• Lia

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!

Autumn - our favourite time of the year

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”.

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