Series 2: Episode 4 – David & Christy Webb

At home in Hay

Written By Bec Bignell

David Webb, a small-town boy from Urana, headed overseas to Canada for University and didn’t just come back with a tertiary education, he returned to Australia with an American girlfriend.

The daughter of an army officer, Christy was used to moving all over the place and had lived in many different places across the United States but when she started dating David and decided to give it a shot in Australia, the seasoned mover still found the upheaval a shock to the system.

“I just want to know why everything here wants to sting you and bite you and is potentially poisonous – that really freaked me out at first! It still freaks me out now, but I’m much better with it; I can gently relocate things now. But David had taken me out to the family farm a couple of times and, oh my goodness, I had some experiences there!”

Incentivised by their aversion to city traffic they jointly agreed to move to the regions after they’d initially settled in Sydney.

Series 2: Episode 4 - David & Christy Webb - Image 1

“Can’t do the traffic! We get cranky if we have to wait for one car to turn outside an intersection, like we don’t have any traffic lights….I’m three minutes from work. The last time we were driving in Sydney I just went, ‘wow, I can’t believe I ever did this!’… it’s just so easy to get around anywhere. The number one rule is, I said to my Dad, ‘don’t move to a place that’s got a traffic light!”

While they were able to scale back the hectic traffic and long commute to work, they didn’t have to pair back their professional careers, with both landing ambitious gigs in their new town. Christy moved up the ladder landing multiple roles within education and David went from civil engineer to General Manager of the Shire Council.

Splitting their time between Lockhart and Hay the couple and their teenage son were able to quickly integrate into the regional communities through their love of sport. They we’re quick to throw themselves into the highly active sports community and weekends were crammed full of footy, and netball games and sideline support.

David says, “Community sport – it’s huge in the bush. It’s the lifeblood of the bush and it’s where everyone gets to mix together; whether you’re good at sport or not, doesn’t really matter… it’s just the gathering and there’s a there’s a role for anyone whether or not they can play sport or not play sport.” Christy wholeheartedly agrees saying, “it’s so inclusive, you know, whether you write for the local newspaper or you click some photos or you cheer up and down the sides with your little pom-poms. It doesn’t matter. My experience has been absolutely phenomenal in both Lockhart and Hay. It’s been great.”

Series 2: Episode 4 - David & Christy Webb - Image 2

According to David and Christy, there are many benefits of the regional sport including the fact that David has been able to play in teams alongside his son.

“It’s been wonderful to watch them both grow and play and watch them play together. That is a big deal out in the country – if a parent can play with a child it’s celebrated by everyone. Doesn’t matter if you win or lose but if that can happen, it’s amazing.”

It’s not just the game itself that derives enjoyment – the sporting experience is a whole day event that involves the entire community.

“If it’s a home game, there’s often a function at night and it’s a function for families. So, whether you’re a young Mum or a grandma; everybody comes and having that together time just to catch up, chat about whatever – it’s so important. I love that aspect. It’s a whole different side of sport that I didn’t grow up with.” And as an American, Christy can objectively attest that the gourmet fare served at sports can’t be beaten, “You will never find better food then at local footy netty, Rugby Union, whatever, the canteen is amazing everybody just chips in and you just get it done.”

Series 2: Episode 4 - David & Christy Webb - Image 3Series 2: Episode 4 - David & Christy Webb - Image 4Series 2: Episode 4 - David & Christy Webb - Image 5

The ability to generate an electric atmosphere and coordinate events that bring people together is not limited to sport alone – the community also hosts extraordinary events that rival those in this big smoke.

“We’ve got the Mardi Gras; the Rainbow on The Plains Festival, which is huge, it attracts thousands of people to town from all over Australia…it’s been going for about four or five years now in Hay and that’s massive. We set up a big stage…right on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, a beautiful setting, and we have a big concert there that people come to.”

In his role as the General Manager of the Hay Shire Council David gets a full picture of the positive impact these renowned events have on the community – they inject vibe, unite locals, and draw large crowds from city centres.

Series 2: Episode 4 - David & Christy Webb - Image 6

“Tourism is our second biggest industry in Hay behind agriculture, so it’s really important to the town. It sort of drought-proofs the town… when the agriculture is down the tourism still flourishes. So, the events, the facilities we have in town, the accommodation; places to eat; all those things are very, very important for the community.”

However, the biggest tourist drawcard is arguably the natural assets – the sunsets, the stars, and the serenity.

“Hay’s hero event, well attraction, is the sunsets. We have a sunset viewing fifteen kilometres to the North of town. So, when you’re out here, it’s flat as far as you can see, literally, and then you can see a sunset on the horizon. It’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your life. You cannot believe how nice a sunset is out here the on the plains and that’s our major attraction.”

