“I don’t watch the news, because it’s too depressing.” Sound familiar?
Yes, 2016 was a pretty bad year all around, but you might just need a dose of good news in time for the festive season.
So here’s our pick of the year’s most heartening stories — get ready to feel warm and fuzzy.
Baby koala Louise rescued after wild storms.
Louise the infant koala — a squeaking, wet, grey bundle of fur found on the ground after the east coast storms — became a symbol of hope after wild weather hit Australia’s east coast in June.
The storm cell brought tragedy and tears to many who lost loved ones, livelihoods, and homes, but when the iconic little Australia was rescued — and named after rescuer Louise Haynes — her fate was soon being followed by thousands of fans on social media.
Making music for those who can’t hear.
Amber Galloway Gallego is not your everyday American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter — she specialises in the interpretation of music, in real time and in front of thousands of people.
Ms Galloway Gallego has performed at more than 400 concerts, interpreting a stunning array of artists over the years including Kendrick Lamar, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and The Black Keys.
Love story captures hearts around globe.
Taylor Anderton and Michael Cox, who were both born with Down syndrome, have known each other for six years and been a serious couple since last year.
When Michael partnered Taylor at the 16th Gold Coast Debutante Ball for Disability, they had already decided they would spend the rest of their lives together — and our video of their love story has had more than 13 million views on social media.
Indigenous medical grad to head home.
Vinka Barunga was one of six Aboriginal medical students to graduate from the University of Western Australia this year — and now she hopes to return to her home in a remote part of the state to become the town’s first Indigenous doctor.
“I hope that one day it gets to a point where it’s not a significant thing that an Aboriginal person is studying medicine,” said Ms Barunga, who grew up on the outskirts of the Kimberley town of Derby.