REAL AUSTRALIA

Six of the best: When finding the strength to go on is all you can do

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Standing tall when the odds are so terribly stacked against you is second nature to some. Photo: Shutterstock

Standing tall when the odds are so terribly stacked against you is second nature to some. Photo: Shutterstock

We publish their stories every day of every week: people who go above and beyond. They bounce back from seemingly overwhelming odds; they persist because they must; and their glasses, despite every indication to the contrary, are always half-full. They live amongst us and we'd like you to celebrate just six of these remarkable stories today.

Roy Annesley: Before and after the bushfire that so very nearly cost him his life.

Roy Annesley: Before and after the bushfire that so very nearly cost him his life.

NAMBUCCA GUARDIAN: 'I look like Freddy Krueger, but I'm pretty lucky to be alive'

November 8 started off like any other day; there were fires looming in the distance, but then they'd been there for weeks. Every person in the Nambucca Valley who came face-to-face with that dreadful firestorm say the same thing: "There was no warning, and no way anyone could have prepared for what happened".

Roy Annesley knew the fire was getting closer so he decided to head to a mate's place to see what his plans were. He took off in a pair of shorts, a shirt and thongs. What happened next is the stuff of nightmares. READ ON

Kyle Lochhead: In his natural environment. Photo: Sylvia Liber

Kyle Lochhead: In his natural environment. Photo: Sylvia Liber

ILLAWARRA MERCURY: When you make surfing an (almost) sustainable lifestyle in Europe

"It's more of a way of life than a sport," Kyle Lochhead tells reporter Ben Langford.

"There's two sides to everything. A lot of guys are chasing their dream of competitive surfing - there's even the Olympics coming up - but for me traditional surfing is just a lifestyle, being part of beach culture, being town there, being in a little bit of a tribe, enjoying the ocean." READ ON

Milton Rural Fire Brigade volunteer Stacey Wilson with Sitthixay Ditthavong's amazing image from the fireground on December 5.

Milton Rural Fire Brigade volunteer Stacey Wilson with Sitthixay Ditthavong's amazing image from the fireground on December 5.

CANBERRA TIMES: 'When you're out there, there's no time for fear'

Stacey Wilson can't remember what was running through her head when Canberra Times photographer Sitthixay Ditthavong captured her with a hose slung over her shoulder, ready for a fight.

Whatever was in her mind in that moment, it wasn't fear. Hours of training every weekend ground that reaction out of her long ago. "When you're out there, there's no time for fear," Ms Wilson said. "You just know what you've got to do and you do it." Reporter Katie Burgess spoke to Stacey - and it was an intriguing chat. READ ON

NEWCASTLE HERALD: 'Words cannot describe our pain'

Two weeks ago, Dr Matt Dun urged people to keep advocating for kids like "Jojo", who had been dealt the "crappiest of hands". Jojo was Josephine, his little girl.

Yesterday Dr Dun, a University of Newcastle and HMRI cancer researcher shared the saddest of news. READ ON

Albie the dog with his humans Carly Edmunds and Sam Henley. Photo: Scott Gelston

Albie the dog with his humans Carly Edmunds and Sam Henley. Photo: Scott Gelston

LAUNCESTON EXAMINER: Albie the wheelchair dog teaching children about resilience

Albie is a dog with a difference. The two-and-a-half-year old purebred labrador not only gets around in a cool set of blue wheels, he also helps his human owner. She is a psychologist and Albie works as a therapy dog. READ ON

Josh Talbot: Doing his thing in the sheds.

Josh Talbot: Doing his thing in the sheds.

THE ISLANDER: One-armed shearer Josh Talbot impresses everyone

When Josh Talbot lost his arm in a car accident as a teenager, not long after he received his P-plates, he'd been shearing for three years. Two weeks after getting home from hospital after the life-changing crash, he picked up the shears again. And he's been inspiring people ever since. READ ON

Enjoy your Sunday.

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