Temora – the shire of warm welcomes and valued volunteers

Blog Post
February 15, 2024
March 5, 2024

Three generations of this family have felt the pull to temora, now all happily settled and working hard for their beloved community.

Who could imagine that a quick coffee stop in Temora for Ingrid and Greg Wootton in the early 2000s would lead to themselves, their daughter, Jacqui Soliman, son-in-law, Roy Soliman, and grandchildren moving to the town decades later? But with so much to offer, it was a pull they simply couldn’t resist.

Falling In Love With Temora

Ingrid describes the moment she and Greg made the decision to embrace Temora.

‘We came through Temora. Stopped for coffee and food at the Waratah Café, went to the bank and the shops and did a bit of walking around. It was so friendly. People are really welcoming. And then we kept going – that was on a Tuesday or Wednesday. The following Monday (this is how soon it was!) we went to an aircraft builders meeting, and they were talking about Temora. Both our ears pricked up!’

It turned out that the Temora Council was developing an aviation estate where residents would have access to runways and could build their own hangar in their backyard. As keen aviators, it was exactly what the couple had been looking for!

‘We already loved the town from our brief encounter the week before. So we didn’t even think twice about it. We just [said], “Yep, let’s do it!” We rang the Council the next day, came out on Wednesday and bought two blocks of land!’

The couple used Temora as a home base over the next 13 years while they worked interstate and internationally. When they retired at the beginning of 2018 they moved permanently into their home.

Greg and Ingrid’s dream of having a home and hanger became a reality when they travelled through Temora in 2002. PHOTO CREDIT: Anne Cooper


The love for Temora soon spread to the rest of the family. Ingrid’s brother-in-law Bob also moved to Temora soon after. And in 2019 Jacqui, Roy and their children Anneliesa, Jesiah, Emily and Nate made their own Temora dream into a reality when they decided that the time was right. Temora was becoming a real family affair!

For Jacqui and Roy, they knew they’d made the right choice when, before they’d even made the move, they were given offers of help and words of reassurance from residents they’d met on earlier visits, including Derek, who ultimately became their minister!  

The serenity is perfect for the Wootton and Soliman family. PHOTO CREDIT: Anne Cooper.

Making Connections

The young family felt connected to their community right away, partially from spending time in Temora with Ingrid and Greg previously. These connections have helped them to make new friendships and establish roots in the area. This was especially valuable considering the move came at a time when much of the world was closing its doors.

‘It was definitely hard at first, particularly because we came towards the end of lockdown and end of the year,’ says Jacqui. The rest of the family agrees. Daughter, Anneliesa, says,I’d been going to the gym a lot in Brisbane, so I was really keen to get back into the gym, but it was closed. It was too late in the year to start with dancing. It was like a bit of a transition period.’

Despite these challenges, the family began to embrace everything. Jacqui says, ‘We could see Anneliesa was struggling, so we did start cadets at the end of the year. We just made it happen.‘

Anneliesa says, ‘It definitely just got easier with more time, especially as I met people, (including) my friends with cadets. Then, the next year, I started at dance school, and everything fell into place.’

The children’s participation in various community groups and the family’s involvement with the church helped them to find their feet in the new town. ‘I’ve found other people who might not have those communities to connect with initially find it hard, because unless you have connections with people, you will struggle,’ says Roy.

Granddaughters Emily and Anneliesa are happy to live close to Grandma (Ingrid Wootton) PHOTO CREDIT: Anne Cooper.

Giving Back

Volunteers are considered the backbone of many regional Australian communities. They help residents feel seen and heard, provide for those who might otherwise go without and work hard to create opportunities and bring people together.

Their presence is particularly strong in Temora Shire, which boasts one of the highest volunteer rates in the country. In fact, the most recent Census data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Census 2021) found that one in four residents (25.2%) aged 15 and over in Temora Shire did volunteer work through an organisation or group that year. This is compared to 13% for greater NSW and 14.1% nationally.

Volunteering and community work often has a twofold effect, not only aiding the cause but also the volunteers. Wonderful friendships and opportunities can bloom from being of service. Temora Shire Council has found this especially true for new residents, who are more likely to make connections, feel settled and stay in the area longer term.

This is certainly the case for Jacqui, Roy and their children, who have all been involved in volunteer and community work since moving to the shire.

The family has been involved in youth leadership programs with the Temora Shire Council, music at the local Presbyterian Church, cadets, helping out at the volunteer-run movie theatre, youth representation with the Temora Business Enterprise Group and participating in the YOUth-Made Market in Temora.

But it’s not just the high volunteer rates that make Temora notable, it has also been named one of the most welcoming towns in NSW by worldatlas.com and one of the friendliest towns in NSW by the Sydney Morning Herald. This is the place where everyone is welcome, and the Soliman family has felt that for themselves!

EMBRACE FESTIVAL: Community is everything in Temora where volunteering rates are some of the highest in the country.


The Soliman family have built a great life for themselves here in Temora, with Roy and Jacqui working from home and some of their children home-schooling. The rise in businesses allowing working-from-home opportunities post-pandemic has meant that employees across the country can turn their dream tree or country changes into a reality.

‘I like being around the family when I’m working; it’s nice,’ explains Roy. ‘We can sit down and have lunch together, for example. I also love saving time on the commute.’

The move to Temora gave the children a chance to pursue their favourite hobbies and discover new ones. ‘In Temora, it’s really easy, to get all the kids where they need to go. They could also ride their bikes,’ says Roy. Of course, there are one or two hobbies that require a drive to Wagga, but the family sees that as a fair compromise.

Temora Shire Council offers a variety of youth programs encompassing leadership, entrepreneurship, hospitality, cultural and performing arts, green team, gaming, robotics, sports and school holiday programs that are typically low-cost or free.

TEMORA PUBLIC POOL. There is a huge range of activities and interest groups for all age groups in the Shire.


What is left to say about Temora in addition to its warm community, volunteerism, rich aviation culture and proactive council? Well, plenty. Its rich history is celebrated in the region’s wonderful museums (Temora Aviation Museum, Temora Rural Museum, Railway Temora), beautifully preserved historical buildings and cultural and performing arts. Properties are affordable, the natural environment is abundant and the food and wine scene is buzzing.

Find more information and inspiration at the Temora Shire Council Facebook page and their Embrace Temora initiative aimed at celebrating diversity in the region.

If you would like to hear more about life in Temora, visit the Country Change Town Page or contact us. A tree change might be just what you are looking for!

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