Series 2: Episode 4 - David & Christy Webb - Image 7

Christy attests to the wonders of local nature which made an immediate impact on her during early visits to the region, “the stars – oh my goodness! The first time I went out to David’s family farm I couldn’t stop looking up. I’d never seen so many stars in my life because you could just see forever. It was absolutely stunning, breathing that country air.”

For David, moving back to regional Australia is a homecoming where he’s returned to a lifestyle he loves and for Christy it’s been an opportunity to create an Australian home in a place where she can spend valuable time with family and connect into a community that cares, “one of the little idiosyncrasies, something that I really love about small towns is that we know who each other are and what’s going on; people look out and they check, and they look after each other. When things are sad or a tragedy happens people put in…I just think sometimes what I’ve experienced, particularly as an outsider coming in, is that ‘dig in and pitch in’ idea. Whether it’s drought or flood or someone’s passed or something’s happened. I’m in awe of that.”

For both, their life in the regions is joyful, dynamic, packed full of events, and it’s also quiet, calm; the chance to catch a breath. It’s slow walks among gum trees, and quick sprints on ovals and courts. It’s not one note or one tone – it’s a colourful, multidimensional experience that enables them to enjoy all the things they love.



DAVID – More time for life. That is the pitch because you have more time to do other things here and accessibility for life and that is 100% true. So, you can work, you can play in the in the bush easily and the ability to have professional careers…but then you’ve also got time to be able to go and do these other things.


CHRISTY – You can enjoy being in a different way and I love that. You know, sometimes you walk out and you’re amongst it and you go, ‘yeah, it’s a pretty good life.’






Like the number one rule is I said to my dad don’t move to a place that’s got a traffic light. You

can’t go wrong.


There’s no traffic cards out here


Aussies are relocating from Capital Cities to Regional Australia in record numbers. We could

give you all the stats about better house prices all the jobs on offer and higher levels of

happiness, but what’s better than hearing from someone who’s made the vote themselves.


Welcome to you moved where the podcast where we interview everyday Aussies who’ve known

from the city to the country. I’m your host Becky Neal a girl from Regional Australia who moved

to the city and then you guessed it back to Regional, Australia.


This is you moved. Where?


The people living in the city the idea of having a backyard so big it can fit an entire football field

would be but a dream for David and Christy Webb, it’s their reality.


David a small town boy from urana first cross paths with Christy when he headed over to

Canada for uni.


The daughter of an army officer Christy was used to moving along for the place and had lived in

many different places across the United States, but when she started dating David and decided

to give it a shot in Australia, the seasoned mover still found the upheaval as shocked to the

system. Once they found their fate in Sydney the couple decided to once again pack up their

lives and trade in their City lifestyle to split their time between Lockhart and hey while they were

able to scale back the hectic traffic and long commute to work. They didn’t have to pay back

their professional prayers. We’ve both Landing ambitious gigs in their new town Christy moved

up the ladder Landing multiple roles within the education sector and David went from civil

engineer to general manager of the Shire Council United by their love of sport David and Christy

were quick to throw themselves into the highly Active Sports community and weekends were

Ground full of Woody and netball games and Sidelines support and if you don’t reckon that a

move to the bush is worth the camaraderie events and activities alone.


I’ll let Kristi convinced you that nothing tastes good as a home goods lasagna serve from a

country canteen after a big day of sport.


Dave and Christy you moved where


although from urana to Sydney to Canada back to Sydney to the South Coast to Lockhart and

then now in hey


and for me I moved from America to Canada back to America to Sydney to the coast to

Lockhart and now to have


well that is quite a journey very complex all over the shop kind of moves for the two of you. Can

I get the timeline broken down? Well,


I grow up a little place called urana which is about 100 kilometers from water south west of

water. That’s all on the super wheat farm and then I wonder why the boys in school and lived in

Sydney was at University and then one year. I studied in Canada where I met Christy at

University of Waterloo and then came back and Christy came to Australia


Well, mine’s a little bit more.


Tacky than David’s. I was actually born just outside of Washington’s DC on an Army base Fort

George me. So the states me a little bit give my way my age back in Vietnam was on my dad

was still in the Army then and when the war finished he finished up and then for his first career

we moved a lot. So we took tact around from really big cities like Washington DC then we went

to Richmond, which is in Virginia. That was probably my second accent. Then I went back to

Maryland Chicago then we went up to Canada.


And that David at University he went back to Australia. Then I went back to Chicago then to

Vegas. What a story and then I moved out here. Oh my gosh, obviously you met


overseas and then you continued your romance via letters, which is very foreign to people in

this day and age of you know, everything happening in the moment and on mobile phones and

stuff like you actually use no mail as your form of keeping in contact and developing the

relationship to the point that which you fell in love and then that eventuated to you coming out.

So talk me through communicating like that.


I will too we did that for two years before Christy moved to Australia. So that was yeah, so there

was actually cheaper the door by mile because telephone calls will like three dollars a minute or



right work extra shifts on a weekend to make one phone call to each other once a month.


