Regional Rural Finance Brokers are publishing a new series of articles featuring families that have made a “tree change”. In the series, we ask them what life in regional Australia is like. In this interview, we talk to Jarrod Partridge, founder and editor at F1 Chronicle, who moved to Mildura from Melbourne.
What motivated you to move to Mildura from Melbourne?
We wanted to move so our son could be closer to his ‘pop’ as they have a strong bond, and we also wanted to buy instead of rent. With properties much more affordable and family just minutes away rather than hours, it became a no-brainer for us.
Was the cost of property a factor for you when moving to Mildura? What is the difference compared to Melbourne?
The cost of the property was a huge factor in our ‘tree-change’ as we didn’t want to be saddled with a huge mortgage for decades to come. In Mildura we could get a better property for less money than we could in Melbourne, and we’ll have it paid off 15-20 years faster.
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How was adapting to life in Mildura?
There was definitely an adjustment period to moving to the country. Suddenly things that you take for granted are different, such as chain stores closing early and other places being closed on Sundays – just quirks that you don’t expect and have to keep in mind so you don’t get caught out.
What are the main attractions of Mildura that you like to tell visitors about?
The main attractions here are the river, the warm winter weather, and the growing cafe scene. There are some cafes here that make better coffee than in Melbourne! It’s also nice to be able to walk around in winter some days in just a shirt rather than layer upon layer.
What are work opportunities like in Mildura?
We run our own business, I’m the Founder of F1 Chronicle – so all I need is a laptop and an internet connection and I can get my work done. It was a bit of a concern for the future, will it disadvantage our kids? But on the flip side, we’re able to send them to a private school which we feel will give them a head start, which is something we wouldn’t have been able to provide in Melbourne.
Can you describe your lifestyle in Mildura?
We love our lifestyle here, and there is so much to do in the community. There are farmer’s markets every weekend, the council organises a lot of community events, and there are different activities every day for our son such as gymnastics, tennis, and Ready Steady Go Kids, and that’s without everything he does at kindy! The community has been very welcoming, which really helps when you don’t know anyone. A little local knowledge can go a long way.
If you have children, what are the benefits and challenges of living in Mildura compared to a big city?
One of the biggest challenges we have found was getting a GP. Most weren’t taking on new clients, and by the time we found one, their wait time was two weeks to be seen – not ideal when you are worried about a virus or temperature. The school options here are great. The school we have chosen, Trinity Lutheran College, actually runs a program called ‘Pelican Kids’ for the community, where 1-4 year olds and their parents can go to the school once a week and use the facilities to play and learn. It’s a fun community activity and you get to see what the school is like, so it’s a great lead magnet for the school too 😂
What can you say to people considering the ‘big move’?
If you’re not happy with where you are, or it doesn’t meet your goals, then go for it. If you want to change something in your life, then you actually have to change something in your life.