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.
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.
Matt Emerick, Managing Editor
Matt was appointed editor of The Catholic Leader in July 2013. He’s been working in Catholic and mainstream media for 20 years. He’s held editorial positions in numerous Queensland newspapers. He has undergraduate degrees in journalism and history and a Masters in Journalism and Theology. Matt is married with three children.
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.
Mark Bowling, Multimedia Journalist
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.
Emilie Ng, Journalist
Emilie has a background in radio and podcast, both hosting and producing programs in Brisbane and Sydney. Emilie has won several awards for her journalism with The Catholic Leader, including the Australasian Catholic Press Association’s 2015 Best News Story for the debut news story about Orange Sky Laundry.
As well as religious journalism, Emilie has an interest in marketing, music and language.
Joe is a Brisbane-born Catholic with a passion for telling stories. He is an economics and philosophy graduate from the University of Queensland and has worked the last five years at The Catholic Leader, where he met his wife Catherine. He believes a well-informed Church is essential to meet the changing needs of the times and for delivering authentic Church renewal.