And I used to get you know, I was in my younger 20s. I used to get very emotional if I missed it.

Yeah, and I tried to call him for the first time and and when it rang I thought it was the business

signal because the Rings are different so I kept hanging up.


So yeah, it was obviously in landline. So you had to wait someone who’s at home you had this

organized the time that you’re gonna call left the time difference. I was interesting but the mile

yes, so we used to send each other packages and things like that in a mile all the time. So it

was a different way of communicating as you mentioned, but this is what it was back then so we

just you didn’t know any different so that’s what he did.


Yeah, and I still have those letters too in 94.


Wow, and it’s great having the two of you on because it’s really interesting to hear the

perspective of both people in the couple because often when we’re talking to people one person

decides to move from the city to the country and that has implications on the other person. He

has to move as well.


Christy in your case, you’ve had to move and kind of adjust from like a country to another

country from Canada to Australia and then the us as well to Australia and then from Sydney to I

really really rural town. So what was that like


for you? I think it was just a huge Adventure at the time and you know all my friends who knew

  1. I think what once David and I had met I was smitten that was it and the fact that my family

just love him and loved him back then, you know, and we said we were gonna try and give it a

go, you know, they were fully behind us and his family or absolutely and are absolutely

wonderful and backed us like we were giving a very a very very welcome start. So that made a

big difference.


Chris is the favorite. I was never in day out


first couple times. I came to Australia to visit, you know eyes eyes are wide.


Lighting the other side of the road freaked me out.


Just saying there used to be a really big round about it mascot and when we started to go

around it the first 20 minutes I was on land. I was absolutely freaked out when he went around

the roundabout anyways survive that learned how to drive on the other side of the road and I do

stay there most of the time which is wonderful the thing that probably was so different I think

was the lifestyle like like even going from City to City. I just love love the lifestyle in terms of, you

know, people stopped and chatted and and whatnot.


in terms of


country to Country. I just want to know why everything here wants to sting you and bite you and

potentially as poisonous that really freaked me out. At first. I know I know still freaks me. I’m

much better with it. Now. I can actually gently relocate things now, but David are taking me out

to the family farm a couple of times and oh my goodness that I had some experience of there



then the arrived in Lockhart the first time and everyone knew who you were. So you were Jeff

with sons American Girl friend. That was what the title was


that my identity.


And so you arrive on Australian soil and like we’ve just said you then decided to go out to the

sticks for a job. How was that adjustment for you both because obviously Dave you’re going

back you’d been away in the city for a bit and Chris. It was your first time.


Yeah for me. It was I was 20 years. I’ve been away. So I’m still adjustment to go back because I

didn’t know a lot of people this like they’ll different circles so the different people so what they

didn’t really have that friendship group.


And the country it’s changed Services. It’s moved on a bit. It’s a little town like Lockhart. It’s 800

people things aren’t open on the weekend. They still shut their shops at lunch time. Can’t get a

coffee. Don’t worry about don’t worry about trying to get a brunch on the Sunday to get that he

can do that now, but when we first moved back that wasn’t available so that that’s even for me. It

was a Readjustment to go back again to to what I knew as a kid growing up. It was it was the

world still different place at that point in time


and Christy. You said obviously there things that initially confronted you were all the things that

bite and their


Potential of a poisonous based approaching you at every step of the way when you’re out

outside the city centers or even in the city in Australia, but what was some of the things you

know, the more kind of day-to-day things that you were confronted with or that you had to kind

of get your head around once you learned it in the regions, look it was such an opportunity and

such a homecoming


for David and and it was an opportune time for us to without with our son because it was sort of

his he was just starting high school and if we’re gonna move that was gonna be the time to do it.


He always wanted to go to the same school that that has dad did he was lucky he got in so that

was quite a big thing as well. So, you know, I guess adjusting to that because it was


boarding school only child that wasn’t their mum had an adjustment there with her baby going

away each week. So yes, I was forming because on you what to expect but mum. Yeah,


it was different and and I mean the boarding schools that I know from North America are nothing

they’re very different out here as in their like, you know, the beautiful scenery and things that

that students can have in Regional and remote, you know boarding school. They’re so different.

It’s beautiful and that was a big adjustment. The great adjustment was the absolute amazing

local 40 in that ball clubs, which were as if you haven’t heard center of our life and that was just

fantastic really welcoming, you know big part.


You contribute there. You can meet a lot of people that was huge. It was really interesting to see

just how many people would come in on the weekend for footy and nutty so that was great.

Yeah grocery shopping had to be organized because things weren’t open very late. Although we

were pretty lucky with with the facilities that we had we could get whatever you needed. Even if

we’re a little bit later at night that was really good going into town was going into the local big

Regional place which was different. So but you know, I think that and it’s a common question.

