The evolving of Miller’s Corner
5th March 2018
Hello, I am Lia and with husband Graeme we have founded Miller’s Corner.
Miller’s Corner is a social and sustainable intergenerational co-housing community in
the heart of Mount Barker, South Australia.
After our recent ‘Open’ I decided to look over Miller’s Corner website to review how
relevant the information still was. In a way it is like reading an old letter from a dear
friend. Our dream for community is many years old but it was only in 2012, with the
help of a WooFer (willing worker on organic farms) that we established our official
Miller’s Corner website. We try to update or add to the information maybe every 6-
12 months but by the look of what has been written in some sections, it has been
awhile! It is interesting to see and read how Miller’s Corner is a living organism as it
has and keeps evolving, which is exciting!
On Sunday 25th of February 2018, together with some of our ‘signed up’ residents, we
hosted our 12th ‘Open’ and we welcomed approx 18-20 visitors. It is always an
enjoyable experience to speak and listen to our visitors and to hear from them what
attracts them to visit Miller’s Corner. What sparks their interest, what are they
looking for? The stories are interesting and varied as is the wide range of ages and
backgrounds of people who visit. There are the young people and young families
who look for community and a more sustainable way of living and the single people
who seek community. Some of the older visitors speak about their wish to downsize
but not wishing to live in a retirement village. They wish to continue to be fully in
charge of their own lives which includes where and how they live as well as wanting
to continue to participate in all decision making as they age. Most people are looking
for a more sustainable way of living and have a wish for community, connection and
Further, we have visitors who come out of interest and with a wish to find out what
we are all about. We do encourage inquiries and enjoy sharing with others how
Miller’s Corner is taking shape and how it is taking its place within the Mount Barker
community. Our visitors may gain some insight and new knowledge about what it
could be like to live in a co-housing community.
Co-housing was not a new concept for us as Graeme and I had bought a share in a
community in northern NSW in the early eighties but somehow we never
ended up living there. However, it has always been something which struck a chord
with us. I believe for me, as an immigrant to Australia at the age of 21, it is related to
having this sense of belonging within a community and neighbourhood.
When we first floated the idea of building ‘a community’ with a circle of good friends
and acquaintances it sparked some interesting discussions. There were questions
around what type of community, how many houses, will there be gardens, what do
you mean car parking at the front and not near the front door, where will you live and
so forth. We took all of these questions into consideration in our conversations with
our architects and street/landscaped designers and we are pleased that what has
resulted is an aesthetically pleasing streetscape design which incorporated the size
and design principles of the existing dwellings. The loop road around Forrest House
(community house) with parking at the front is designed to encourage those small
incidental social interactions as you walk from your car to your house or vice versa
with the included health benefits of walking even if it is a short distance.
Re-reading some of website information has made me realise that we have evolved
and that at times compromises had to be made but that our vision and commitment
has remained steadfast in turning Miller’s Corner into a reality. Each decision and
each resident brings something unique to this development and as we share with
others and learn from others we grow and develop and so does Miller’s Corner.
The last paragraph in ‘Our Story’ sums it up: “It has been and continuous to be a
journey of discovery about what we and other community member’s 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 with others in our ‘eco-housing’ community”.