FIVE YEARS OF AIMING HIGH

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Last week I was asked to share a quote that had meant a lot to me. The first one that came to mind was one of my own: “Uber Eats is just meals on wheels for Gen Y”. I was then reminded that this was a serious exercise that wasn’t about amusing myself, it was to come up with something inspirational, a passage that I felt I had lived by – or could at least aspire to. So I thought of this one:

“Aim for the stars and you might hit the top of a telephone pole.
Aim for the top of a telephone pole and you’ll shoot yourself in the foot”

When asked to explain what it meant to me I responded that it was about being brave, having dreams the size of the universe, and celebrating your achievements, even if they ended up only being the size of a medium sized solar-system. And if you aimed too low? You didn’t have to – you could always aim higher than your goal.

And so it has proved to be a sensible approach as we celebrate five years of the Westsider. Yes FIVE YEARS!

In that time we’ve aimed high, punched above our weight, and seen a growth in our readership, distribution and social media followers from zero on all counts, to the thousands of you we now reach every day.

Our volunteer numbers increase each year – every one of them has their own reasons but their involvement allows us to maintain our stated purpose of giving something to people, whether it is a social connection, upskilling opportunities, or an outlet to exercise their mind and spirit. As a result, the content we are able to offer the communities of the inner west is ever greater in quality and quantity.

Thanks also to the community partners who saw what we were doing here and wanted to be a part of it, not the least Seddon Community Bank Branch of the Bendigo Bank, VU @ Metro West, Transurban, The Village Store in Yarraville, and Bikram Yoga, who have all been with us from the start. We also couldn’t do it without our other valued partners; Slow Food Melbourne, Yarraville Community Centre, Fab 9, and… announcing our newest partner, Western Health Collective – exciting times ahead!

As part of an independent, not-for-profit, community powered media platform, I rarely have time to stop for even a minute to look back at our achievements, whether they be recent or distant, I’m always just focussing on the next thing that has to be done; the call that has to be made, the submission that must be read, or the extra papers that need to be dropped off somewhere. But gee – getting to the five year mark really is amazing when you stop and think about it, and so for that I must thank our team, partners, readers and followers.

We did it guys – we reached the stars!

Derek Green,
Managing Editor, The Westsider
editor@thewestsider.com.au

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