A FAMILIAR face to the people of Griffith, MIA born-and-bred Anthony Stipo has become an invaluable member of the local community through his charming demeanour and approachable nature.
The ex-Area News photographer boasts an incredible eye for detail and an abundance of creativity, citing that Griffith has given him opportunities he couldn't dream of elsewhere.
"Overall Griffith is fantastic, it's given me so many opportunities that I don't think I would have been able to get anywhere else," Mr Stipo said.
"The people I met through The Area News were incredible. I've met everyone from Prime Ministers to street sweepers, surgeons to drug addicts.
"I really can't complain, I've made some great friends and had some incredible experiences."
Mr Stipo worked at The Area News for 15 years, saying that his greatest, most bittersweet memories were the Mass Water Rally and Yenda floods.
"Walking through the streets of Yenda waist-high in water and seeing their homes damaged was heartbreaking," he said.
"They were probably the hardest times for me, listening to their stories and their traumas took a toll, but it was a great experience.
"I got to go up in a plane and take water shots, and I almost got arrested trying to get the photos for the paper, which not many people know about."
Mr Stipo added that anyone travelling to Griffith has to drive down Banna Avenue, visit the local wineries and dine at some local venues.
"Just go for a drive, you have to do a couple of laps of Banna Avenue," he said.
"You have to grab a coffee on the main street, and try out the pizzas and pastas because our food is incredible.
"Make sure to stop at the different wineries and have a drink, and also go up to Scenic Hill and have a look at the lookout.
"You can see what the migrants have achieved, because Griffith was built by migrants. Be it Italians, Indians or Islanders they've all come here, established themselves and built lives and a fantastic community."