Laurie Barber has had a distinguished career as a journalist.
After completing his schooling at Newcastle and Quirindi, he worked with The Inverell Times (four times), the Maitland Mercury, Sydney Morning Herald, Northern Daily Leader, Newcastle Herald and Sun and Gold Coast Bulletin before completing his career with the Port Macquarie News and associated publications.
As editor and manager he led regional newspapers to many major industry awards. He gained commendations in the Graham Perkin Award for Australia’s Journalist of the year, as well as NSW country journalist of the year awards, and was listed in the 1980 worldwide ‘Golden Dozen’ for editorial writers as announced by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.
His chief interest as a copy editor has been in encouraging journalists and others to take greater pride in our language. He wrote for Country Press Australia the style book Please Print, in its fourth printing, and wrote Massacre at Myall Creek, in limited production.
The newspaper column My Word started in 1995 and now appears in many Rural Press/Fairfax papers in several states.
Laurie is patron of the Hastings Fellowship of Writers.
He has been active in regional community service. He was named as a life member of Jaycees as well as being a Rotary district governor, retaining a strong interest in Rotary and other community activities.
He represented New South Wales as a basketball referee and completed fifty years as a referee.
Laurie lives at Port Macquarie with his wife Glenda. They have four children – Tracey, Shane, Gary and Stephanie – and ten grandchildren.