Where do I fit in in the in the scheme of things? So Jeff Webb Sons American girlfriend now



No one now one batch annihilated out here to travel like it Lockhart. If you said you got to travel

somewhere. It’s always about an hour. No one cares about driving an hour to go somewhere.

So now we’re living in high. So we moved to high into 19 again from my work.


And so I’ll just make Christie pack up and move into about our 13th house together for us to


So when we go up to here, so now it’s about two hours so anywhere to go shopping. So we

want to go to Griffith, which is a closest major Center. That’s about two hours away. So it’s a

different thing. So you sort of learn to make do what you got. You don’t guys shop down the

shops every day or do what you got to do this pretty good shopping in high no problem and we

can get brunch any day of the week, which is nice but this just to go to a major shopping. It’s

quite a it’s quite a trick to go to anywhere. So that’s something that people in the city probably

don’t get used to all getting the medical services or to dentist. We have to travel and a half to go

to a dentist.


Anything anything that’s major surgeries three hours away three and a half hours away if you

like that so you it’s quite different from a from the services point of view that you’re going that

you people get used. You have to get used to they are here people don’t again this doesn’t

phase them they’re used to that so


and I’m interested as well that your work Dave is a civil engineer and you both got such

incredible professional careers that your work is actually taking you from the regions to the

regions. I think sometimes people don’t rate realize they’re high level of opportunity and the

professional career that you can enjoy in the regions in this day and age talk me through your

career trajectory and your ambition that you’ve managed to rain retain now that you’re out in the



I’ve got a reasonably unusual creative Victory. So I did so engineering at University as you just

mentioned. Then I worked on the construction sites in the city massive construction sites for a

few years and then we’ve got moved us to now I worked on the


Airfield Base down the Navy base down there work at Sydney airport for a few years in building

rack and runways taxiways can then moved into did private the service on private Enterprise

working for companies work for myself and a couple of guys for a while and then eventually

moved into local government, which was something that I’ve sort of want to do when I was a kid

to working local governments and Engineers So eventually made my way into that and worked

in show Highland Council for a while then to Lockhart and now I’m over at high as a general



Which is again unusual most general managers are not from technical engineering background

most uncomfort of the finance side. So it’s a bit of a unusual place for me to be in so but it’s

really good here and the small Council rule councils quite a hands on a roll you get to be in the

transfer the guys as well as dealing with the elected leaders and that’s not too done typical for

any of the small council site in local government in real New South Wales align, they did a

survey early this year and there’s 2000 vacancies across all the councils and ruin yourself

Wales. So there’s plenty opportunity for people in the regions. We’re looking for a job and it does

could be for my wine rides a different careers and backgrounds that you’re looking for. So it is

like you said you can hop from one Council to another organization with you to progress your

career. However, you like it’s the same opportunities.


Yeah. I think you’re both a really good example of that because you’ve really put your roots

down where you are, you know, it’s not been


Experience of going back, you know just for a lifestyle change when you’ve had kids and then

going back to the city you’ve actually stayed back and in fact, you still have a property in hay

and a property in Lockhart. So instead of buying something in the city as some people do you

continue to remain with all your bases in the bush? And is that because you just really love the

regional experience


can’t do the traffic we get cranky if we have the white one car return intersection. Well don’t

have any traffic lights. We don’t seriously you don’t understand three minutes from work. So you

cannot we’ve been when last time we’re driving Sydney just went wow. I can’t believe it and did

this. It’s just you get so tired for granted how easy it is to move around here in a car. That is

there’s no public transport at all. We do have a taxi service and


we have taxi service and and buses that


well there’s buses you can go that’s the train line Buffet.


Away, but the just the traffic aligns just it’s just amazing not have to it’s just so easy to get

around. Anyway, so like the number one rule is I said to my dad don’t move to a place that’s got

a traffic light. You can’t


go wrong. Okay,


no traffic lights out here.


That’s it. That’s that’s fantastic. That’s almost like an incentive in itself, isn’t it? Because yet

traffic can drive you really up the wall and it’s such an amazing experience not to have traffic,

but when you do have to drive which lucky mentioned before is


It’s regular that you have to drive long distances, but it’s a beautiful drive, you know, you’ve got

scenery and you can sort of sit back and listen to a great podcast. Thank you for some good



Absolutely, but I’ve also interested um in the comment that you made Christie about the sport

because you know, there’s no shortage of sport in the book. She’s there and seeing you their

daily Canterbury Bulldogs they need and we know that you are both heavily involved in sport in

the community. Can you tell me about


that having both husband and son play AFL it’s been many many many many years. I think so

picked up a football as soon as he could. Hold one.


