Celebrity ‘Let’s chat’ with guest writers, and Two Wells locals, Judi Frost and Ann Stoddart about…

City mentality and community involvement

Hi, it’s Judi here.

I would like to chat about moving from suburban life to a country existence.

I was born in Balaklava and have lived in Korunye, Woomera and now reside in Two Wells.

I have seen Two Wells go through many stages, up to the thriving country town it now is, with all the shops in the main street occupied.

Many young families are making the move here due to new housing development estates.

It is a delight to now see young couples walking with prams and taking advantage of meeting for a chat and alfresco coffee with friends.

On having said that, you have moved to a town that has an active community with a strong sense of connection. For others considering the move, I would say, be wary of bringing a city mentality with you.

Expect more dust and flies, a lack of public transport and no street mailbox deliveries.

You can, though, expect cleaner air, friendly smiles and helpful people.

There’s a tendency to look down on regional areas, which tend to have their own dynamic and function well within that dynamic.

You can’t bring that attitude with you and expect to thrive.

When you arrive, take time to look around, to understand how the community works and engage with the community as much as possible.

Get involved with everything you can.

The fact is, the more you put in, the more you get out.

Spread yourself around as much as possible.

It’s easier if you have children in school because you have a pathway to meeting people, but if you don’t, then put your hand up for everything.

Get involved in sport, many clubs are running on empty and are crying out for new members; the arts or with the community representation group (TWRAT) – that way you will meet a broader cross section of people.

There’s definitely a different quality of life here and hopefully you will learn to love it, if you don’t already.

What do you think, Ann, having lived in the big smoke (Sydney), and also some of the remotest parts of SA?

What are your thoughts on being open-minded and getting involved with the local community, wherever you call home?

Well Judi, I couldn’t agree more.

There is a satisfaction in being involved in the community of the place you have chosen as your home.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether your choice is a small or large community.

When your kids have gone to local schools it is easy to get involved with their sporting teams as a volunteer helper.

No problem either if it be music, dance, or horse activities, should these be their priorities.

Good help is always appreciated and it’s a great way to meet people with similar tastes as yourself.

Showing pride in your town and not minding a bit of change now and again without destroying the ambience and history of the place is quite rewarding.

Two Wells has a little bit of a “Lygon Street” vibe, a well-known Victorian café and restaurant precinct, with our café strip, pubs, bakery, eat in or take away food shops, and coffee shops.

We have an amazing craft shop run by local ladies, and there’s a great deal of variety for a small town with a large spread of population.

Having lived in various states in various sized towns, there is not one of them where friends weren’t made.

We’re always made to feel welcome when we go back for a catch up now and again.

This is due mainly to getting involved with the people in these towns through the kid’s school or local clubs and volunteer organisations.

I was born and bred a Gawler girl before we eventually moved to Adelaide.

Office work was my go and I eventually transferred to Sydney with the company.

Life changed a bit then with marriage and the hospitality industry beckoned.

We spent a total of around 30 years owning and managing pubs across the country before I became a professional full-time granny to our six beautiful grandchildren.

There was a bit of a pattern to our moving around.

The towns seemed to be further from cities and the populations smaller.

I’m not sure if there is a moral to all that but it was friendly and fun most of the time.

It doesn’t matter where your travels take you, the more you get involved with your local surroundings and people, the more great memories you’ll have of the fun and good times.

So, if you’re new to the local community (and even if you’re not), don’t be afraid to put your hand up and get involved.

We’re a very welcoming bunch here at Two Wells.

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