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 160 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.
Sign up today for your Voice of Real Australia newsletter and we'll deliver - direct to your inbox daily - the latest news and views from the parts of the country most other media ignore.
Your exclusive newsletter will bring you the stories that matter beyond the big cities - all curated by our journalists and editors based in every state and territory.
From Port Macquarie to Port Lincoln, from the Blue Mountains to Bunbury, from Wagga Wagga to Warrnambool, the ACM network serves an audience of more than 7million Australians in regional, rural and suburban areas.
Your Voice of Real Australia newsletter will feature news updates and insightful commentary from such trusted mastheads as the Newcastle Herald, The Border Mail, The Courier in Ballarat, The Examiner in Launceston, Queensland Country Life and The Land.
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.
We've pulled together a team of 20 contributors from across the continent who will share with you the stories of real Australians who are the real deal out in the real Australia.
It's time to get real, Australia. And to find your Voice.
Meet the Voice of Real Australia Team:
- Nadine Morton, journalist, Northern Beaches Review, NSW
- Andrew Lotherington - Journalist, Western Advocate
- Betina Hughes, Group Journalist, Maitland Mercury
- Elizabeth Anderson, Journalist, Stock and Land
- Kathy Sharpe - Group Editor, Australian Community Media
- Chris McClennan, Editor, The Katherine Times
- Hayley Warden, Journalist, The Land
- Ben Langford, Journalist, lIlawarra Mercury
- John Hanscombe, Editor, South Coast Register
- Damon Cronshaw, Journalist, The Newcastle Herald
- Rachael Houlihan, Journalist, The Warrnambool Standard
- Melanie Whelan, Journalist, The Ballarat Courier
- Lachlan Bennett, Journalist, The Burnie Advocate
- Chris Knight, Editor, Macleay Argus
- Tracey Fairhurst, Editor, Port News
- Jodie Bruton, Journalist, The Border Mail
- Derek Barry, Editor, North West Star
- Stan Gorton, journalist, The Islander
- Sally Cripps, senior journalist, Queensland Country Life
Sign up now to receive week-day updates for the Voice of Real Australia team.