Un­til next time, it’s good­bye from me

The Western Star - - NEWS OPINION - Joshua Macree joshua.macree@west­ern­starnews.com

WHAT a year it has been.

It goes with­out say­ing that mov­ing from Syd­ney to work in a small coun­try town I had never even heard of was a mas­sive risk.

I can gladly re­port that I had noth­ing to worry about.

It didn’t take me long to find my­self a com­mu­nity I can truly call my sec­ond home and who wel­comed me with open arms, of­fer­ing a level of hos­pi­tal­ity that can’t be found in a big city.

From cov­er­ing the hard-hit­ting is­sues such as veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment laws to more re­laxed week­end charity balls, my ex­pe­ri­ence in Roma has been noth­ing short of an eye-opener and I’ve en­joyed ev­ery minute of it.

I thank you, the lo­cals of the Mara­noa, for in­tro­duc­ing me to one of the most fas­ci­nat­ing re­gions in the coun­try and shar­ing your sto­ries with me.

There’s of­ten a lot of dis­con­nect be­tween re­gional com­mu­ni­ties and those in the cities but I’ve learned that we are more sim­i­lar than we can ever imag­ine.

In say­ing that, it’s been an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to dis­cover the is­sues that re­ally mat­ter to peo­ple in the coun­try.

I can’t wait to one day re­turn to the re­gion and see how much it has trans­formed since my time here. The Mara­noa has a lot to look for­ward to, with the de­vel­op­ment of a new hos­pi­tal, ex­ten­sive up­grades to the Roma Sa­le­yards and new roads all in the pipe­line.

I won’t say good­bye, be­cause I know I’ll be back.

So un­til next time, the Mara­noa, I bid you farewell.

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