Affordable living in the country leads to creative change in the Riverina

Blog Post
October 16, 2020
March 5, 2024

The benefits of entrepreneurship in a Connected Lifestyle Region

Temora – the Friendly Shire

There’s a common misconception that you need to be born in an area to be considered a ‘local’, but this couldn’t be further from the truth in Temora. Whether you’ve spent your whole life there, are a Country Changer or a Regional Returner, you’ll always be made to feel like a local. In fact, the Temora Council is so confident of it, it’s proclaimed as The Friendly Shire.Corrina Lindsay, a Regional Returner, will certainly attest to the friendliness of Temora.

Although she grew up in Wagga Wagga, Corrina moved to the ‘big smoke’ for the opportunities that city life presented. While she enjoyed the advantages Sydney offered, her desire to save money to go travelling was outweighed by the reality of soaring expenses.

Temora - The Friendly Shire Photo credit Anne Cooper Anne Cooper Photography

A delightful Country Change cliché

Corrina acknowledges that what follows sounds like a cliché, however it is completely true. Tired of striving hard for little reward, she decided to return to a regional area as she knew it would be easier to save for her adventures.

She moved to Young (about an hour’s drive from Temora, in the neighbouring Hilltops Local Government Area), where the cost of living was significantly less. Here, Corrina had what she found impossible in the city; the ability to grow her savings and the time to enjoy them. The welcoming community offered ample opportunity for socialisation and in true fairytale-style, she met a farmer, Robert, married him and stayed in regional New South Wales - enjoying a different kind of adventure.

A creative idea leads to new opportunities

With such affordable housing in the Riverina, Corrina and her husband, Robert, were able to purchase a 100-acre property and move into its 110-year-old farmhouse. “The house had good bones but needed lightening up,” she said. Putting on a fresh coat of paint made all the difference to the look and feel of their new home and reignited Corrina’s creative love of restoration and all things vintage. It was here that the entrepreneurial idea for her online store, Bird on the Hill Designs, was born. She was inspired to provide quality furniture paint made  in rural Australia for Australian conditions.

Although Corrina trained and worked as a nurse and an educator, she has been involved in the paint-making process all her life. Growing up under the tutelage of her father, a paint-maker and tinter, she learned how to source and make beautiful, robust paints, perfect for vintage and restoration projects. A talent her own children now have the opportunity to learn.Manufacturing predominantly from Australian minerals and materials wherever possible, in just over two years from its inception, Bird on the Hill’s paints can be found online, in 18 retailers around the country and will soon be available in New Zealand.

Entrepreneurship in a Connected Lifestyle Region

Corrina is one of the 1.21 million people who live in what the Regional Australia Institute calls a Connected Lifestyle Region. These are districts whose towns don’t have city-sized populations but are close to major metro areas. Such areas are a blessing for people operating online enterprises.

The Bird on the Hill enterprise has grown extremely rapidly. Robert, who had been contract farming, now works in the business with Corrina, making and shipping their hand-made products Australia-wide. “Our local Post Office is fantastic. The staff know us and are so helpful,” Corrina said. Of the many important resources in a Connected Lifestyle Region, the local Post Office is paramount to an online retailer.

Of starting a business in a smaller regional area, Corrina advised, “Collaboration is everywhere – you don’t have to look far for assistance. The community wants you to succeed because the better you do in your business, the better the community does.” She reiterated, “It’s also really easy to support other local businesses. When you hold an event, you get a local caterer, you buy flowers from the local florist, and locals get to enjoy what their region has to offer. It’s quite significant.

”There are many opportunities for small businesses in Temora, with support provided through the local business chamber, Temora Business Enterprise Group (TBEG), and Breed Australia, which is a not-for-profit organisation that strengthens employment opportunities and provides affordable, flexible-term office accommodation for start-up and small businesses in Temora’s CBD.

Outdoor Gym at Lake Centenary Temora

Friendly and functional, Temora has a lot to offer the Country Changer

In addition to the friendly, relaxed lifestyle and reduced cost of living, Temora offers an abundance of sports, clubs and cultural activities. There are nature walks and water sports available at Lake Centenary, and Mount Selwyn and the snow is only a few hours’ drive away.For aviation enthusiasts, there’s an Aviation Museum of national significance, which is home to the Temora Airpark Estate, where you can go from home to hangar all within a few hundred metres.

Plane in hangar at Temora Airpark Estate

If you’re keen on taking advantage of the business and lifestyle opportunities on offer by making a Country Change to Temora, Contact Us to find out more, or get in touch with the Temora Shire Council to assist with your planning.

You can find Corrina Lindsay and Bird on the Hill Designs at the following places:





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