What a year.
Just when we thought nothing could outdo the craziness and absurdity of 2016, which gave us both President Trump and Brexit, along came 2017.
We feel 2018 may have outdone both combined, certainly at a national and international level.
It was a year of trade wars, real wars, broken promises, torn up treaties, dumped leaders, sordid affairs and more weather-related disasters than we have time to list.
It was a year of turmoil.
Thankfully, we live in Shepparton.
As our northern neighbours gasped for rain, we sent them hay.
As our federal parliament hamstrung itself time and again, we looked on with bemusement.
As the Victorian wing of the Coalition campaigned itself into near oblivion, we returned our independent voice to Spring Street.
While China and the US threw tariffs at each other, we enjoyed watching our own exports become more competitive.
While house prices slumped in Melbourne and Sydney, ours maintained their slow, steady growth.
Our farms continued to be some of the most productive in the country. Our industry grew. Our hospital got bigger. Our schools turned out another generation to be proud of.
Against the backdrop of a world gone slightly mad, we were a relative eye of calm.
However you are enjoying or relaxing tonight, we invite you to reflect on how fortunate we all are to live here.
Individually, we can and do suffer trials and tribulations, but collectively we are a community to be proud of.
From all the staff at The News, may you have a happy, successful and rewarding new year.