Voice of Real Australia: Sleepy little towns are never really that sleepy

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.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Rachael McPhail, Coolamon; Pioneer Brewery owner Peter Gerber, and lawyer Glenn Kolomeitz.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Rachael McPhail, Coolamon; Pioneer Brewery owner Peter Gerber, and lawyer Glenn Kolomeitz.

The thing about sleepy little towns where nothing ever happens is that quite often things are happening - just below the surface.

This week in a quiet NSW South Coast suburb, a trio in their early 20s will be sentenced for their roles in a dark web drug ring. The mastermind, Cody Ward, was just 25 when he was caught in 2019.

He orchestrated the drug ring from his home in Callala Bay where he grew up with his co-accused, sisters Patricia and Shaneese Koullias.

An hour or so north, at Gerroa - best known for its pristine beach and laid-back suburban streets - you'll find Glenn Kolomeitz, a lawyer who represents veterans, often on a pro bono basis.

One of his clients is Braden Chapman, the signals intelligence operator turned whistleblower, who helped bring the alleged atrocities in Afghanistan to light.

There's also positive news just below the surface too - like NSW Riverina resident, Rachael McPhail, who has been on a one-woman mission to see First Nations place names included in postal addresses.

And it's taken off too - with support pouring in on social media.

In NSW's Central Tablelands, about 25-minutes drive from Orange, Pioneer Brewery has taken home a swag of medals from the Independent Beer awards.

Every year since its inception in 2017 the brewery has been recognised at Australian International Beer Awards and the Australian Independent Beer Awards.

You can read all about the brewery here, if you are a Central Western Daily subscriber.

We all know those inner-city types enjoy a good craft beer. But they might not know that "65 per cent of independent breweries are located in regional areas", according to Pioneer Brewery owner Peter Gerber.

You, dear VORA readers, don't need to be reminded that regional news matters.

You know Australia's regional towns punch above their weight on the national stage.

These local stories won't be told without passionate, dedicated journalists, who take the time to uncover what's going on in their sleepy towns - just beneath the surface.

Thank you for supporting regional journalism.

In case you are interested in filtering all the latest down to just one late afternoon read, why not sign up for The Informer newsletter?

More stuff happening around Australia ...