Category Archives: Tree Change

The People You Meet When You Volunteer

Volunteer HappinessThis week is National Volunteers Week in Australia where the theme is Give Happy, Live Happy. This message is about volunteers making a difference to other people’s lives, but also the effect of volunteering on their own well being, by lifting mood and happiness. I volunteer my time with a local group – Harcourt Progress Association, by coordinating the advertising for their monthly newspaper – The Core. This newsletter didn’t exist two years ago and I really enjoy working with the Editor and being part of its growth. The Core is now at 24 pages and features interesting articles, event information, a crossword, local stories & much more. Continue reading

Random Acts of Kindness

I’m currently reading a book by social researcher, Hugh Mackay called The Good Life. In his preface Mackay describes:

“This type of life is marked by a courteous respect for others’ rights, a responsiveness to others’ needs (including, most particularly, their need to be taken seriously) and a concern for others’ wellbeing. A person living this life will be motivated by kindness and compassion.”

When I reflect on my own values and actions I hope that this is the life I’m living. Last year I noticed an article in our local newspaper, the Bendigo Advertiser, which asked people to share stories about their random acts of kindness. For instance – giving someone a smile, visiting an animal shelter, and making your workmate a cup of tea. I’d like to think most of us do these things without too much thought. Continue reading

My Wholesome Life

I’d like to share a story with you that I wrote last year about my tree change.  I was reminded of this anecdote when an article in The Hoopla caught my eye.  A poignant piece, written by Australian writer and comedian Wendy Harmer, about how Australians are turning more to the convenience of bottled sauces and ready-made meals.  So here’s my story…

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Making Friends in Your New Community

applefest

Before I embarked on our country move, I had read a journalistic piece reporting tree change stories that didn’t work out.  The anecdotes were drawn from 2008 research undertaken by sociologist Dr Angela Ragusa from Charles Sturt University.  Dr Ragusa interviewed 50 tree changers in NSW and Victoria.  Not surprisingly many of the respondents talked of “difficulty in making new friends” and “the value of networks they left in the city”. Continue reading

Planning our Tree Change

Buying our property in Harcourt didn’t happen overnight.  Dreams of acreage, building a sustainable house and living off the land were discussed over many a Shiraz or French Martini.  Saturdays were spent on long drives to South Gippsland and Central Victoria.  My partner is a big-picture thinker which complements my keen eye for detail and planning, so my partner would talk “vision” whilst I mapped out the details.  Here’s how we set about planning our tree change: Continue reading