AUSTRALIA Post's newly appointed chief executive officer Christine Holgate may not know of Astro Boy yet, but an introduction could be imminent.
Astro Boy accepts the mail from the Ouyen postie and then heads off to deliver to the breakfast table of owners Barb and Graeme Carey. Picture supplied.
Astro Boy has been methodically delivering mail to his owners at their breakfast table each morning for 14 years and in that time no items have been lost, damaged or delayed — quality performance indicators of the highest standard sure to impress the new Post boss.
Barb and Graeme Carey recently relocated to Ouyen from Loch Sport (near Sale) where Astro Boy first learnt the rudiments of efficient mail delivery, and he has not missed a beat since.
"Astro Boy always came with me to collect the mail from the roadside boxes at Narre Warren from his early years as a pup," Mr Carey said.
"After a short time, I think he noticed what I was doing, so I just gave him a magazine one day and he trotted back to the car with it.
"From there, with minimal training, he quickly progressed to delivering letters — you could say his learning curve was sharp."
Ms Holgate — the first female to lead the national mail carrier in its more than 200-year history — also has something in common with Astro Boy: she too had to assume full responsibility for mail delivery after a brief instruction course.
As an 18-year-old, while on holidays from her university studies, Ms Holgate was thrown in at the deep end of postal work when she accepted a job as a postie in England during the busy Christmas period.
Now, interestingly, Ms Holgate has expressed a desire to travel around Post's delivery network and meet with employees at the cold-face of postal work, so a visit to meet Astro Boy in North-West Victoria could soon be high on her agenda.
"I'm especially looking forward to getting out and meeting the posties, the drivers, post office staff, licensees and other partners who deliver services in communities across Australia, every day," Ms Holgate said.
Astro Boy's devotion to duty has captured the attention of Australia Post's Swan Hill-based delivery manager for Victoria's Northern Region Kevin Storer.
"I've covered most areas in the state during 41 years of service with Post and I've only known of one dog — in the mid-1990s — that accepted the mail from the postie, but he didn't deliver it to the breakfast table," Mr Storer said.
"I think this is something really special and presents a good opportunity for our new CEO to travel into rural Victoria, meet Post personnel, and see first-hand Astro Boy in action."
The Careys, Astro Boy and his canine female companion Jackie are settled and happy in their new Mallee home and are here for the long haul.