REAL AUSTRALIA

Six of the best: From robot dairy farms to Mother Nature exploding on your doorstep

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The dichotomy of the 21st century laid bare. Photo: Shutterstock

The dichotomy of the 21st century laid bare. Photo: Shutterstock

Hopefully you might get some quiet time on Sunday to enjoy some handpicked content from across the ACM network. How much do you really know about Jacqui Lambie? And what about robot dairy farms - did you even know they exist? And while you're here, imagine a raging bushfire bearing down on your rainforest-enveloped property. Do you stay and fight? Rosie Yates did and documented it.

Former presidential adviser and advocate for philanthropy Karl Zinsmeister.

Former presidential adviser and advocate for philanthropy Karl Zinsmeister.

THE CANBERRA TIMES: Are Australians less generous than Americans?

An ideological whirlwind is about to blow through Canberra. An American evangelist for philanthropy is to address a meeting in Parliament House. He is enthusiastic. His message is that Australians should dig deeper into their own pockets to give to good causes. He should know, he's a former adviser to US President George W. Bush, right? READ ON

Tasmanian independent senator Jacqui Lambie has become one of the most powerful people in Canberra since making her return to the Federal Parliament.

Tasmanian independent senator Jacqui Lambie has become one of the most powerful people in Canberra since making her return to the Federal Parliament.

THE EXAMINER: Jacqui Lambie's renaissance: from struggle to strength

Down and out in the frigid Tasmanian winter last year, Jacqui Lambie turned on the TV to be greeted by a broadcast of Question Time in the Federal Parliament. It was the last thing she wanted to see.

"There's nothing worse than when you're sitting in the middle of winter ... and you're feeling depressed, and you're watching Question Time, and you actually realise just how low the standard actually is that's going on up here in Parliament House." READ ON

The Motherland: Two photos, three days apart. Photo: Rosie Yates

The Motherland: Two photos, three days apart. Photo: Rosie Yates

BELLINGEN COURIER-SUN: 'Face to face with the beast from my front deck'

Rosie Yates has livied beside the World Heritage forests of Mt Hyland Nature Reserve for almost three decades. Her 400-hectare retreat Motherland, 43km north west of Dorrigo, is nestled among six types of rainforest and eight open forest communities and is well-known among biologists and ecologists for its magnificent biodiversity.

But a week ago, a fire that began in nearby Guy Fawkes River National Park doubled in size overnight. Rosie, her friends and family stayed to fight. This is her experience, in her own words. READ ON

 The cattle are kept warm and sheltered in the massive barn.

The cattle are kept warm and sheltered in the massive barn.

BALLARAT COURIER: How do you make a robot dairy farm self-sufficient?

People often talk about using every part of the animal - there's a farm just outside Ballarat that's taking this to new levels.

Using a combination of state-of-the-art technologies, the Trigg dairy farm in Bungaree could soon be almost fully self-sustainable, using manure to generate electricity. The dairy already uses a robotic system to automatically milk 350 cows - each has a microchip implanted, and when a cow feels it's ready to be milked, it approaches a crush which scans the chip. READ ON

NORTHERN DAILY LEADER: Beating rural decline. These three towns think they've cracked the code

How do you stop rural population decline? It's the $64,000 question that a couple of the larger regional hubs in NSW have managed to crack - but, for the majority of rural NSW towns, the answer still eludes them. But the leaders of a handful of New England communities are optimistic they're about to buck the trend. READ ON

The band playing on the Newcastle pub circuit.

The band playing on the Newcastle pub circuit.

NEWCASTLE HERALD: They were playing to farewell the iconic Star Hotel in 1979, then all hell broke loose

The four middle-aged men are facing each other in a rough circle in the recording studio, each wearing a big grin and the broad experience of an adventurous musical life, as they rehearse their songs. They are collectively known as Heroes.

"You know how the ending goes?" lead vocalist and guitarist Pete de Jong asks his bandmates, as they prepare to play through Tomahawk Kid. What doesn't need checking with this high-tensile guitar rock band is when the legend surrounding Heroes began.

September 19, 1979. The night of the Star Hotel riot. READ ON

Enjoy Sunday.

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