LIVING LOCAL: The Fraser Coast Chronicle's new general manager Brett Hanwright.
LIVING LOCAL: The Fraser Coast Chronicle's new general manager Brett Hanwright. Alistair Brightman

The Chronicle's new GM reflects on his fresh start

BRETT Hanwright's decision to swap red soil for the Sandy Straits has been a great start to his new chapter in life.

Mr Hanwright closed the book on 35 years with the South Burnett Times in March, and has already written the first few pages of his life as Fraser Coast Chronicle's general manager.

His involvement in the industry started as an apprentice photographer in 1981, and has since covered a multitude of roles including stints as a journalist, sales rep, production manager, and advertising manager.

The decision to leave Kingaroy for the Fraser Coast was one of which was supported by his children.

The loss of wife Linda to pancreatic cancer last year made it more difficult in the initial stages, but Mr Hanwright said he believed he made a good choice.

"My kids were very supportive, they said I needed a new chapter in my life and it was with their support that I took on the role,” Mr Hanwright said.

"I was getting a bit bored and needed a new challenge.

"(Linda's passing) made it harder, initially. Now I've made the jump I can see it was the best thing, because it feels like I'm starting a new chapter in life.”

That new chapter includes making the most of what the Fraser Coast has to offer.

A love of fishing and four-wheeled driving has made it an ideal base to spend his spare time, and the closeness of his favourite holiday destination, Fraser Island, only helped.

"Fraser Island is one of my favourite places in the world,” Mr Hanwright said.

"I've been around the world a couple of times and it's still my favourite place in the world. It's very unique and it's very relaxing.

"I walk every night at the beach, I like fishing, and I'm going to get into jet-skiing.”

Mr Hanwright's vision for the Chronicle is to see an increase in the much-loved masthead's community involvement.

"The vision is to make it more of a powerhouse in the community and be more community-orientated,” he said.

"Supporting community groups like Relay for Life and anything to do with cancer council and not for profit organisations that sometimes struggle.

"It's supporting people - as well as writing stories about people in court, it's about supporting local people as well and being more locally-focussed.”

Readers can expect a greater focus on the digital world, as well as improving the Chronicle's products: the Hervey Bay Independent, Hervey Bay Observer and Maryborough Herald.

"(We've) got good products here, they're all strong products in their own right and I want to increase each one of them,” he said.

"(We're) trying to make them all strong.”