The Leader serves the Barossa Valley including Nuriootpa, Tanunda, Angaston and Lynoch as well as Gawler, Kapunda, Eudunda, Mt. Pleasant, Williamstown, Roseworthy and surrounding areas.
The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s best known destinations, renowned as a premium wine producing region, other growth industries of the area include fruit and vegetable production and processing, wheat growing, saw mills and farming.
ANGASTON-BASED The Leader is the only surviving family-owned newspaper in South Australia started under the same family name.
William Kirkby Robinson and his wife, Agnes, started what they termed “The New Penny Journal for the Barossa District” on July 24, 1918. Kirkby Robinson, as he preferred to be known, called his new publication The Leader because he wanted his newspaper to lead all others.
Introducing his paper to readers, Mr Robinson wrote on Page 1: “Reader, you now have in your hand No 1 of “The Leader”. What about No 2? Will you receive it as a subscriber, or will you never see it? It will only cost you 4/6 (advance) per annum to have it posted each week.
Will you be one of our sought-for 5000 subscribers?
“Once the stranger has seen Angaston he is charmed with the magnificent landscape, and when we found in addition to this that it possessed not a printing office, we decided to establish a new enterprise. That such a progressive town, and such a prolific district as this can adequately support a journal we have not the slightest doubt and, had we had any misgivings, they would have been completely dispelled ere this by the enthusiastic support already accorded our office.”
Mr Robinson said that by honestly endeavouring to give good service, “we hope to prosper….”
His introduction ended: “We are here to push forward the claims of Angaston and district, we want to give a journal that will get right into the hearts of the people in this big district and be regarded as the real home paper, and we want to merit all the support we receive. Reader, see that your name reaches us before our next issue.”
Starting out with the clothes he wore and little in his pocket, Kirkby and Agnes worked long hours, often seven days a week to establish their newspaper and general printing operation.
During his time as editor and owner/manager, Kirkby established a number of firsts in the newspaper industry. Under his control The Leader was the first newspaper to introduce a Scanagraver electronic printing block making machine, a get well present from his wife and son after Kirkby suffered a major heart attack.
He also installed the first Intertype linecasting machine in SA and was amongst the early newspaper proprietors to introduce web printing. In the 1980’s The Leader was believed to be the first known newspaper in Australia to adopt Apple Macintosh computers as a P.C. based typesetting system.
Three generations of Robinsons have served as editor of The Leader, starting with Kirkby who was followed by his son, Rae, and currently the founder’s grandson, Tony. All three Robinsons have served on Country Press SA Inc. committees with Kirkby being awarded life membership.
The business has moved into the fourth generation involvement with Peter, Darren and Adam Robinson working on the paper.
Wives of the editors have all played a key role in the business, with Agnes, Molly and Angela all being actively involved in helping wherever possible.
Today, The Leader is printed at the Angaston print centre on a modern Goss Community press. Platemaking is via the latest computer to plate technology.
Current circulation stands at 8100 weekly with an average 84 pages per issue.
The newspaper has been honored on several occasions in the Country Press SA Inc. awards, winning best advertising feature in 1994, 1997 and 2005; community involvement in 2004 and best advertisement in 2007.
Published Day: Wednesday
Circulation (Paid): 8030
Cover Price: $1.40 GST inc.
Address: 34 Dean Street, Angaston, SA 5353
Postal Address: PO Box 55, Anngaston, SA 5353
Phone Number: (08) 8564 2035
Fax Number: (08) 8564 3084
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