Bill Marwick OAM

Bill MarwickWilliam (Bill) Harold Marwick OAM was born in York in 1939. Bill has had a profound influence on the Cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup. He and his wife, Bernice, started up the region’s first local newspapers and they have played a major role in keeping the community interested and involved in what was happening in their neighbourhood.

In the mid-1960s, Bill lived in Sorrento where he produced and published a small newsletter called Northern Beaches Community News. Milkmen delivered the paper fortnightly to homes in Sorrento, Marmion, North Beach, Waterman and Trigg. Local community groups submitted notes and copy and business advertising funded the fledgling paper. In 1973, Bill and Bernice moved to Wanneroo and in August 1974 they started Wanneroo’s first newspaper, the Wanneroo Community News, with another couple Dale and Gladys Anderson. It quickly became a forum for local community groups and the Shire of Wanneroo to advise residents and ratepayers of council services and activities.

They closed the paper down in April 1975 when Dale died suddenly from a heart attack. The Marwicks started another paper soon after when they realised how many people and businesses had come to rely on it. They called it the Wanneroo Districts Times and it was soon referred to affectionately by locals as the Wanneroo Times. Bill wrote the stories and Bernice typeset them and their whole operation was run from the family home – using the carport as a darkroom for producing photographs. The circulation kept growing with most homes in the Wanneroo local government area receiving copies – including the now City of Joondalup.

By the time the Marwicks sold their Community Newspapers in 1984, circulation was more than 130,000.

Bill became a Wanneroo Councillor from 1988 -1994, which included a term as Mayor. He was on many committees and groups during that time including the Wanneroo Lions Club, Warwick Scout Group, Wanneroo Chamber of Commerce and the Wanneroo Rotary Club. He founded the Wanneroo and Districts Historical Society in 1989 and was President for 16 years. In 1991, he was appointed to the Joondalup Development Taskforce as a Council delegate and helped shape the direction of the Joondalup City Centre. His greatest passion has been researching and writing about Wanneroo and Joondalup’s unique history. He has written books including Stories of Old Wanneroo and The Times of Wanneroo.

In 2004, Bill was named an Exemplary Citizen by Lions Clubs International for community service and that same year was made a Freeman of the City of Wanneroo for community involvement and recording the region’s long history. Becoming an inaugural Freeman of the City of Joondalup is a distinction Bill deserves for his long and dedicated service to the local community.