The Guerke Family

It feels like Trundle’s last hope, and it may well be for some of the families wanting to cash in on the $1/week rent. Country Town Rescue pulls no punches in showing all that goes on when the small country town of Trundle in north-western NSW started it’s ‘Tree-change’ program a year ago and interviewed all sorts of families to take up the offer.

In what could have been a “happy families move into the country and everyone lives happily ever after”, CTR is raw and real. Once the selected families move out to Trundle it’s not all beer and skittles (especially for the practising Muslim family) – they also have to renovate the houses they’re renting and find work/establish themselves.

Zapruder’s Other Films offer a better-than-fly-on-the-wall perspective of how the program plays out. As in all good stories there’s heroes and villains, highs and lows. The people of Trundle mostly are completely welcoming to the new families, and the families are mostly thankful for the opportunity to start afresh. The team at Zapruders have been careful not to involve themselves in the story; rather hey’re able to get the best out of some very frank participants. Brendan Cowell’s narration is earthy, adding just the right poignancy and emphasis.

Country Town Rescue is engaging and deliberate television. Australians are a tough breed, particularly out on the Bogan Way, and the whatever pre-conceived idea the new families had of the place before moving it it’s a hot and harsh reality they’re greeted with when they arrive. And what a reality it is.

Country Town Rescue – Tue 8pm, ABC1.