We arrived in Mt Barker in 1996 and loved the idea and joys of semi-rural living within close proximity to the town. It was with great pleasure that we bought our house at 2 Dunn Road on a large block with views to a sheep paddock out the back and horses next door. The house is a handcrafted two-story Kanmantoo stone home which the original owner/builders had lovingly built. Their life circumstances had changed and after a chance meeting with a friend of theirs we visited the property and negotiated the sale within a few hours.
Three weeks later (February 1996) we moved in on a rental basis whilst a subdivision, now Gollen Court, went through the Land Titles Office. The building of the house was not fully completed; we finished building some of the walls, a balcony, some interior structures and completed the landscaping around the house. The area remained a ‘sleepy part’ of town until the early 2000’s when development occurred first at Gollen Court at our back and later the building of The Laurels Retirement Village on our left. Developers of both developments approached us and asked us if we wanted to sell but by that time it had become our home and we were well settled into the local community.As the years went by our three children grew up and moved out. We remained, as we enjoyed living in our house and we felt part of the community. Whilst continuing to be active within our working careers and community activities we also managed to maintain our home and large garden.
In the meantime Mount Barker developed around us and we came to realise that our little ‘oasis’ would unlikely remain so unless we found a way to preserve it. Our fear was that if we sold, a developer would demolish our house to maximise housing density on our land.Together we agreed that we were best to develop our property ourselves. We believe in urban design which enables community and we believe in building more sustainable and climate friendly homes, and we therefore decided to demonstrate that designing houses and a housing cluster or suburb can be done differently. Through conversation with family, friends and many others we formed our vision around a three-fold model of balancing the social, environmental and the financial spheres of our lives. This let us to our vision of building a social and sustainable intergenerational co-housing community.
Over these last 9 years the project has evolved and grown into what it has become now. We have worked hard to bring our vision to reality and now with other residents ‘signed up’ we look forward to forming community. We are now early March 2018 and with the infrastructure completed we await with eagerness the commencement of building our homes and gardens over the coming months/years.It has been and continuous to be a journey of discovery about what we and other community members value in building a home and community. At Miller’s Corner we are providing the clay out of which a community will develop. There will be plenty of opportunities for new residents to sculpt a shared future and we look forward to continue living in our ‘eco-housing’ community.