Family a long way from family
“It’s not as far away as you think it is, it’s not as isolated as you think it is and the only way you will find out is to come out and experience it honestly just give it a crack.”
It would take a combined three days of driving for young married couple Alina and Sam Hart to visit their families interstate, but they’ve found a new family far out.
Alina was living in a regional centre in New South Wales when she met Sam, who had left NSW to live in Blackall, central-west Queensland.
“We tried living down south for a while but found our hearts just wanted to be here and so this is where we planted ourselves about five years ago,” she explains
They found it much more affordable to purchase and renovate a character Queenslander home and Alina was offered a job before she’d even arrived in the central west.
“Because Sam had already been living here people heard I was coming and I’d secured employment as the marketing and events coordinator for the Better In Blackall Festival before I’d arrived and I just keep finding more and more to do,” she said.
Despite being so far from family and established friends when they arrived she laughs at the idea of a sleepy country town.
“It is just a really warm atmosphere, very social very very social you actually just crave a weekend to yourself,” she laughs.
She has built relationships in the community and has people in her life that feel like family and treat them like family.
“If you’re coming out to this area the town is the kind of place if you want to be part of the community, the community wants you to be part of it,” she explains.
And there is no hiding or even hiding your talents and abilities under a bushel in a small community.
“I also do project management of Blackall Cultural Association and I bake and supply treats to a cafe in town,” she muses.
During the COVID 19 pandemic Alina started baking cakes for friends and was soon approached by a local cafe to provide them.
“It’s been keeping me very very busy, the first week was bonkers I think I did about sixty hours of baking,” she explained.
She has never aspired to be a baker, it’s a side hustle, but one that fell in her lap because the community recognised she had something to offer.
“There is no chance I would be doing this in a bigger town not a chance at all, I don’t think anywhere else would let me do this,” she explains as she pours chocolate batter into a tin.
The couple has no doubt their move far out was the right thing to do and are keen for other young couples to step out of their comfort zone and be rewarded with an unexpectedly full and connected life.
“Its not as far away as you think it is, it’s not as isolated as you think it is and the only way you will find out is to come out and experience it honestly just give it a crack.”
It is just a really warm atmosphere – very social, very, very, social. You actually just crave a weekend to yourself.
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