Voice of Real Australia: How is COVID-19 helping to shape the future of regional Australia

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.

Heard the story about the young Aussies moving to western NSW for the incredible career opportunities? No? Well how about families heading to the Southern Highlands for the healthcare choices? No? Oh, ok, you've got to have heard about the extended family that headed to the Byron hinterland for the schools?

No, didn't think so. But they're all true and there are thousands of stories like them across Australia.

Today, Australian Community Media is launching a new series, Race to the Regions, taking an in-depth look at the impact of COVID-19 across regional Australia.

I've had the good fortune to be able to speak to numerous Australians who have chosen to make their home outside Sydney and Melbourne, some motivated by the new opportunity to work from home and others who've never considered or wanted anything else.

Over the coming weeks we'll introduce you to a family who made a collective decision to decamp up the coast where housing affordability is less of an issue, allowing multiple generations to remain in close proximity to each other. Then there's the young professionals discovering the incredible career opportunities on offer.

As we delve into the reasons people chose the to decamp in the middle of a pandemic, our journalists will also explore some of the bigger issues raised by the rapid changes and some of the surprising benefits.

Could the influx of new residents and the short term issues around housing result in improved services and a bridging of the city/regional divide?

Wherever you may be in Australia, we hope you will join the conversation as we explore the good, the bad and the unexpected in #RacetotheRegions


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