When Andy Fithall began his new job he hit the ground running.
Just three weeks later the world was a very different place.
The Kingsville father was brimming with enthusiasm when he took on the new sales and membership management role, but the rapid shutdown of much of the Australian economy resulted in him joining hundreds of thousands of fellow Australians suddenly losing their job.
“It’s amazing just how quickly it went from prosperity and good times to full lockdown of the state,” he said.
Rather than let the situation drag him down, he has set out to deliver a ray of sunshine into the homes of others.
Mr Fithall and his family are delivering a nightly news segment via social media to highlight the positive local stories emerging from the unprecedented situation.
Streamed via Facebook, “In Other Good News” has quickly built a loyal following.
“The idea came to me last weekend when I noticed that I was starting to feel a bit down and anxious about the whole coronavirus situation,” Mr Fithall said.
“Like many others in the community I was made redundant and the gravity of the whole situation became clear to me – it was happening not just to me but to the whole community.”
Mr Fithall drafted in his young sons and set to work on the production, which now takes up much of their day.
He has taken on the role of news reporter, with his son Reuben, 8, the co-anchor.
Sonny, 6, is the producer.
“I’m trying to do something that helps people’s spirits, just to bring a bit of joy to the community,” Mr Fithall said.
“I just realised if I was feeling this way so many other local people would be too. I made a decision to stay on my feet and keep my momentum and make something that would bring a bit of happiness to the community.”
Mr Fithall said the response has been extremely positive and made the effort entirely worthwhile.
“Some people have said they have really needed it, so it has been really positive,” he said.
“When my children saw the first comments coming back from the first broadcast they were amazed.
“I think humans are brilliant at dealing with crisis, but one of the ways we normally deal with crisis is to get together and that’s exactly what we can’t do at the moment.”
“In Other Good News” is streaming nightly via Facebook groups including the Kingsville Good Karma Network and Inner West Buy Swap Sell and Mr Fithall’s own page.
He welcomes all good news contributions from the inner-west via direct message to facebook.com/andy.fithall