The number of people making a tree change to the Riverina has steadily increased, with figures showing an extra 4000 residents have made our region their new home in the past five years.
According to figures from Regional Development Australia-Riverina, an Australian government initiative to boost the Riverina, the number of new residents to the Riverina has increased 0.5 per cent every year for the past five years.
The number of new businesses with a turnover over between $100,000 to $200,000 has jumped 4 per cent.
There have been another 50 businesses with a turnover of between $500,000 to $2 million.
“We’re seeing more people than ever moving to the Riverina to cash-in on the opportunities here,” executive officer of Regional Development Riverina Rachel Whiting said.
“People in the cities are worn out by long daily commutes and soul-crushing mortgages.”
“They’re looking for the work-life balance and even career advancements that can come from making a country change.”
Paul and Leslie Weston moved from the US to Coolamon where they breed horses and dogs, and still commute to Charles Sturt University, where Paul lectures in introductory biology and pest management, and Leslie works as a plant biologist researcher.
“Coolamon is a great little community and we are now Australian citizens and have absolutely no plans to move as we love it here,” Paul said.
Jessica and Nick Wood had a less dramatic, but equally rewarding, move when they decided to call Junee home after living in Wagga.
Opening their own law firm, Bower Wood Lawyers in Wagga, the couple are happily raising two young daughters in a new house on a property with chickens, sheep and dogs.
“I lived in Junee as a teenager and probably didn’t appreciate it then, but now I’m older, I’ve got to know the people and we love knowing that our girls are in a community that really looks out for each other; and we’ve got space," Nick said.
Here are some other case studies compiled by Laticia Gibson from Blue Clay Productions;