Like his father any kind and it’s been it’s been wonderful to watch them both grow and play and

and what I’m actually played together that is a big deal out in the country. If if a parent can play

with a child it’s celebrated by everyone doesn’t matter if your win or lose but if that can happen,

it’s amazing, but even things just like, you know, being a part of the canteen roster, you will

never find better food then at a local footy Nettie Rugby Union, whatever the canteen is amazing

everybody just chips in and you just get it done and the amount of people that come it’s just

lovely and being involved you do get different connections like we get connections and we both

do at work and even last year like, you know, whether he was still playing and I’m an umpiring

and I was helping one of our our local coaches with with the little ones playing that bowl and like

it was just it was lovely to watch them grow and watch the coaches grow and change and and

it’s the same in 40 as well. Like we watched a lot.


are younger players and they take on leadership roles and it’s just


You feel a lot more involved in that like even myself like growing up playing a lot of sport and big

cities you were involved. But as a player you kind of just came and played because it for me it

was usually a rink playing ice hockey or skating or something. But out here. It’s a whole day

event. It starts at whatever o’clock together all day. And then if it’s a home game, there’s often a

function at night and it’s a function for families whether you’re a young mom or a grandma.

Everybody comes having that together time just to catch up chat about whatever it’s so

important. I love that aspect. It’s a whole different side of sport that I didn’t grow up with but

David did


really Sports huge in the bush. It’s the Life part of the Bush and


That’s where everyone gets mixed together whether you’re good at sport or not doesn’t really

matter you just the Gathering and there’s a role for anyone whether I can place or not play

sports. So it’s it’s absolutely pretty cool to like button any of the small community. It’s


it’s so inclusive across everything it’s inclusive and it’s just you know, whether you write for the

local newspaper or you click some photos or you cheer up and down the side with your little

pom poms. It doesn’t matter. It’s just yeah, my experience has been absolutely phenomenal in

both our card on. Hey, it’s been great.


It’s funny how you mentioned having the meal after the sport as well? Because I Remember

Loving that as a kid like your parents would play tennis or 40 or whatever. It was and then


All right distinctly remember in the coaching up tennis club the guy that would open the like

unlock the bar and the noise that it made when he pulled the like, you know.


The blind or whatever it’s called, you know the metal thing up and then everyone what

congregate people would go and have a shower the kids would be running around and it was

just awesome. And we sort of have just moved as well originally because that sort of experience

as a kid when you can just run.


You know go running with all the other kids and there’s older kids that have chaperoning and the

parents of watching on and having a good conversation over, you know, a big lasagna that

someone’s bought that sense of coming together and eating together and playing sport as a

team. It’s just like magical it’s something that really is like a huge draw card for Rachel living isn’t

it and clearly for you both because you’re still involved in sport, even though your son has left



town and he’s come back a couple of times to to have a little kick with his father over the years.

So that’s been super special too


and grace are producer gave me a little bit of insight into the fact that you have and I think this is

really your backyard is big enough that you actually have AFL goal post set up in your backyard.


We do.




Yes so we can check the fully around in the backyard and not kick it over the fence. So that’s

pretty good.


It has also been used for practicing your skills driving in the


And I’ve weaving in and out making sure you do really good terms. And and in the last couple in

the last couple years I’ve been able to get on a ride on which I love and you know, practice my

little zigzags and so yes. Yes, the the AFL posts are very popular.


I mean that really gives you a sense of the space of that you get in the country. Doesn’t it? The

fact that you can basically mimic a football oval in your backyard is fantastic and Dave because

you work in an office, don’t you? I think there’s sometimes a bit of a misconception about if you

working in Regional Australia, you’re either on a farm or working remotely, but you actually go

into an office don’t you?


I still yes the work in the office. So I’m not outside a lot unless I go outside on the site for

whatever reason so the the biggest lifting I got to do on the office with my coffee cup. That’s

probably pretty much what I’ve got to do. But so yeah, that’s right in the original is office space



Well as any help there’s any job age of you going to see just about we having in the bush.


I’m interested in that because identity and like how you connect with work and how that affects

your identity. These are all things that people obviously consider, you know, before they move

and for you Christy. We talked about your identity and how you were sort of label moving into

this, you know, the regional setting.


For you boys. How do you feel now after being in the regions and and choosing to stay in the



How do you feel that it contributes to your identity? And for you Christy is where is home? Do

you refer to home being you know back in the States or is home now the bush and how long did

it take for you to feel like it was home.


That is a really good question and I get asked that a lot in terms. I’ll answer that first home

because I moved so much is always one of my family is so it’s where David is and that’s home

and Home in terms of family. So that’s where Mum and Dad have retired to in my brother and is

now in Vegas but you know home is where we’re settled in I think but you know for right now it’s

hey and then when we get back to Lockhart in terms of identity, it’s really interesting how how

the world works like in our I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve been very very lucky and doing the jobs

that I do and I’ve been able to change up and go on new adventures out in region and real.


