Our History

Australia's oldest newspaper.

Our History

The history of the longest-running family owned publication in the country, The Betoota Advocate, can date back to its earliest operations in the mid 1800’s.

After a few trial and error publications in the area, our paper was initially set up as the perfect centre-point to provide print news to some of the bigger towns in Queensland’s Channel Country (Windorah, Bedourie, Birdsville).

The Betoota Hotel, one of the oldest buildings in town and only two streets behind our office.
The Betoota Hotel, one of the oldest buildings in town and only two streets behind our office.

In 1885, the Queensland Government opened a customs post to collect a toll for stock travelling the stock routes and Betoota became something like an inland port. Servicing locals and the transport operations between South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and the Territory. Those were big years for both Betoota and our paper.

In more recent times, our town has suffered through devastating drought and flood, it is a harsh landscape we live in and a lot of our local farming dynasties have sold up and moved east. Although the paper has kept operational, we have been barely able to survive off the remaining farming families in the district.

The breathtaking Channel Country, our backyard.
The breathtaking Channel Country, our backyard.

Things began to change for the better shortly after the annual Betoota races in early August 2014.

One of our younger cadets suggested the idea of a slight reformat and for us to make the bold move online, something that has proven to be quite a success. Within weeks our follower-ship doubled and our locals readers urged us to pull back from our print and focus on the ‘iPad news’.

We hope to do you, our readers, proud.

While our reporting tends to occasionally steer outside of the Queensland Channel Country, we will always put our town first. Regional first, metropolitan following.

The age old Betoota Advocate logo. Lyrebird's are native to our beautiful town.
The age old Betoota Advocate logo. Lyrebird’s are native to our beautiful town.


11 Responses to "Our History"

  1. John   September 12, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Was a ringer at Mount Leonard just across the waterhole from Betoota pub. Loved it out there.

  2. Nicole   September 30, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    As a young man my grandfather Geoffrey Snow enlisted for WW 1 from Betoota. I understand he was a stockman at the time. He returned safely to Maree after the war, and was at Dulkaninna Station for some years afterwards.

  3. barry hayden   February 4, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    hi glad to be on board, i,m actually after some answers to some interesting questions, regarding old cork station, hope you can help,


  4. Greg   April 19, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Was Betoota the town with the two seater long drop shitter next to the pub. I remember it was one room with the two seats. Good for animated conversations when all the news paper had been used.

    • Gilbert   July 13, 2016 at 10:56 am

      The Pub with the two seater shitter is the Middleton Hotel on the road from Boulia to Winton. I was there last Friday on the way home from the Birdsville Big Red Bash. I think the population of Middleton is two so the whole town can have a crap at the same time. We dropped in at Betoota on the way to Birdsville from Windorah. It sure is a happening place. Hard to find a cold beer though. Betoota only had a single long drop and the door didn’t close so you could sit and contemplate life while gazing out at the lansscape. What a place!

  5. Chilla   June 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I was wondering, . well, you know, I was just wondering ……..

