Couple sell house to adventure around Australia
WARANA residents Les and Allana Townsend have decided that life's too short to miss out on adventure.
The couple have put their house on the market and have arranged for a motor home to be built over the next 4-6 months, in view of swapping a sedentary life for working and travelling around Australia.
Embracing the 'grey nomad' way of life, Les, 50 and Allana, 51, have also recently completed a farm caretaker and workers short course at South West Tafe in Warrnambool, Victoria, in hope that the course will open the door to unique work experiences.
"Life's too short and we want to have experiences and not just be stuck in our old jobs," Allana said. "We want to try different things."
Les has been running pubs and clubs and Allana has spent "too many years" working in legal and family law and more recently in a high care residential unit.
"Now if we want to fruit pick, look after a farmer's property or stock, or help with fencing we can," Allana said.
"We know what questions to ask and about the equipment and stock, which is better than going in green. We can just get in there and start helping."
They are all skills that the couple learnt during the inaugural eight-day farm caretaker and workers course at South West Tafe, which was inspired by growing demand for short-term farm workers and provides hands-on training in caring for and handling livestock, managing water supply, fencing, operating quad bikes, front end loaders and general farm machinery, and occupational health and safety.
Course coordinator Karen Wales said: "It will make sure they are confident and have the basic skills to work on a farm.
"There are thousands of opportunities to work or volunteer on a farm around Australia, but farmers don't want someone who's never been on a tractor or don't understand how to muster cattle."
Les has had some experience in the industry but Allana was "totally green" when it came to farm work.
"We're both getting something out of the course," Les said.
"Every day I think this is the first time I've ever done this," Alanna added. "I was a city girl through and through."
They are still working but as soon as their motorhome is built and house sold they want to hit the open road.
"We plan to travel around Australia and find work along the way," Allana said.
"We don't mind what it is," Les said. "We could feed and move stock, check water and keep an eye on the property."
For details on the farm caretaker and workers short course, visit www.swtafe.vic.edu.au.