Rural Australia, and it’s been wonderful. So, you know in terms of identity not out and hey, I’m

not deaf web Sons American girlfriend now wife anymore. So, you know, I’m a bit of a mystery I

think out here sometimes but they know me from the sport more than anything which is lovely

number one fan. I am dressed in all my hey, hey Lions colors. Um, but yeah, that’s I think that’s

sort of my identity home home is where my family is. I love that


for me. They could speak different because


In well, probably Lockhart again because of the family from there. So a lot of people knew of me

before I got there and in my role as engineer a council so you do come up. Yeah now a little bit

but here in Heights even more so as the general manager




quite visible to the public you’re in the paper probably every week. Yeah, so it’s a different. It’s a

different thing. You got to be more careful. So we’re quite happy to be a recluse on the weekend

if we can because we’re we’re out and about we’re talking about every day. You you’re on the

fine. You’re in the radio any views probably I’ll get one probably one of once or twice a week.

You might send you more hell ringing you to get acquired ABC brings regularly on something

about a new story or in the papers. So it’s quite nice to be able to just


Step back into the household whatever you want to do all the sports and Outlet, which is great.

But here for me definitely haven’t definitely have an identity in town not always a good one. If

one people thinks about local governments not always a nice thing what people say, but that’s it

that goes to the territory. You knew that coming into the game. So not wasn’t I’m knowing so it’s

quite different here for Christy. Probably a little bit different. I think when we first got here, we

had a first student to 19 and we had to run up to the Christmas time in the off and have a lot of

functions and I think I think we had about four or five functions or six functions over two week

period that we had to get dressed up and go to at night time as the general manager and and

the wife, I think Christy was going to be exhausted all this socializing.




so it’s yeah. So once you move into that profile role in a small community, there is the

expectation you will turn up to all the events


and they’re great


and which is good


and they’re great.


But yeah, so you gotta learn how to make small talk when you have to and then you’ve got to

have their talk business when you need to talk business you deal with politicians quite regularly

have conversations with the title federal members or go away the meet them at conferences. So

it’s a very different role here for me in higher than I probably was in Lockhart in terms of that.


But again, that’s just the that’s it comes in the nights of the role that I do at the work here. So but

we do from a Dandy point of view. It’s it’s interesting how that changes into the role and the town

you go to


but also it’s great to hear just how Dynamic it is and how close to that kind of a role that you

would experience in the city, you know, because again, like I said previously there is this idea

that when you move out of the city that you can find to those roles of like a farmer or will often

it’s just people think that you just moved to become a farmer but there’s this whole Suite of

professional roles that you can enjoy and have the very same experience that you can get in the

city like multiple events and you know being in the council you’d be across all of the community

events that that happen tell me some of the ones that are unique to your community and


you know, we got lots lots of events in high and as you’re right, so we’re we’re involved in every

event that we do so


Has lots of events they’ve coming up. They got the the show with most country towns. I was

show we’ve got the the Mardi Gras which is the Rainbow on the plains Festival. It’s a huge track

sales as a people to town from all over Australia sheep shows. So those dog dog trials. We’ve

got Easter they have illuminate High illuminate where we put have a light show in town. We’ve

got to change tunes on the green. So we have Casey Chambers perform here in March


Busby Marie before that


where we have a big so that’s out of the at the golf course. We set up a big stage out there. It’s

right on the banks of the Murray Bridge River beautiful setting and we have a big concert there

that people come to and we got five people for that which doesn’t sound like a lot from the city

point of view, but it was amazing, but it’s pretty good for a town. Like hi and you know, that’s

enough so generate for the for the Fallen year to get an artist again for the following years. So

all I seems that that’s what brings the community here all these different events


from my perspective being the city girl coming into the country. I love the fact when


Winners or Awards? Come on. It’s the whole range of people that come from the younger ones

who are just up and coming in their careers to the grandmas and grandmas and Pat aunties and

uncles that are all there. I love that and everybody sits down and has a chat


any excuse to get dressed up. I think


that’s good. It’s so much fun and it gets busy here. Do you want to book something? You got to

get in really early?


It’s so good because it’s just that real vibrancy that you people often don’t realize okay in the

regions and you know, you were even mentioning how the show is still a big calendar event and

it’s something as well about having these events that you can expect to come back around, you

know, so the anticipation grows and then like you said, it bubbles out into the City and actually

brings tourists in because they want to Pace of this magic that you talking about where

everyone sort of together and laughing and enjoying some


Kind of cultural experience and it’s it really makes memories. Doesn’t it? Like lifelong memories

from these events that you have like scheduled all across a calendar year,


right. So just to put that suspective tourism is our second biggest industry in high behind



So it’s it’s really important to the town it sort of drought-proof the town so to speak when

agriculture is down the tourism Still Still florists. So it’s very very important to answer the events

the facilities we have in town the accommodation all those things places either very very

important for the community. So so high hero event would be well attraction is the sunset where

the sunset viewing 15 kilometers to the north of town amazing. So when you are here as far as

flat as far as you can see literally and then you can see sunset on the horizon and it’s the most

beautiful thing you’ve ever seen your life. You cannot believe it or not the front cities out in the

on the plans and that’s our major attraction. So we promote that heavily. We’ve just got this

place is little platform. We built between kilometers out the people can pull off the highway on

the side of the road literally can’t see anything else because there’s not in the tree inside and

just those little things that you don’t get to see in the city


starts. Oh my goodness first time I went out to


David’s family farm, you know, I couldn’t stop looking up. I’d never seen so many stars in my life

because you could just see forever.


