The latest from the Daily Mercury Editor's Desk

MY name is Rae Wilson. I am the new Daily Mercury editor.

I love broccoli and raspberries. I abhor coffee and cucumbers.

A silverback gorilla once kicked me in the shin. I've toasted marshmallows on a volcano. I've swum with whale sharks, turtles, sting rays and penguins.

Needless to say, travelling is one of my passions. I've just returned from a stint living in Mexico and I can't wait to start exploring my new home.

Rae Wilson.
Rae Wilson. Rae Wilson

I believe in the role of this regional newspaper in the community - it is as important today as it was when it began in 1866.

It's about telling your stories - the good, the bad ... and the strange.

Take our front page today where an 84-year-old man took on a deadly taipan and won - how Aussie is that? 

The Daily Mercury front page on Australia Day 2019.
The Daily Mercury front page on Australia Day 2019.

I also can't go on without mentioning the champions in our community who have today been awarded Australia Day gongs. Click on their names to find out more about them.

If you want to know where to head this weekend to celebrate Australia Day, check out our ultimate guide to Mackay and if you've got a few minutes have a crack at our quiz.

We also need to be a voice for our readers at every level of government. We all gain when we have each other's backs and the region is strong.

This week we took a look back on the chequered history of the Mackay Ring Road project after we finally got a guarantee from both sides they would provide funding if elected. 

It's also about bringing you the latest business news from quirky stores to new businesses and closures.

Like the savvy duo expanding their backyard business to the mum launching her luxe fashion boutique, both in Moranbah, or what the Connors' brothers are up to.

Embroidery Collective owners Gaylene Everett and Sharon Easdale.
Embroidery Collective owners Gaylene Everett and Sharon Easdale. Contributed

And we like to show you what are volunteers are up to too with this awesome photo gallery from our photographer Emma Murray. 

Pick up today's paper for a double-page spread on the best picks for this year's NRL supercoach comp.

I'm a country girl who grew up loving her local newspaper so I want to ensure you, our readers, feel the same way about yours.

Next month marks 19 years in newspapers for me and I hope to continue making an impact in my new home - campaigning for this region with you.

I've twice been named reporter of the year for this company - twice been awarded feature writer of the year too - and won three gongs at the Queensland Media Awards.

I've spent the bulk of my career covering crime, including big Queensland cases like the Morcombe and Baden-Clay murder trials.

Tackling state and federal politics - including budgets and elections - has been integral in my most recent role.

The team I ran from Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra for the better part of seven years was focused on regional issues for our suite of titles across Queensland and NSW - including the Daily Mercury.

When I've mentioned my impending move to Mackay in the recent weeks, I've been overwhelmed at how many people adore this city.

"I lived there five years, I wish I could go back. I was in construction and when the mining industry wound down, I had to move away," one said.

Another told me he would move back in a second and rushed through some of his favourite places as must-visits.

My farewell gift from my Brisbane team was a platypus dive in the rainforest. I cannot suitably convey my excitement at this impending adventure.

I want to make a list of all YOUR favourite places and tick them off one by one in a new column I'm going to call Fresh Eye on Mackay.

I also welcome any feedback you have about what is now OUR paper.

Shoot me an email on: rae.wilson@newsregionalmedia.com.au



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