Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from ACM, 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 ACM digital news editor Janine Graham.
Imagine a pop culture convention that attracts hundreds. It's called PopCon and it involves all things geek - from live action role players to home-made board games. It's one of few regional conventions and is run out of Ballarat.
In the Hunter region of NSW, live music thrives. Among the many gigs and festivals etched into the annual calendar is Dashville Skyline. It's a "cosmic country weekender" of Americana music.
"This festival is part of the economy and it supports a lot of musicians and providers like sound guys right down to the pump truck guy," Dashville organiser Matt Johnston told the Newcastle Herald back in October.
Down the highway, Wollongong celebrates a homegrown music festival of its own - Yours and Owls. Amy Shark, Golden Features, Courtney Barnett and Hot Dub Time Machine headlined last time around - in front of the odd-20,000 people.
In Launceston, Tasmania, like virtually every regional centre in the country, they get into fundraising runs for charity. Take the Clifford Craig Foundation's annual Run and Walk for Your Heart event.
Hundreds of people charge (or opt for a more sedate pace) around in the name of promoting health awareness. Of course, some do it faster than others but that's hardly the point.
"What we say to people here is 'come along and set the example for other people in the community', and that's what it's all about," the foundation's chief executive Peter Milne explained.
Thing is ... all these events were held almost six months ago to the day - on the weekend of October 5 and 6, 2019. A lot has happened in six months. A lot.
The sliver of good news in all of this - at this very weird time - is that the Peter Milnes and Matt Johnstons of regional Australia exist. People of their ilk live in your community, too.
No doubt they're already making plans for what next and how best to hit the go button when we emerge from this latest crisis. Because that's what we do.
Let's regroup in six months - see where we're at then, eh?
Digital news editor, ACM
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