettos and supported hundreds of health initiatives.

With the highest audited circulation of any gay and lesbian newspaper in the country and a constantly growing online readership, SSO is set to further strengthen its position in the hearts and minds of gay Sydney.

Who knows what form the 2000th edition of SSO will take, but you can be confident that the core values of integrity, independence and quality journalism will be as important in another 30 years as they are today.

Finally, on behalf of the board, staff and community shareholders I would like to thank you, our readership, for your unfailing support during our first 30 years. I look forward to meeting you at our 30th birthday celebrations in the new year.

— Daniel Bone
Chair, SSO Media

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