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 digital news editor, Janine Graham.
Peter and Patsy are partners.
In business and life.
They own a pub.
Please remember those few points, they'll come in handy not too far down the track.
Yesterday, on the eve of a potentially meaningful moment in the formative years of many young Australians, a senator received a kind of reverse Dorothy Dixer in parliament. Gasp quietly, fellow Australians.
During Senate question time, Greens leader Richard Di Natale asked the man responsible for the nation's purse strings, Senator Cormann, how things might pan out in the nation's capital. Specifically, would Commonwealth bureaucrats be punished if they attended today's climate strikes?
And wouldn't you know it, Senator Cormann, answered the question. The traditional rules of parliamentary obfuscation seemingly ignored, the good senator answered succinctly. What's with that?
Canberra Times reporter Katie Burgess faithfully recorded the response: "I would encourage all of our outstanding public servants to conduct themselves appropriately consistent with the rules."
Right. Then he elaborated: "Students should go to school ... that is what will prepare them to be the best possible contributors to their communities and our nation into the future."
So, public servants and students had their riding instructions. Time will tell how many took notice of Sen Cormann, who, the internet says, is also known as "The Muscles from Brussels".
Far from the corridors of power in Canberra, Peter and Patsy (introduced earlier) are upping stumps, as John Ellicott explained in The Land.
For the past 10 years they've been publicans of the Silverton Hotel, just outside of Broken Hill, in the far west of NSW.
The town has a population of 600-odd. The pub deals with 120,000 visitors a year, so, without doubt, they've worked immeasurably hard in Tonka-tough conditions.
Now, as one generation across the globe gets set to hit the streets in protest, Peter and Patsy are selling up and hitting the road.
And they're not alone. Grey nomads are actually a thing - the Australian Bureau of Statistics has an appendix to define that very term.
Interestingly, hot, dry places seem to attract the more mature traveller. The Katherine Times says many of them end up in the Northern Territory at some stage.
Just as a gap year has evolved, so, too, has the rise of the grey nomad. Is it another rite of passage in our culture? You've done the hard yards, now you're having a break before the next chapter. Who knows?
But it's almost a ceremonial stepping away, one generation making way for the next.
Wonder if Senator Cormann or anyone in the Canberra bubble notices?
ACM, digital news editor
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