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Alys Marshall

Burren Junction in north west NSW, with its population of 276, has long been famous for its Bore Bath but now the bath has some real competition from fourth-year Bachelor of Journalism and Arts student Alys Marshall. Alys has been named the recipient of the 2021 JB Fairfax Award for Rural Journalism and will travel to Sydney and Brisbane to take up internships in print and radio journalism, including a 12-day stint in the Media Centre at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

"I have always held a passion for telling the stories of rural and regional Australia but, after watching country newspapers both in my local area and across Australia close in the wake of COVID-19, the importance of telling these stories has never felt more important," says Alys

"This award, for me, will make a huge difference not just financially, but also as a reassurance that the rural stories I aspire to tell are still just as necessary and appreciated as ever".

A particular interest in the stories of women on the land and the strength and resilience they show, particularly as farms battle horrendous weather conditions and families are separated by the struggles of seeking education and employment, has Alys hoping to write for publications seeking real stories not just news. Alys believes all Australians should read about life on the land and hopefully gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for rural living.