Voice of Real Australia: The beginning is always today

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by ACM executive editor James Joyce.

INDEPENDENT'S DAY: Helen Haines at Parliament House in Canberra as new MPs were shown the ropes.

INDEPENDENT'S DAY: Helen Haines at Parliament House in Canberra as new MPs were shown the ropes.

Greetings from Your Nation's Capital,

Tom Gleeson is now a Gold Logie winner, former Defence Force chief David Hurley is Australia's new Governor-General and the 46th Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia sits for the first time tomorrow.

And so, the adventures begin...

"Turns out I am just really good at manipulating the media to get people to do things for me," deadpan funnyman Gleeson gloated after his unlikely Logie win, referring to his cheeky attack ads against fellow nominees like Waleed Aly and Sam Mac.

"I'm like ScoMo on election night - this is a victory for the quiet Australians."

As the 46th parliament prepares to be sworn in on Tuesday, with Malcolm Roberts and Jacquie Lambie back in the Senate and 26 newbies like Indi's independent Helen Haines being shown where the toilets are at Parliament House, journalist Jamieson Murphy of Tamworth's Northern Daily Leader has caught up with John 'Wacka' Williams to reflect on the end of his 11 years as a Nationals senator.

Wacka, whose outspoken advocacy within the Coalition led to the banking royal commission, is looking forward to a quieter life after politics.

"These days, politics is full of people who have never had a real job," Barnaby Joyce says of his fellow New England Nat.

"He's been a farmer, he's been a small business owner, he's been under the financial pump with the bank. The broad brush of Wacka was always that he had empathy, because he has lived through experiences that the majority of Australians have actually experienced."

Here's hoping Dr Haines and the rest of the class of 2019 strive like Wacka to keep it real on the Hill.

BANK ON IT: John 'Wacka' Williams is heading back to the farm after 11 years as a Nationals senator.

BANK ON IT: John 'Wacka' Williams is heading back to the farm after 11 years as a Nationals senator.

Canberra Times journalists Chris Dutton and Steve Evans were certainly keeping it real when they debated their differing views on the Israel Folau affair.

For his part, Mudgee Guardian editor Ben Palmer reckons Ash Barty proves you can be successful and not be a jerk.

On the subject of Barty, opinion columnist and noted tennis tragic Ian Warden is swooning for our newest sporting champ.

"The nation is sighing with relief to have a jolly nice, wholesome tennis hero to admire after all the angst given us by the capricious Nick Kyrgios and the tragi-comic Bernard Tomic,' Ian has gushed with blush-making ardour.

"Are we crazy for Ash because we think she somehow embodies and projects, on the world stage, our national essence?"

If you are new to the Voice of Real Australia, welcome to your daily selection of news and views from Australian Community Media's national network of 160 trusted news brands.

Today marks a new beginning for us. In accordance with Australian Stock Exchange rules, Nine has announced that the sale of Australian Community Media - what we prefer to think of as all the best bits of the former Fairfax Media group - is complete and we are now, as of July 1, owned by interests associated with Antony Catalano and Alex Waislitz.

"The stage is now set for a bright and independent future and we will be working closely with our new owners to build on the enormous strengths we have as a business," ACM boss Allen Williams told staff.

"While our ownership has changed, our values as a business will remain the same. We will be open to new opportunities but mindful of the responsibility we have to readers and advertisers in every state and territory. We will be innovative and we will be nimble. But we will never forget that the strength of our business is in the deep ties we have to our communities."

Whether you are reading this at one of ACM's news sites or in our daily newsletter, thanks for your support.

See below for more updates from our journalists around the country.

James Joyce

Executive editor, Australian Community Media

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