In Victoria's Wimmera region, the township of Horsham's citizens breathed a sigh of relief along with the rest of us regional Victorians not long ago - we were allowed out!
Out of lockdown, able to hug the grandies and go shopping as a couple. Masks were, and are still, mandatory alas.
For the littlies at school term four meant classes, joining in footy and athletic days, and getting back to 'normal'.
These preppies (we should say foundation) students at Holy Trinity Lutheran College in Horsham found good reason to be cheerful, even under all that clobber. They could play games with their mates again.
In Melbourne, after numerous Messenger wails from my sisters, it was clear they hadn't fared too well with the five kilometre iron fencing arrangements for their suburbs, part of the ring of steel around Melbourne (one local politician called it the ring of marshmallow), but the $1600 fine was severe enough for law abiding folk like my relatives to stay put.
They are out as of last weekend, and I have a stream of bookings for my spare room.
The tourism industry in regional Victoria has limped along, like a doona wrapped around an ailing patient, just waiting for the city to reopen. With visitor numbers too sad to count, let alone contemplate the job losses, the end of restrictions has sparked an open-purse spending policy for many local councils, as well as the state government. We all want the tourist dollars back, now!
One Bendigo marketing team has been inspired to create an Elf Academy at the Central Deborah Gold Mine premises, complete with its iconic poppet head, talking trams and tours.
They say that Mr and Mrs Claus have identified Bendigo as the ideal location for their new Elf Academy, where budding Santa's little helpers can learn different crafts, play games and accept challenges to polish up the skills required to be a qualified Elf, and end up with their Certificate IV in Elf Training and be welcomed into Santa's renowned team.
Now that's a new career path, right there.
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 ...
- Sowing the seeds of community renewal in bushfire zones
- Government aged care facilities perform better: royal commission
- Historic investment into public housing welcomed
- Victorian residents could have to wear masks in NSW when border reopens
- Watch the moment 50 sharks gathered near a NSW beach
- 'My future is dark': Zaki was granted refugee status 8 years ago, he fears for his life if it is taken away
- This small town is rallying around its community's heart
- SA virus cluster explodes to 17 cases