Upon returning home to Melbourne recently, I was asked by nearly every person I saw, “What’s Yass like?”

It’s a complex enough question to answer briefly for any part of the world, with the complexity heightened by the fact that Yass is a complex town.

I always began by explaining that the locals are lovely, and everyone smiles and greets you as you walk past them in the street.

This may sound quite irrelevant to some of you, but as a lifelong Melbournian, it’s something I’ve never experienced before and, in my view, what makes Yass a special place to be.

I often see posts and comments in community notice boards describing the town’s main strip as an “eyesore”. While there are certainly elements of the town that could do with some rejuvenation, it’s a statement I would strongly argue against.

Ultimately, I believe as locals of any part of the world, we can become overly fixated on what needs to be fixed or what we would like changed about our town and lose sight of the things that make it great.

You have a truly beautiful town with some incredible people, and I’m looking forward to what my time in Yass may hold.

Max O’Driscoll