Farewell for now, but first a question…

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I have learned a lot already. I didn’t know that people living in regional Victoria were so furious about the state of the roads! Less surprising is that many people in Melbourne and in regional Victoria are worried about housing and the cost of living more generally. And they care a lot about the shortage of health workers and the integrity of our political system.

We also asked Age readers to send in what they wanted politicians to talk about, and we received more than 5000 responses. Our pollster, the Resolve Political Monitor, asked the question in an opinion poll of voters. We hosted eight lunches with people with expertise and with lived experience in areas such as health, the economy, business, education, the environment, transport, infrastructure and social justice and inequality. We thank those who attended for their honesty and insights.

We are pulling all that together to come up with a list of the big priorities for many Victorians. Next month, we will publish Victoria’s Agenda, and it will serve as the guiding light for our election coverage.

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I have been trying to get this organised before I go on leave today, my last as editor until the new year. Some of you may have read that early this year, my husband David was diagnosed with a form of Motor Neurone Disease, or ALS. Those of you who have had experience with this disease will know how heart-breaking it is, and our family has been through all the emotions of denial, anger, grief and a form of acceptance.

My intention is to return to The Age, but right now, I want and need to be with David and our family. I have received many emails from readers, and I appreciate every one. I have been touched by the kindness of friends, colleagues and strangers.

Michael Bachelard will be acting editor in my absence and taking over this newsletter for a bit. The Age cannot be in better hands. Michael is an outstanding journalist and editor who is committed to The Age’s purpose and values.

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Until next time.

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