About John Thistleton

John Thistleton’s 30-plus years in the print media began at Cowra, and includes stints in Young, Wellington, Leeton, Crookwell, Queanbeyan, Goulburn, and, over 12 years, the Canberra Times.

As a reporter and managing editor John has watched the media fragment into numerous new opportunities.

A highlight for him at Goulburn was switching off a national wire service and relying on local staff and news to refresh content and see the paper flourish.

Moving to property and planning rounds in Canberra, John covered battles east and west of the city when retailing, residential and rural landscapes swiftly changed to accommodate a fast-growing population.

After leaving for a brief stint at the National Capital Authority as media manager he returned to the Canberra Times as the business editor, then a reporter covering the broader ACT region.

All Articles

Old highway inn remains a Breadalbane landmark
John Bell, who was a bruising prop and captain-coach of Dirty Reds' first-grade rugby union side in Goulburn in the early 1990s, set aside brute force when he decided to restore an old inn for his family’s home. Instead of muscle, he turned to an architect who shared his vision for the 1800s inn at the tiny settlement of Breadalbane,...
Risking a roaring train over raging river
The riverside village of Towrang, northeast of Goulburn, will lose its defining isolation with the construction of a new bridge. A gateway to a growing district of tree-changers from Sydney, the Southern Highlands and Canberra, newcomers to the district built weekenders and permanent homes, and learned from resourceful locals how to cope with regular flooding which turns the Wollondilly River...
Guiding light through fear and joy of new life
Having just finished her last shift as a midwife at Goulburn Base Hospital recently, Di Green replied to a flood of well-wishers who are grateful for her work ethic, wisdom and dedication. “Remember,” she wrote back, “you grow into midwifery one woman and baby at a time.” Looking back, Di estimates she helped thousands of women give birth. “I have done...
Women’s cycles and circles hold workplace solution
Arriving a little late at the March 4 Justice rally at Parliament House in Canberra on 15 March, 2021, Dr Kath Kovac heard one of the final speakers say, “We need a supportive sisterhood in the workplace.” "That’s what I do," thought Dr Kovac, a science editor who works from home in Dalton, north of Canberra. She wants to train...
Young cyclists give Old Hume Highway at Cullerin Range a safer role
One of Australia’s top-rated junior cycling road races follows an unlikely course. The Goulburn Workers Junior 2 Day Cycling Tour is held on the once deadly section of the Old Hume Highway, between Breadalbane and Gunning, west of Goulburn. Low-volume traffic helps race officials safeguard the cyclists in the race, who are aged from under-8s to under-17s. Years ago, such...
Rhythm of the river sustains Goulburn
Before they leave the city’s borders, Goulburn’s two rivers launch a thousand journeys, and have done so throughout time. Goulburn is a river city because these ancient waterways have sustained successive populations. In recent times, they have returned to prominence since the banks have been cleared and walking trails established. A regular on the Man Walk at 6:00 am, Matt...
Meet the stitches of Dalton’s close-knit community
Whether it’s hosting a darts competition or leading tai chi classes or delivering mail there are many couples who have become the stitches of Dalton’s close-knit community. Those stitches are stretching as the NSW town of Dalton becomes captured in Canberra’s relentless spread, and the opportunity of affordable land is matched with a ready-made rural community. That co-operative spirit took...
Hail Marys and hyperbole: Maher Cup rises again
A famous bush football competition that flourished after the Great War for 50 years then disappeared is returning - at least in book form. A Group Nine, Saturday afternoon contest, the Maher Cup ignites rugby league full-throated fanaticism among anyone who played or followed the game until the early 1970s. Recently at Tumut, where the late Ted Maher launched the...
Christine Bentley: theatre star and mother of many roles
Arts & Culture
From the hilarity of Calendar Girls to Goulburn’s historic and unique connection to Miles Franklin, Christine Bentley has played numerous stage characters. Most recently, the Lieder Theatre star played Mrs Abell, the mother of the protagonist in The Interesting Mrs Abell, which ran in Goulburn from 16-24 April. The daughter of a barrister, Christine grew up in the Sydney suburb of...
Goulburn’s early grocer enterprises captured in time on sales dockets
Finely illustrated sales dockets recall many of the early builders, bakers, grocers and saddle makers in Auburn Street, Goulburn. Reflecting flair and enterprise, the dockets evoke grocers who knew their customers’ unique tastes. Trusted to fill and home deliver complicated orders, the business's colourful personalities shaped the middle of the city from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. Goulburn Heritage...
From the city with a song and a quest for community
About six years ago the regional director of a multinational German company flew from Singapore to Australia to interview a specialist recruiter. Amid total secrecy, the meeting would be the forerunner to a 220-million euros acquisition to establish Australia’s largest kitchen and laundry care consumer goods company. The director’s target recruiter had established a strong reputation while working on behalf...
New youth orchestra a gateway to adventures
Arts & Culture
An unprecedented opportunity has opened for young people living within a 100-kilometre radius of Goulburn to join an orchestra right on their doorstep. The Hume Conservatorium is offering a pathway for young musicians to join the new Hume Youth Orchestra led by Hume Con staff members Liam Meany, Isabella Brown and Donna Seipelt. The Hume Youth Orchestra will be the representative Southern...
Seeing potential of Goulburn’s golfing assets
Underwater from floods at times, while serving a club financially treading water, Goulburn Golf Club bounces back with renewed vigour when sunlight breaks through the clouds. The receding waters reveal the club’s course, an asset matched by another invaluable asset: its core team of long-serving volunteers. Club president Barry Christoff says volunteers are crucial to any country golf club, and...
Uncovering signposts to Goulburn’s early European history
When he first turned off into Goulburn on his way to Sydney from Melbourne, Glenn Maddock could not find the pioneers’ cemetery he was looking for, let alone his great, great grandfather’s family plot. He had a photograph of the memorial and eventually discovered what he was looking for: the grave of Frederick Horn, Frederick’s wife Elizabeth and their three-month-old...
From Roy Orbison back to reality: Ron McLaughlin reflects on music journey
As a folk musician, Ron McLaughlin’s star shot into the air like a rocket and shone brightly with promise, then faded. In its wake came a fulfilling teaching career and contentment many of us dream about. Aged in his early 20s, in Sydney, Ron chose to set aside teaching to focus on playing bass guitar and singing. The burgeoning folk...
Michael Beard’s quest for the ultimate challenge
Goulburn's Michael Beard has not yet found his limit as an athlete and adventurer, but he might be close. As he prepares for the Franklin River’s rugged whitewater experience in Tasmania, he gratefully looks back at the freedom his parents Stephen and Barbara gave him while he was growing up on a farm at Windellama, east of Goulburn. Roaming the...