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MM turns 40

Updated: May 27

It all began as a double-sided, one page newsletter aimed at covering vital community news.

The first edition went out in March 1981 and it was with a degree of great pride that the MM board and production team have put this April 2021 edition together.

One of the original typewriters used for MM on display at the Kinglake Heritage Centre

Like many small businesses – a community-owned not-for-profit in our case – those consistent 40 years of delivering on its promise has not been without some difficult challenges.

Adapting to the times, relying on the businesses that back us, adopting new technologies and weathering not only economic storms, but natural disasters as well, has required a dedicated team effort.

A question we are regularly asked in the current fallout from a global pandemic is how we have survived when so many community media titles have folded or tried to survive online only.

Several years ago, we had already moved to a nimble, remote working model that cut operating costs and overheads to a minimum.

We had an efficient working from home model in place before it became a pandemic necessity.

At the same time, we never lost sight of the fact that even in an era of social media bombardment, the MM has remained an important source of unbiased, factual information that impacts residents across the ranges communities.

From its very first edition, local groups could report on their activities and attract volunteers and members.

Businesses can make themselves known to local residents, who despite the growth in population and attractiveness to new arrivals, still do have to travel for basic goods and services.

Our Shop Local campaign also began before the Pandemic’s effects hit.

A small Family and Community Services grant allowed the first expansion of MM and those first editions were put out by local volunteers working off a kitchen table. Many of those volunteers still reside here. So too do many of the people who have worked to produce the publication over the years; those who have and continue to contribute their monthly reports; the advertisers who have faithfully backed us; and the voluntary board members who have run the business.

When advertising revenue began to cover the costs soon after its launch, the publication evolved into a not-for-profit community co-operative with a board of directors.

The MM is now a full-gloss production, its photography aims to promote the beautiful environment we live in and we will continue to produce both a print version along with online presence, that is accessed by many former residents and others who live outside the area, but come here to enjoy what it has to offer.

Over those 40 years, MM has also formed an important record of the ranges’ contemporary history and as such is to be found in state and local libraries.

We will continue to connect the ranges for many more years to come.

The Mountain Monthly Team

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