If feels like only yesterday I was writing my welcome column for a regional paper in a town I had visited only a handful of times. I can almost guarantee you are reading this on the table of a quiet cafe along Uduc Road and as you sip your coffee or stir your tea I would like to say goodbye and thank you, to a town that has been kind enough to share its stories with me. From trying to get my head around the bureaucratic rabbit hole that is local government, to watching a police officer play schoolyard games with smiling kids, I have tried, with each edition, to paint a picture of this often overlooked part of the South West. As I start the Bunbury round with addled ambition, I begin to appreciate how fun my time at the Harvey-Waroona Reporter was. Forty to 50-minute drives along Forrest Highway become as normal as talking about bees for more than an hour. Walking vivaciously next to a tractor as it rolls its way on to Binningup beach and prying open the dusty pages of old books found lost at the Waroona dump, become as frequent as hoovering down a Harper Street continental roll before a 4pm council meeting. The idea that regional journalism could ever go extinct is not something that crossed my mind while working at the Reporter, every person has a story to tell and every story is begging to be read, “the Harvey patch” is a perfect example. A small story on a local artist can lead to the recount of a political coup, an hour long conversation about menopause can help vocalise a deep message of empowerment and celebrating the centenary of a library can turn into a weekend of history lessons. There is no doubt in my mind I will wander along Uduc again — mostly for a continental roll — but for now I will hold tight to my first memories as a journalist in a town full of stories.