When community becomes your compass

Blog Post
March 16, 2023
March 5, 2024

The search for a close-knit community lands city couple in beautiful regional Lockhart

Tanya and Scott Henry have only been living in Lockhart for two years. But somehow you get the sense they’ve always been part of this vibrant local community. From volunteering at the Ex-Serviceman’s Club to launching a community-focused social media group, the Henry’s are certainly loving life in Lockhart.

The need for a tree change

After spending more than 30 years in the hustle and bustle of Sydney, the couple felt a yearning for some fresh country air and deeper connections within a smaller community. Scott was granted a work transfer for his role as a Bio Security Food Safety Officer with NSW DPI, and the couple began to look around the Riverina for a place to call home. The region is the perfect midway point for the pair as they have grown daughters living in both Sydney and Melbourne.From the start, the town of Lockhart enchanted the Henrys. They loved that it offered all the facilities they needed, while still maintaining that country hospitality and charm.Tanya says, ‘The town appealed to both of us when we started looking around the Riverina. And we fell in love with our block of land which we’ve now built on and moved into. The move was very easy, but living in a caravan while the house was being built was a test!’

Photos of Lockhart town

The new work life balance

Both Tanya and Scott love their new work life balance in Lockhart, especially after so much time in Sydney. They both have time now for volunteering – Scott who is on the Board of Directors at the Lockhart Ex-Servicemen’s Club and Tanya with the local museums. Tanya is also keen to get more involved with the Lockhart Progress Association and the local health board.Even better, they have found themselves warmly embraced by the local community, and are involved in so many events that there isn’t time to get to them all!Tanya says, ‘We are having great fun in just being social. Joining in functions that the club run such as trivia night and bingo and the Poker Run with Casino Night! There are so many functions to attend you run out of time. There’s no need to ever feel bored here.’

Enchanting Lockhart

Tanya and Scott have embraced their new life to the fullest. So much so that Tanya even started, Enchanting Lockhart, a community Facebook Group, to share everything there is to love about their local area with others.Tanya says, ‘Enchanting Lockhart came from my thoughts about just how enchanting this town is with so much Australian history, art and architecture that make up our town’s beautiful facade. Whether we’re posting about a favourite sunset or an important historical site it doesn’t matter. It’s about coming together and sharing what matters to the community. I really wanted to expand the spirit of enchantment that I felt when we moved to Lockhart. And now, with over 1100 members, it’s been a wonderful way to bring people together.’

Spirit of the land festival 2023

The magic of Lockhart Shire

Enchanting Lockhart is a wonderful way to share all the amazing things that Lockhart, and the Riverina area have to offer. And there’s so much going on! From the agricultural show in September that showcases the beautiful local produce and animal husbandry, to the Spirit of the Land Festival, with fine and Indigenous art, photo exhibitions, markets, music and the National Farm Art Awards, there’s something for everyone.Of course, there’s also the wider Riverina area to explore. As part of Australia’s food bowl, you’ll find incredible produce, wine and artisan goodies, like chocolates and olives. You could bush walk through incredible national parks and reserves such as the Mungo National Park or canoe down the Murray River. At Galore Hill Scenic Reserve you can even visit the caves where infamous colonial bushranger Daniel ‘Mad Dog’ Morgan made his hiding place.

Advice for other country changers?

When asked what advice they have for others looking to make a country change, Scott and Tanya advise that people think carefully through the pros and cons. But once you make your decision clearly to go for it, full of positivity!Tanya says, ‘After 30 years in our home in Sydney the tree change has had its challenges – in particular medical availability is trickier compared to living in the city. And it’s often hard being distant from family. But overall it’s been a wonderful move in our lives and we haven’t regretted it for one second.’[caption id="attachment_7475" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]

Spirit of the Land 2022 - Credit Matt Beaver

Tanya and Scott’s advice for others considering a tree change:

  • Think carefully and look at all your pros and cons thoroughly.
  • Make your decision clearly and go with it, full of positivity.
  • The rest comes naturally once you have arrived as you will be embraced by the community and country hospitality!

If you would like to find out more about the beautiful Lockhart Shire, visit the Country Change Town Page or contact us to help guide your Country Change soon!

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