REAL AUSTRALIA

Humans winning at humanity

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by digital news editor Janine Graham.

JUST TWO MATES: When good - and even political bipartisanship - can come from bad.

JUST TWO MATES: When good - and even political bipartisanship - can come from bad.

Greetings from real Australia,

After farewelling Bob Hawke with the metaphorical yard of ale and doing their level best to dip a bipartisan toe into a sea of civility, we've enjoyed a relatively pollie-free zone this week.

Well, bad luck to those states that endured budgets, but from a federal perspective, we've been relatively blessed.

Inspiration has come from real Australians - as it does every week but it simply gets swamped. Swamped by "unreal Australia" - which just might be a combination of Canberra bubbles, a whole lot of hot air and large dollops of convected rage.

Yet it's not all symphonic covers of Men At Work's Down Under, which, let's be honest, William Barton afforded a magical dimension thanks to his unmatched didgeridoo skills at Hawke's Opera House memorial service.

Sometimes the inspiration is borne from just appallingly tragic scenarios. Take Bob Carey-Grieve for starters.

Bob was 42 when it all went pear-shaped for him, Ballarat Courier reporter Melanie Whelan explained.

As if a stroke wasn't enough, medicos went on a veritable treasure hunt and found a hole in his heart AND a cancerous tumour in his bowel. Bob took it in his stride - literally. His running stride.

And now he's training for his first half-marathon.

There's more to Bob's story but his holistic approach to health - which includes feeding his brain - made his story a perfect fit for Men's Health Week.

Then there was Greg Dodd. He didn't much like school so left when was 14, he told the Great Lakes Advocate. The catch was it meant that for all but the last four years of his life, Greg was illiterate.

But now, after a TAFE course, Greg has published a small book to help other TAFE students and reads to his grandkids.

And what about the kids at Somerton Public School? They donated a stack of household staples to a NSW country town after its sole supermarket burnt down.

Now imagine having complete strangers searching for your missing doggo for three nights and four days? Mark and Karen Ellis were so grateful to be reunited with Snag the redoubtable dachshund they did the only thing possible - fired up the barbie for a community sausage sizzle to say thanks.

Ballarat's much-loved Soup Bus Kitchen was unexpectedly left without a home base in the city's centre. Enter plumbing and industrial works company JB Camerons - problem solved!

Even with their negative origins, all of that goodness was reported across the ACM network in a matter of days. How good's that, quiet Australians?

Janine Graham, Digital news editor, Australian Community Media

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