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

Yes Cheese: self-sufficient cheesemaker comes into her own
Food & Wine
Amateur beekeepers, home bread bakers and champion cheesemakers are drawing on their self-sufficiency expertise during a time of supermarket rationing and an unexpected spike in the hours we are spending at home and in the kitchen. And when the current crisis passes and we can all meet again, you might like to do so over a block of blue with...
Feeding growing appetite for new infrastructure
ARIA and Golden Guitar winning singer-songwriter Graeme Connors regularly sells out performances from one end of Australia to the other. Connors appears in theatres throughout Queensland and Victoria but never in Goulburn where his promoters, Geoff Bell and his wife Cathy, run Laing Entertainment. Connors isn't alone. National and international entertainers on the Laing roster regularly bypass Goulburn. The reason...
Ken’s mystery bus still pulls a crowd
An antique fire truck ignites a little boy’s imagination but an old school bus rekindles memories for everyone. A mechanic and former school bus driver Ken McKay can rattle off routes into Harden-Murrumburrah, the families along the way and the remarkable journey of a 1958 British Leyland Worldmaster. The old bus will line up at Harden Historic Truck and Tractor Club show...
Meet Goulburn’s community gardeners growing prize-winning produce
Each Saturday morning on an old tennis court in the middle of Goulburn, community gardeners serve up a recipe for winning every game, set and match. Aces are recorded by produce not points, and the pick of it all will be on exhibition this weekend (7 and 8 March) at the 2020 Goulburn Show. The garden is the Goulburn Community...
Lorraine’s dedication to history (and olives) is yielding a golden harvest for Harden
A small olive grove planted in Harden Murrumburrah 22 years ago is fulfilling Greek mythology, of rich fruits and golden harvests, while its owners' fascination with local history is also yielding rich fruit. Lorraine and Michael Brown planted 400 saplings and continued planting for several years until 2000 silver-leafed trees were rising and spreading. A long-term venture, the olives have already...
Forging a following: Ancient art is showcased at regional market
A blacksmithing workshop at Harden Murrumburrah is forging a following as people discover the satisfaction gained from learning an ancient art. In old stables outside Murrumburrah’s 1880s court house, Will Kirkpatrick is running workshops that have drawn people from Canberra and elsewhere who are interested in creating objects from metal. “By the looks of things, I am going to have...
A priceless Goulburn icon: the story of Kev’s Kombi
Forget football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars, Goulburn has Bryant’s pies, the post office clock and Kevin Thompson’s two-toned Kombi. In 39 years of climbing the Clyde and Brown Mountains, rumbling up the Hume Highway to Sydney or in the opposite direction to Victoria, and carrying Kev and his family around town, this gleaming 1973 Series 3 Kombi has...
Amazing village history in gold rush-era Majors Creek cottage
A character-filled heritage cottage created by combining what was once a general store and local bakery has been listed for sale in the tranquil village of Majors Creek. On a little farmlet with well-established veggie plots, the three-bedroom cottage has quirky features that cannot be replicated. “It is like picking up an antique,” said Kelly Allen, listing agent with Luton,...
Community spirit as people help out in a bushfire aftermath
Bewildered cows were bellowing into the eerie grey silence after losing all of the grass to eat beneath their feet. Around them, dead bloated black sheep and cattle littered the burned paddocks. Scattered around the small towns of Tumbarumba, Batlow and Adelong, farmhouse remnants settled beneath powder-soft ash. After five days without feed, the cows had grown so desperate they...
Community celebration provides much needed distraction for Boorowa
For the farming village of Boorowa in the Hilltops area of NSW, events on Australia Day provided some much needed distraction from the drought while bringing people together for a celebration of community. A deacon for the Catholic Church, Patrick Whale, was named Boorowa’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year, in recognition for his work in Saint Patrick’s parish presiding over...
Harden markets spark revival of bush artists
A small-town blacksmith, an African basket weaver and braided whip maker give Handmade in Harden’s monthly community markets cool authenticity. Held on the third Sunday of every month, the markets will resume on 16 February. Community-driven, they are thriving on homespun entertainment and drought-defying luck. The blacksmith from Koorawatha between Young and Cowra sold so few items last October it was...
Home-town loyalty drives Queanbeyan success
Local businesses in Queanbeyan thrive on the sort of fierce loyalty that sustains the city’s exceptional sporting community. It’s contagious, as Paul Nicholl discovered in 2014 when he joined Bayldon Ag as a salesman. Three months later Paul became general manager. Three years later, in 2017, he stepped up again and bought the business from his boss, Roger Keft. On...
Goulburn gives movie makers a house of horrors
Arts & Culture
Men and women have been hanged in Goulburn. In the 1800s, at the crest of residential streets and near the Court House they were left for all to see. Today the old town is serving as the backdrop for a new slasher horror movie, Alice. Dan Sanguineti of Canberra and Goulburn-based colleague Michael Watson agreed to shoot their latest film...
Beekeepers face lean future in fire’s aftermath
Bee pollinating and honey-making will remain grounded long after the drought and bushfire crises subside says apiarist Laurie Kershaw. Laurie scrambled to pull thousands of hives from the path of the Currowan blaze on the South Coast. The Kerhsaws are based between Gundaroo and Bungendore. Annually, they contract their bees for almond pollination in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area near Darlington...
Brothers breathe life into vintage tractors at Wombat
Chris Holmes marvels at the ingenuity of old tractors. For 19 years in the village of Wombat near Harden, Chris has watched people just like him unload their trusty machines from semi-trailers for Australia Day. Many compete in tractor pulling. In the hands of a good driver the tractor, while pulling a sled, becomes life-like. “The power goes from one...
Goulburn heritage harmonises with light touches
Restorations, renovations, additions and multi-million-dollar residential property sales are throwing a spotlight on Goulburn’s collection of heritage homes. As well as lifting prices in the historic, prestige residential market, investment from Sydney and Canberra means the owners of the limited number of heritage homes in a leafy, sought-after precinct can afford to splash out on designers, tradies, interior decorators and...