You wouldn't know it from the metropolitan news you see in your social feed most days or on your TV most nights but 36 per cent of Australians live outside the capital cities.
That's 8.8 million Aussies keeping it real out here in the real Australia.
We're talking about those spectacular and spacious bits of this wide brown land that are, proudly and blissfully, not Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane.
And they are by far and away the best bits of Oz, of course - the dinky-di country towns and the idyllic coastal hamlets, the farming, mining and industrial centres that feed, power and build the nation and the large regional cities that more and more of us are calling home.
Beautiful places like northern Tasmania, where they do a roaring trade in exporting Tassie devils to New Zealand.
Wild places like Esperance in Western Australia, where, oddly, the kangaroos have developed a taste for salmon
Hidden places like Bordertown, in South Australia, where former prime minister Bob Hawke was born and where the motorbike that famously shaped his destiny is on display.
Happening places, like Bendigo, where the prestigious Bendigo Art Gallery has a new director with an exciting vision.
Welcome to the real Australia, where the local news websites and newspapers of Australian Community Media (ACM) have for decades been the glue that brings their communities - the large and the small - together.
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And they're asking the questions that matter in places like Mount Isa in central Queensland, where North West Star editor Derek Barry isn't one to shy away from a spirited debate with everybody's favourite cut-snake-cranky federal independent MP, the wildcat-in-the-hat himself, Bob Katter.
With a network of national news coverage powered by 14 daily newspapers, more than 140 non-daily regional and community titles, plus 10 specialist agricultural mastheads like South Australia's Stock Journal and Western Australia's Farm Weekly, we're committed to bringing you the latest journalism from our local reporters and the fearless comment and analysis of our opinion columnists.
It's time to get real, Australia. And to find your Voice.
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