Absolutely stunning breathing that country air. It’s just amazing


and little things that you might laugh but haven’t lived on the coast in Sydney getting your

washing dry might be a little bit tricky




years. You don’t ever follow me out here the legs usually dry by Tommy put the next load up. So

and they say you take that for granted because lots of dry days. Don’t get a lot of rain. So the

ability to get your washing dry.


Washing dry. Yeah. You just look you just got to be aware of your surrounding sometimes when

you’re putting up


you might just things on the ground that you don’t want to see but it’s besides that at least you

get your wash and dry.


It’s so good because it is the little things and I’m having that issue at the moment where it’s fin

raining for seven days where we are in wa and I’m pulling my hair out because there’s just

clothes hanging over every item of furniture that we’ve got. So it’s a little




a massive incentive. But also you talk about, you know, the sunset and the stars and it’s those

things have been back. So close to Nature that really give you a sense of perspective and also

good for well-being isn’t it for you? Both is being in the bush and when you’ve got such you

know high-powered professional careers. Is there something about being out there where you

can retreat at the end of the day and you can sort of be around you all the time. Like is that a

benefit that you enjoy for me?


Whether it’s Locker here here, it’s beautiful. We’ve got them. I’m busy river and a lot but


I just love taking the dog and just going out Bush for a walk just the the smell of the gum, you

know the water that just just that it’s really hard to explain but just that calm that that chance to

take a breath. We were so lucky during covid. We’re you know, so many people in big cities

couldn’t go out every anywhere. I got the back door with the dog kilometers out into the bush

and just


Take it all in. It’s that for me. I love that even like when we’re back in in Lockhart as well. Just

just the the vastness and the openness and being able to be outside. But I love it. It’s so good.


The other thing I’d like to know from you and in particular, I guess within your region. What are

some of the you know, idiosyncratic things about Regional living that you noticed or that a

unique for you guys like either when you’re driving the wave the finger wave.


Oh, yeah everyone why




you know, and you know who’s coming or not so much here in hybrid. Look at yours you who’s

in the other car or use? Everyone’s car? I think one thing he is the travel no one you got travel

together or meeting one of the blessings of covid. I suppose if you could say that was the fact

that we all learn how to do zoom and teams meetings. So now we’ve saved a lot of time

traveling. So we no one would have better traveling.


Two hours each way for two hours meeting. So now thankfully. We’ve been our teams in a little

bit so you could use your time.


Your time bit more wisely. But in this in the flip side that is you haven’t had the time to travel on

the car where you just buy yourself where you can just again decompress think of things and

having that your own time. So you miss out on that. It’s the Syria distance that that’s probably

unique here and just makes things like a lot different and not sign that’s bad at all. You sort of

get used to any just deal within it’s you just playing for it. It’s not a problem.


One of the Little India secretes are something that I really love about small towns is that yep, we

know who each other are and what’s going on, but if someone hasn’t come to pick up their

newspaper by seven o’clock in the morning or you know, such and such usually does their Town

shopping on whatever day people look out and they check


And they look after each other, you know, when things are a sad or tragedy happens people put

in not that that doesn’t happen in the city. I just think sometimes what I’ve experienced

particularly as an outsider coming in is that dig in and pitch in whether it’s drought or flood or

someone’s past or something’s happen. I just


I’m in all of that because sometimes everybody else is doing it really hard too. And


just the fact that everybody just digs in and has a go and looks out for each other that that was



To me coming from such big big cities. So yeah, that’s something that there was everyone looks

out for everyone.


This is beautiful there. I’m white. Like I said that it’s all Bill wasn’t being up to pick his paper and

someone will make some


some will go and secondly,


it’s just amazing.


It’s that level of commitment and care. I think that people like as humans that we all essentially

really crave especially in the post covid world. Like we’ve talked about the fact that you would

drive, you know, two hours to get to a football game because you’ve made a commitment to the

team or the fact that you you know, you will look out for people when you’re in an environment

like a country town and it is intimate. I think it’s especially important in this day and age where

there are a lot of silos people are quite separate and I’ve talked about it before where when I

was living in the city, you know, you can live right on top of someone but actually never meet

them, you know sharing a wall sleeping next.


