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Heather Ewart explores Australia for Local Heroes this week on BACK ROADS

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This time on Back Roads, Heather Ewart embarks on a road trip like no other, to catch up with some of our favourite characters.

Heather’s journey takes her from the parched red dirt of the Pilbara town of Roebourne in WA to the rolling green hills of Corryong in Victoria’s High Country.

She rediscovers some locals who dared to dream big from a young age, a farmer who is changing people’s lives on the other side of the world and a legend who, with the support of her community, saved a town. These are stories of passion, persistence, and perseverance.

They are Back Road’s ‘Local Heroes’.

First stop is the Riverina region in New South Wales. It’s here that Heather drops in on a few generations of bush bards – the Vaggs. The red dirt has inspired this family to not only write bush poetry but also raise money for a cause close to home, the Dementia Australia Research Foundation. Jon Vagg and his son Allan call themselves the ‘Back Block Bards’ and have published their very own book of poetry.

Next stop on the road trip is the small town of Thallon, in South West Queensland to catch up with another hero, Leanne Brosnan. She’s a woman on a mission. When the town hit rock bottom after drought and three floods in four years, Leanne made a stand. With the help of some of her friends, she saved the local pub from closure. She also spearheaded a campaign to get artists to paint the local silos, to draw more visitors to town.

Our next local hero, Dione Carter, lives in Nyngan on the edge of the outback, in New South Wales. Twenty-six years ago, she decided to sponsor a child in Uganda. Little did she know that the little boy, called Moses, would end up running a charity in Budaka, Uganda. Dione and her family put Moses through private school and university, and he wanted to use his good fortune to help his own community.

With the support of Nyngan’s locals, the charity built a private school in Uganda, and they are now building another school for children with special needs.

Join Heather on this epic journey around Australia to reconnect with some of the remarkable local heroes who live on the back roads.

Production credits: Executive Producer: Brigid Donovan. Story Producer, Louise Turley.

Back Roads – Episode 7: Local Heroes airs Thursday 18 March at 8.00pm on ABC

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