A move to regional Australia
Author: Gabriella Tagliapietra Date Posted:22 April 2019
[Picking up the thread from previous posts]
So why a move to Cooma? Quite a few reasons actually.
I always felt and told everyone that the Byron Shire was my heart home. I honestly thought I would end up living there one day, having had a close association with it over a number of years... decades even, on and off. So when mum decided to leave the Shire and move up to the Northern Rivers region I actually did consider it and did a bit of research. But in the end there were a number of reasons I opted to stay in Canberra, and eventually move to Cooma.
The landscape and the light. These two components have seeped into my blood and I find it a visually beautiful place.
While I would have easily stayed in Canberra because it offered me a lifestyle that I was very content with, I was looking for a large parcel of land and so the affordability of Cooma factored into it is well. Also, in the ACT properties are leasehold and not freehold and although this was the case with the house at Swansea Heads, and was not an issue, there is something more appealing about freehold land to me. Added to that the through traffic to the Snowy Mountains and with my Pinch River hat on, I knew the exposure would be good... and given the Pinch river is actually in this region it was a good fit.
In looking intentionally for a place to call home Cooma feels like the Australia I grew up in, in that it offers a simple life - where simple does not mean basic and deprived but slow and enjoyable, because regional Australia is as contemporary as most of our urban places. This can be attributed to technology but I think also people - in both tourism and tree / sea changers. [I do have to add that there are some aspects of regional Australia that I find very, very difficult to reconcile, particularly in regards to animal welfare and environmental issues. Thankfully, there are many wonderful people here and good things going on so as to make that aspect tolerable (though never acceptable), and I will just continue to support worthy causes that will one day put an end to the bad stuff.]
The human scale was also important. A smaller centre means I can connect more with my community and actively engage with what goes on here. Cooma is a thriving and bustling regional centre. It has some fabulous cafes and eateries, a strong creative community, lovely parks and lots of great things going on in terms of community and enterprise... (let's not forget the hugely successful Birdsnest). It is positioned within an easy drive to Canberra, the Snowy Mountains and the south coast with lots of charming villages close by. Throw in clean mountain air, wide streets, heritage and abundant flora and fauna and well what more could you ask for.
It is here that I want to take living simply further. Over time I want to become as self-sufficient as I can on my town block - not as large as I would have wanted but sufficient for me. This is where I will create my next garden and also where I plan to delve deeper into living creatively... with Pinch River as the main focus.
Writing these posts has been really beneficial and enjoyable. They have led you on the journey I have been on and caught you up to where I am now... but for me it has helped me connect again with Pinch River after it was packed up again for the move here. While my studio is set up it is not the studio I had dreamed of (as I said I had to make compromises on this property). I am working towards another studio space, which I hope to have operational by this time next year, so in the meantime I am grateful I have a space, or spaces I can use... and use them I will.
Hopefully the next post will be about new products...