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The Catholic Leader

The purpose of The Catholic Leader newspaper is to inform from a Catholic perspective and to connect the Catholic community. It is by virtue of these pursuits that the paper nourishes people’s faith and spirituality. Being an ethical and credible source for faith-based news, reviews, and reflection is of integral to the publications’ function as it serves the faithful.  And it’s been achieving this vision since it began over 100 years ago.

Our History

A number of attempts were made to establish a Catholic newspaper in Brisbane during the mid-19th century resulting in a publication called The Age, the first issue of which appeared on October 1, 1892.

While The Age continued its weekly publication for many years, a rival came upon the scene in 1910. This was the Catholic Advocate which eventually grew into the ‘No. 1 Catholic journal’ with a state-wide circulation. Owned by Hibernian Newspapers Ltd, it reflected the Irish Nationalist sentiments and was even published in a green cover.

It was difficult financial times which brought about the demise of both The Age in 1929 and the Catholic Advocate in 1930.

Archbishop Duhig salvaged the former paper and The Catholic Leader rose from the ashes of The Age, the first issue being dated December 5, 1929.

At this stage, the price was threepence. The paper was then the official organ of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, circulating throughout Australasia and having correspondents in Rome, Paris, London, Dublin and the United States of America.

The Catholic Leader continues to be published by the Brisbane Archdiocese, circulating weekly throughout Australia, at a cost of $2. With an eye to the future and knowing the importance of staying relevant in a changing world, The Leader meets the challenges of keeping readers informed and aware of what is happening in their Church and their world, earning the reputation as Australia’s leading Catholic Newspaper.

This looking to the future has resulted in catholicleader.com.au, an online extension of The Catholic Leader. This site contains the content in our newspaper edition plus much more.

Our Team

Matt Emerick

– Managing Editor

Matt was appointed editor of The Catholic Leader in July 2013. He’s been working in the newspaper industry for 15 years. He’s held senior editorial positions in regional Queensland newspapers. He has undergraduate degrees in journalism and history and a Masters in Journalism. He’s undertaking postgraduate studies in theology, philosophy and communication. 




Peter Bugden

– Sub-Editor

I am married with three adult children and work as a sub-editor for The Catholic Leader. Having worked in the media industry for more than 30 years, from the “primitive” days before computers were part of our daily lives, being with the Leader for its launch into the use of digital mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest is a new adventure. In my first days as a cadet journalist with a country newspaper, in northern NSW, I would write stories using a typewriter and small sheets of copy paper to hand to the editor, and it would take a day or two for the news to reach our readers in print. Now, at the touch of a button it’s possible for someone to be reading our snippets of news on the other side of the world within seconds – and we’re already taking that for granted! I look forward to being part of this new chapter for The Catholic Leader, and utilising a new medium for Good News.


Emilie Ng

– Journalist

I am a journalist by day, and a ninja by night (in my sleep). Away from my desk at The Catholic Leader, you can find me playing local gigs in Brisbane and surrounds. My dream is to be a stay-at-home blogging mum, or a rock star. I am one of three Canadian-born daughters to two Mauritian-Chinese parents. I speak a mixture of French, Mauritian Creole, and English, and sometimes, gibberish, just for confusion. Between 2007 and 2009 I volunteered on the Youth Mission Team, living in Sydney and Perth. I have over five years experience in radio announcing and audio production.

My previous works include Cross-Platform Communications Strategist for IMC Agency (Integrated Marketing and Communications) Virtual Shout. I am a regular contributor for You Should Gnaw Better and Being Frank, where I blog about living as a young Catholic. I have a passion for using new media as a tool for mission and evangelisation, and to develop strong and bold Catholic ‘Celebrities’ who can sow the faith attractively and with tact. I am a regular panelist and founding member of the Southern Cross New Media Project which seeks to connect Catholics from Australian and New Zealand to in responding to the New Evangelisation.


Debbie Preuss

– Accounts Circulation Supervisor

Debbie Preuss came to us from Allora in 1978 as a shy country girl. Only employed for three weeks initially, after 35 years, she still remains with us. Over time she has worked from hand written receipts and manually produced wrappers to computerised work. Debbie is the friendly voice you hear on the phone when you ring regarding subscriptions and delivery problems with the Leader. Debbie is married to Frank lives in Brisbane and lists reading, fishing and cooking as her hobbies.




Donata Morelli

– Marketing & Advertising Coordinator – Designer

Donata began her career studying architecture & design at The University of Architecture and Design in Florence. Upon graduating from UAD with a MArch in design, Donata had the opportunity to work for four years as design manager for two Florentine industry’s most influential firms.

The invaluable experience gained from working within these two design houses inspired Donata to enrich her experience abroad. Designing for international companies helped Donata to see the impact good design and marketing has on global communication.

Donata’s technical knowledge of design, combined with her innate organizational abilities, has brought her to collaborate with The Catholic Leader team as Designer first and subsequently as Marketing and Advertising Coordinator.

Donata believes in the importance of community involvement, inspiring others and giving back.


Mark Bowling                 Mark Bowling                – Multimedia journalist  

Mark Bowling’s journalism spans more than 30 years. He’s an experienced radio and TV broadcaster across news & current affairs. He’s worked as the ABC’s correspondent in Indonesia, and in Japan. He’s also reported extensively across northern Australia.

Mark is the joint winner of the Australian Variety Club 2000 Heart Award for his radio news reporting in East Timor, and has also won a Walkley award, Australia’s most-respected journalism award. 

Mark is the author of ‘Running Amok’ that chronicles his time as a correspondent juggling news deadlines and the demands of being a husband and father. Mark is married with four children.




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