Looking back 30 years ago as we celebrate Have a Go News’ anniversary

Have a Go News 30 years young
Left to right; Have a Go News founders, the late Judith Treby and the late Quentin Smythe - front cover of the first edition of Have a Go News Volume 1 No.1 July 1991

Have a Go News, a rare, truly-independent, family-run West Australian newspaper, has evolved over 30 years of grassroots journalism.

This newspaper’s embryonic year, 1991, was a memorable year for news everywhere and WA in particular.

West Australian son Bob Hawke was in the Lodge, proving to be one of the modern era’s most popular leaders.

Carmen Lawrence was the first woman to become the premier of an Australian State.

The WA Inc Royal Commission began to make headlines for two years and after 543 witnesses, found evidence of widespread corruption. 

Following the findings of the royal commission, three former premiers were found to have acted improperly and Ray O’Connor and Brian Burke were jailed.

The blocking of the sun in the 1991 total solar eclipse, was perhaps a symbolic sign from above. 

After receiving a phone call from President Bush, Bob Hawke gave battle orders to the Australian Navy stationed in the Gulf. Australia joined the international coalition contributing military forces to Operation Desert Storm.

Aussie Rules football took a different direction when the Grand Final was played at Waverley Park and not the Melbourne Cricket Ground which was being renovated. The West Coast Eagles (13.8.86) went down to Hawthorn (20.19.139).

The same year, the Adelaide Crows played their first game in the AFL. 

Professor Fred Hollows was 1991 Australian of the Year, Billy Joel arrived for his Australian Tour and Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 8.1 per cent.

Australia’s seven million workers won a 2.5 percent pay rise from a national wage decision and the report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was released with no criminal charges recommended.

In May, came first news of the infamous ‘Kirribilli agreement’, a deal agreed to but reneged on by Bob Hawke to hand over the ALP leadership to Paul Keating after the 1990 federal election.

Before the curtain fell on 1991, Paul Keating made his second leadership challenge and won, 56–51, becoming Australia’s 24th Prime Minister.

In 1991, West Aussie ace author Tim Winton surged further ahead and his novel Cloudstreet was adapted for the stage, opened in Sydney with seasons in Perth, Melbourne, London, Dublin, New York and Washington.

Monica Seles became the youngest winner of the Australian Open Tennis Championship on Australia Day and the following day, Boris Becker beat Ivan Lendl and took the world’s top ranking.

In July, Boris Yeltsin became the first elected President of Russia. 

1991 saw the deaths of Sir John Kerr, (Governor-General 1974–1977), historian Manning Clark and heart surgeon Victor Chang.

Due to the imagination and efforts of the late Judith Treby and the late Quentin Smythe, 1991 marked the humble beginnings of the free, lifestyle newspaper for mature Western Australians…Have a Go News.

Thirty years has not altered our mission: “to sustain and provide mature Western Australians with a voice and connection to their community.”

The reins of Have a Go News are today in the hands of the founders’ daughter, editor Jennifer Merigan and her journalist daughter Tahlia.