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Ohhhh, was it a long week for you? Or is there just not enough time in the day? Either way it's been a testing one for the vast majority of Australians - one way or another. But alas, everything is not always black or white. There's invariably another perspective or a back-story that isn't always immediately obvious. Check out six super articles this week from across the ACM network that might just be about more than meets the eye.
ILLAWARRA MERCURY: Victims and abusers forced to share a waiting room at Wollongong family court
Vulnerable children and domestic violence victims are being forced to wait in the same room as their perpetrators at Wollongong's overburdened federal circuit court. And it all comes down to a broken system.
A system so under-resourced that an ever-growing case load and lack of space is now putting children at risk. As the year wraps up there are 620 active cases in Wollongong - not including run-of-the-mill divorces - meaning hundreds of families' lives remain in limbo. Kate McIlwain delved deeper. READ ON
QUEENSLAND COUNTRY LIFE: Ever seen 'a farmhouse on steroids'?
Ten years ago when John and Janice Teunis pictured their retirement they saw themselves living in a cottage in a small country town, working part time to keep the boredom at bay.
In reality, they find themselves in a seven-bedroom, heritage-listed homestead that boasts 14-foot ceilings, three living spaces, and 10-foot verandahs that wrap around three sides on both levels. How did they get there? They told reporter Hayley Kennedy. READ ON
BALLARAT COURIER: Behind-the-scenes at an Incident Control Centre on a high fire danger day
You've heard about them but who's ever spent time in an "incident control centre". As danger loomed large across all parts of Australia last week, reporter Hayley Elg ventured to the the Incident Control Centre, located in a quiet street in Sebastopol". READ ON
THE EXAMINER: 'I stuck up to them': 77yo Keith Hefford on fighting home invaders and more
In March, Keith Hefford was attacked, in his home,by three masked women armed with a baseball bat and hammer. Since the violent attack he deals with fatigue, headaches, eye sight issues and stomach pain on a daily basis. He didn't just roll over: "I thought that if they could get away with bashing and robbing me, they'll be back again having a go at other pensioners. I stuck up to them." READ ON
NEWCASTLE HERALD: The seismic shock that shook Newcastle to its core
We're living now with bushfire after bushfire, but the closing months of 1989 also had more than their share of disaster. The Newcastle earthquake of Thursday, December 28, 1989, cost 12 people their lives on the day, and a hospital patient's death the next day was later acknowledged as quake-related. Reporter Ian Kirkwood winds back the clock on that fateful day. READ ON
ILLAWARRA MERCURY: Meet the man behind Australia's newest UFC champion
Joe Lopez was back sweeping the gym floor less than 48 hours after watching his fighter claim the UFC Featherweight title in Las Vegas in front of thousands of fans. Alexander Volkanovski was on hand with the dustpan.
"That's how we do things," the much-loved martial arts trainer told the Mercury. "Alex is a world champion but it doesn't mean he doesn't have to sweep the floor in the morning." So what power does Joe Lopez wield? Cydonee Mardon has the answers. READ ON
Enjoy your Sunday.