Just what the doctor ordered in Bordertown

A chance encounter overseas spun Australian physiotherapists Kieran O’Donovan and Naomi Gill into a regional life they’d never contemplated. And one, they’d now never trade.

After living and working in London, the couple was happily settled with two young children in an apartment in the heart of Manchester, north-western England.

“At the time we felt we had everything we needed and loved our life in Manchester,” says Kieran.

“We had never considered the possibility of moving rurally and always thought we would end up in Adelaide or Melbourne to be nearer Naomi’s family,” he says.

But that changed when Kieran unexpectedly came across the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency, which was promoting the benefits of working in regional South Australia.

In 2014, Kieran, Naomi and their children moved to Bordertown in South Australia, three hours from Adelaide and five hours from Melbourne.

“We thought if it didn’t work, we could always move back to the city life we knew,” says Kieran.

“We quickly realised, however, our kids loved their new lives and the freedom it gave them to roam and ride their bikes.

“We loved the 50-metre pool that was never too busy and all the staff at the childcare whom our children adored.

“We would never have the same amount of free time, stress-free commutes and disposable income if we moved back to the city.”

Kieran has bought into the local physio practice where he first started work and now consults across the Limestone Coast.

The family is actively involved in the community and is putting down deep roots in the Tatiara district – known as “the good country” in the language of the land’s Traditional Owners, the Bodaruwitj people.

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