Them but knowing nothing about them because it’s just so big and fast and people are on their

own sort of, you know journey and doing their own thing exactly and then you go to the country

and you’ve got that sense of that real sense of community, which just is really I don’t know like it

feels really good. Doesn’t it to have someone you know, you’ve got what you talked about Dave

where sometimes it’s a big claustrophobic when you’re in a role like a counselor and you sort of

accessible to people but at the end of the day, it’s that investment in care that really matters to

you as a human feeling like people are invested and supportive and


In may not really know you from a bar of soap, but will still be around you and support you if

something horrible happens or bring over a casserole or like you said with the newspaper. It’s a

beautiful example of that Christy with on this topic when you obviously had your son your family

would have been back home in the states. How did you sort of keep your head above water

without having family around you? Did you get some support from the community? What was

that experience like for you? So we were still in Campbelltown when


when we first one said first was born and that was um, that was a challenge. Yes. Yes.


There’s neither have said family around


  1. No, so that was really hard. So that was a an adventure for both of us and David doing what

he had to do at that time and his career. That was a big challenge.


After and I still feel really lucky because when we do have family visit like when when David’s

parents came and mine came, we got a lot of help. I think when we moved down the coast we

were closer to David’s family, which was lovely and and that helped I think by the time we went

back to lock like back to the country. It was great to have different connections like for for each

other and for our son as well. So the friends that he’s made along the way, you know, his close

buddies, even though he’s an Adelaide, you know doing this thing. He still catches up and they’ll

come over and they’ll visit if I’m in town. Hi Mom. Hi, Mom that’s been lovely and I think that’s

probably something I didn’t realize that it’s like you might have but I didn’t realize like we would

get that experience. It’s been amazing.


Yeah, the country kids are very quiet.


Oh on for the chat


right some reason. They’re very good at talking to adults and they’re very


I’m not sign that’s all all them. But it just it’s very noticeable. I think maybe it does come from



Sport and that situation of the community events and being immersed in your community so

much and getting good at talking to all different ages. Like you said Christy because you get

there young through the old coming to all these events socializing really having fun. But that’s a

really great skill. I suppose to learn because you are in those environments all the time. You do

learn to communicate with a vast range of different people from different backgrounds ages.

Everything like that. Like you say, let’s bust a myth here.


Can you get a good coffee in Hay? Oh, yes.


Absolutely. You can get a wonderful coffee definitely is plenty of places in. Hey, no problem at



And you can get brunch.


Oh my gosh, amazing


love it and just finally we’d love you to give us and I feel like Dave you’ll be very very practiced at

this. So there’s a lot of pressure on you. But we’d love you to give us your pitch to


move regionally. Well, we need to send you to our website where you can look at the videos,

you know,


that’s it has to be actually Dave and Christy together.


You guys have to work as a nice Longines more time for life. So that is that is the pitch because

you have more time to do other things he and accessibility for life and that that is the harm sent

true so you can work you can work even play in the in the bush easily and the ability to have the

professional careers you talked about and whether that’s now with remote access, which is

great so you can if you work from home in the city and work from home in the bush.


And you can come out here, but then you’re so got time to be able to go and do these other

things. So that’s that I would say it’s 100% true.


That’s perfect because it sums up a lot of the topics that you’ve discussed through our chat

today. It’s a really lovely pitch actually more time for life.


It’s beautiful. And do you have anything to add to that Christy?


Well, I think I think that’s it. I think you know just to you can enjoy being in a different way and I

love that. You know, sometimes you just you walk out in your monster and you go




It’s pretty good life. It’s a great example of having UK and eating it too. You know, you’re working

in great jobs where you can be totally fulfilled and continue to go up the path, you know and hit

those career Milestones, but then also have those beautiful experiences with community and

with nature really find a sense of home. It’s been so wonderful to chat to the two of you today

just got some really in perspectives on the experience that you’ve had


decision The Voice doesn’t mean you miss out on anything at




You moved where is made on the land of the bindara people with David and Christy joining us

from the land of the will rogery people. We would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres

Strait Islander people at the traditional custodians of the land and pay respects to Elders past

and present. This episode was produced by grace through Freight and hosted by me bignell.


The Uso where podcast is brought to you by moved to more and the regional Australia Institute


Make sure you follow us wherever you get your podcast because on next week’s episode. You’ll

hear stories


like this. There’s a certain point.


Where I know I’m I’m basically home the air changes the smell changes and you wind the window down and you just smell home.


Move to more is supported by the Australian federal government. And if you head to the website

move to you you can find a wealth of information that will help you make the move

at move to you can search almost 2000 Regional towns and cities to find your

favorite Regional destination. I mean the same place find your dream home and job

Other Episodes

Your favourite towns and regions

Save your favourite towns and regions here and send them to yourself or share it with friends and family.