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COUNTRY PRESS AUSTRALIA is the national body with which all state bodies are associated. This national body started life as the Australian Provincial Press Association in 1906 and it changed to Country Press Australia in 1986.

By Michael Ellis Managing editor, Yorke Peninsula Country Times, Kadina Country Press Australia president July 2010 – June 2012

The SA association was formed in 1912, hosted a national conference the next year in 1913 and Mr R. H. Barnet of Gawler became the national president from 1915 – 16, only three years later. It is unclear when Country Press SA Inc. (or, as it was known then, the Provincial Press Association of South Australia) joined the national body. Therefore, it would be fair to assume SA joined the national association soon after forming.

Since being a member of the national body, SA has supplied nine national presidents, over 10 terms (including myself). Mr C. M. R. Dumas of Mount Barker held the position on two separate occasions. (As a side note, Mr Dumas’ son, Sir Lloyd Dumas, went on to be the managing editor of The Adelaide Advertiser.) 

SA has hosted 11 national conferences – in 1913, 19, 27, 39, 54, 62, 77, 83, 94, 98, and the last in 2002. Accompanying this article for your interest is the Programme of Events from the 1939 National Conference hosted in South Australia.

As a third generation newspaperman, it fills me with great pride to fill the role of Country Press Australia president, especially in my home state’s centenary year. South Australia can hold its head high as a vibrant association, extremely well respected across Australia.

Country Press Australia’s role is to take on jobs with a national perspective for all members across the country – wage and award negotiations, lobbying the Federal Government and to ensure all states are kept abreast of any national developments.

As I travel to the different states and attend their annual conferences, I meet a wide range of people in the ever-changing newspaper industry. 

It is always interesting to hear how they are tackling local issues. Sometimes the issues are similar and sometimes they are very different. 

The friendships I have made and the lessons I have learned, from all over the country, make it a very rewarding role indeed.

Country Press Australia congratulates Country Press SA Inc. on attaining its centenary and truly hopes it continues to serve its members well for many years to come (from the 100 years of Country Press SA Inc 'Through our eyes' book)

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