Robert "Kel" Kelly started his career as a mailman as a 16-year-old riding a pushbike around the streets of Hackett. An incredible 35 years later, he's still a postie, still in Hackett, but these days riding a motorbike but still enjoying the special connection he has with his community.
"I love coming to work each day," he said.
"To me, it's a great honour to get to 25 years. To me, that's fantastic. Anything after that is gold. When I tell people I've been a postie for 35 years they usually go, 'Kel, are you serious?'."
The 52-year-old from Palmerston estimates he's delivered millions of items. Done distances that could have had him circle the world a few times. Seen the sending of Christmas cards drop off a cliff. And the delivering of packages containing online shopping items go gangbusters.
He's had barking dogs. People answer the door "in their undies". Had appreciative customers leave a bottle of wine on the mailbox at Christmas for him. And, yes, been swooped by a magpie or two. But he's never deterred.
"You just put up with the magpies and they can hit the helmet as much as they like," he said. (Although, Australia Post can apply for rangers to remove a particularly aggressive magpie.)
Mr Kelly was 16 when he started delivering the mail by pushbike in mid-1984. He spent a decade the pushbike, averaging about 13km a day.
He switched to the bike in 1994 and his beat became Belconnen. Two years ago, he was back at Hackett, still starting his shift at 5.30 in the morning.
The autonomy of the job is a big part of the appeal. Once he's suited up and has his letters and parcels from the mail centre at Mitchell, he's on the road and his own manager for the rest of the day.
And Mr Kelly prides himself on never being injured on the job, despite numerous near-misses, including from cars reversing out of driveways without proper care. He sees it as his job to always be on alert, always anticipating what might happen next, to avoid any collisions, especially with pedestrians. He advises new drivers to never rush, particularly in the rain.
"It's a pretty dangerous job," Mr Kelly said. "You've got to keep one step ahead of anything that might happen. If you don't do that, things go pear-shaped."
And he will always make time for a child with stars in their eyes when they see the postman coming.
"I remember when I was a kid, I'd love it when the postie would stop and shake my hand. So, I do that as well," he said.
"If I see a kid waiting even 100 metres away, I'll make sure to say hello because it makes their day and it makes my day."
The dad-of-one has no intention of putting an end to delivering the mail any time soon.
"I could retire in eight years or I could go on longer if I wanted to," he said.
Australia Post territory manager Justin Kerslake said it wasn't unusual for posties to have a long career, as they so enjoyed the job and conditions, but Mr Kelly was among the longest-serving.
"Robert is good at his job. He gets it done with little, if any, complaint. He's just an all-round good postie and we wish we had more of him," Mr Kerslake said. "He has a very positive mindset."