By Sarah Jasem
I sat with a room full of strangers, listening to the formal and consoling hum of the news in the background of a surgery waiting room in rural Australia. Small talk radiated like warmth throughout the room due to the close-knit nature of people in small rural towns. Many of them had lived in the same town throughout their lives; a travel time of two hours to get necessities meant they never had a need to leave. I felt little alienation because we were all listening to a popular news channel in Australia, so the fact that I was merely a visitor and not part of the community did not affect me. When the news is on, there is an assumption that we all feel quietly sympathetic, outraged, confused and worried by the same things uniting us in the quiet knowledge that we are all members of the same public body.