  6. Aaron Paterson   December 1, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Hello and g’day everyone, I grew up in Brissie (Brisbane) where my parents married in 1961. Dad was a Wynnum boy and mum was part-aboriginal (yandruwandha) she was born at Tibooburra, N.S.W. it has always amazed me when I see Birdsville, Innamincka and Tibooburra on a map they line up almost exactly straight, some coincidence. Dad was a ringer on Mount Lennard station named Rodney Paterson, mum was a seventeen year old part time worker at the Betoota Pub. I think the name Betoota came from a local tribe word for the nearby Teeta waterhole, I have forgotten what it meant now. Dad came into town one Friday night (drove his car) and unlike the other ringers, he usually wore a three piece suit in public whilst the other young blokes wore western gear etc. Two blokes came round the back of the Betoota pub and tried to grab my mother, Gloria Kerwin (who called Windorah, home) she managed to get free and ran into the hotel and saw a big bloke sitting down by himself drinking (dad dated the Mt Lennard cook, a big blonde, according to mum) but the cook was embarrassed by the amount of alcohol dad was drinking so asked another bloke to take her home. Dad was sitting there near an old person who was playing piano in the corner (does anyone remember a piano in the Betoota pub in 1960?) Rod and Gloria started dating, he took her to Wynnum Brisbane and they married and we kids were born there. A little about Windorah – Gloria grew up in Windorah and knew the O’Brien’s, McPhellamy’s, May McGrath nee McPhellamy, Mrs. Geiger and her goat yard, Carters, two old aboriginal men named Uppity from Keerongooloo station and Charlie McGregor, before and after he lost his arm. There was another old aboriginal guy who had an eye problem (one eyed looked straight ahead, and the other looked upwards) he was known as ‘star-gazin’ jimmy’. My mum’s grandparents were Benny Kerwin from Innamincka station, grandson of Old King Jimmy Marana. Gloria’s grandmother who raised her was known to all the locals in the district as ‘old Tim’ or ‘Timmie’. Her tribal name was TIMPIKA she was born at Nappa Merrie station in 1905, her biological dad was John Conrick, founder of Nappa Merrie station. His wife Agnes deserted him in 1900. his four sons are half-siblings of Nelly, they were John, Ted, Clive and Patrick or Joseph Conrick. Nelly’s mother was Cora who who’s tribal husband was Geordie aka Ngarrigili, Geordie’s mother brother was Innamincka black tracker, Jack the Ripper, another Yandruwandha man, Jack’s totem was Wallaby-Kuntu, and Benny’s totem was Pitchery-pitjirri. Mum Gloria is 74, lives with me in Rocky and stills calls Windorah home and told me her old boss, the owner of Betoota hotel was an old Yugoslav bloke with a name like REMENKO or similar. p.s. there used to be an old aboriginal man who lived around Betoota and west of it named Joe the Rainmaker, who they called Mentuli and Minchoolie, his late wife was Clara born at Arrabury station. Her son was Frank Booth, daugthers Alice Booth aka Alice Miller of Tibooburra married to King Miller, King of the Wilson River, and Florrie Gray and one other sibling. Clara died at Betoota in 1943 after a walkabout with her husband Minchoolie from Nockatunga to Betoota (Betoota was his country), she visited her birthplace, Arrabury on the way three. Cheers Aaron Paterson [email protected]

  7. Aaron Paterson   December 1, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Forgot to add if anyone remembered old Wally Harris or Harrison, he was a ringer on Mount Leonard station (I prefer spelling it Mt Lennard) during the 1950’s and 60’s. He made a boomerang for my teenaged dad, Rodney from minaritchie wood (red mulga).

    Walter’s brother was Dick Harrison who was lighter skinned and known to all and sundry as ‘Yellow Dick’. Walter was a Strzelecki creek Yandruwandha man, his uncle was Murty Murty Mick who died 1966 at Lyndhurst and is buried up there on the side of the road where the Strzelecki track starts.

    My cousin’s mum was born on Planet Downs station nearby, and does anyone remember old Topsy Parker? her maiden name was Topsy Wallace who grew up at Tobermory near Cooper Creek, not Tobermorey station, N.T. border. Topsy’s dad was a rainmaker too like Minchoolie, her last husband was said to be Coongie Lake (Yawarrawarrka tribe) man, WILPIE who’s totem was Pitchery-Pitjirri, he too was a rainmaker employed by Sid Kidman. Wilpie’s tribal name was Kulpili [Koldbilly] and his rain-stones came from a hill near Cordillo Downs station. Cheers all, Aaron Paterson (Yandruwandha descent) [email protected]

  8. Aaron Paterson   December 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Finally one last thing, I just remembered that my mother Gloria Paterson nee Kerwin, grew up under the name of Gloria Peterson, her stepdad was Adrian Peterson and that is what many people around that district would remember my mother’s name as, her granny called her ‘Goog’ but her grandad called her ‘moonface’.

    Adrian Peterson was the son of a man (Kalali man) who was known as ‘Peter’s Son’ due to his father was known as ‘King Peter of Ardoch station down round Bulloo lake way.

  9. Ian Levy   January 7, 2017 at 10:33 am

    The Betoota Advocate now rivals the Booligal Bugle and the Wiluna Times in its depth and coverage. Can we get Donald Trump to authorise it’s representatives to attend White House briefings? He’d like a fresh force in journalism to tell it as it is.

  10. Tracy   January 7, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    can someone leave a message for plugger at Dano and shirlenes, and tell them that Im not gonna be there till feb 2, me cruiser shat a gearbox just south of bulloo lake, and then I met a sheila at the pub waiting for dez to drop the new one in. Shes a tough sort but is better than anything else on on offer round here. thanks..


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.