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

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...
What made ‘Tarcoola’ Goulburn’s winning stayer
After Michael and Fiona Hudson sold their farm at Gunning in 1994, they bought an outstanding Manfred home surrounded by enormous English elms and oaks in Goulburn. Architect Edmund Cooper Manfred’s swift rise during the wool and gold boom of the 1880s meant lots of money to splash on his elaborately designed, prominent civic buildings and lavish residences. Of all...
Darrell Weekes in the Goulburn Chamber of Commerce driver’s seat
Darrell Weekes’s worldly business experience is helping drive his aggressive agenda as president of Goulburn Chamber of Commerce. From a family of Goulburn small business owners and operators, he has built and re-built successful enterprises nationally and abroad. After a 30-year absence, Darrell returned to Goulburn several years ago from Caringbah, in Sydney's south, where he lived with his family after his...
Goulburn Rugby Club’s Thursday night discos boomed in the ’70s
In the late 1970s, a narrow two-storey building in Market Street, Goulburn, thundered with late-night loud music. Inside, the deafening beat and blinding light bounced off the walls. The playlist at the Rugby Club disco featured the Bee Gees' five straight hits from their Saturday Night Fever double album, and Boney M's chart-toppers were also on high rotation. Goulburn Dirty...
Planner offers clarity on Hurst Street home’s status
Goulburn residents fighting to protect the first home built in Hurst Street, in 1888, from demolition and redevelopment may not have to because it is already protected. Goulburn Mulwaree Council's head of planning says the home is within the Goulburn Heritage Conservation Area, and is also asking councillors to consider a separate overlay providing Hurst Street with its own heritage precinct....
Detective work unravels family secrets
Former speech pathologist Daphne Penalver makes a good investigator. So does Maxine Elder, a retired maths teacher who loves detective work. Their group in Goulburn uncovers surprises so close to home that sometimes they think twice about informing their own families. Using DNA, digging into old records and going online, their curiosity, patience and dogged persistence unravels long-hidden secrets. The...
Wherever you go, the mind returns to Goulburn
When my wife Franki and I spent three days in the Victorian regional city of Bendigo, memories of Goulburn, where we lived for almost 40 years, came flooding back. We met at the Rugby Club in Market Street and married in Goulburn a little over a year later. That little rowdy club has long gone. Our three children grew up...
‘Farmers are not listening’: Disgusted shearers walk from industry
Dangerous working conditions, poor pay and old, dirty living quarters are causing shearers to leave the wool industry. Farmers have ignored the problems and now they face a crisis. Sheep are dying from fly strike, while shed hands, shearers and their contractors are disgusted. Those workers on the frontline say they camp out in filthy, broken down shacks, sleep on...
New role begins in Boorowa for leading film figure
Accomplished film producer and scriptwriter Sue Milliken is taking a break from showing Australians themselves on the big screen. She is heading bush on another mission for the country. One of the chief creators of the 2018 hit movie Ladies in Black, Ms Milliken is busily working on several projects, including one close to her heart, a documentary about writer and...
Goulburn’s homes lose their pretentiousness and earn respect
Pretentious. Stubbornly British. Solid, yet ornate. In their day, they might have been what we call today ‘trophy homes’. Goulburn’s early captains of industry worked feverishly until they could splash out and build one of these grand homes. The most successful among the entrepreneurs headed to what was known as Church Hill, which looks over Goulburn and beyond in every direction....
Goulburn’s decade of droughts and flooding rains
Goulburn's weather ended the past decade the way it began: with drought-breaking rain. The sodden years of 2010 and 2020 were sandwiched between fierce, record-breaking extremes. In 2020, 825mm was recorded at Goulburn TAFE's weather station, swamping the 684mm annual average. During August, 170mm fell, including 83.4mm in one day on 9 August. In 2010, 915.4mm fell, ending years of...
Goulburn’s biggest building goals for 2021
As a liveable city, Goulburn kicks many goals, but some of the biggest are coming in 2021. The city’s rise as a desirable growth centre will gather even more momentum, shrugging off bushfires, COVID-19 and two damaging floods in 2020. Goulburn Mulwaree Council is managing $100 million worth of capital works in addition to an annual turnover of $100 million,...