Caretaker Sought for Wurruk’an Property – No Rent, Longterm Lease
Date(s) - March 3, 2018 - March 16, 2018
Time - 7:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Applications are being sought for a care-taker position on a 20 Acre property in Gippsland. It’s a beautiful, undulating property with established organic gardens, a four-bedroom house, and six tiny houses. Basic farm maintenance and occasional event management is sought in exchange for no-rent. Opportunities to start own eco-business if desired but not required. Looking for long-term occupants with desire to practice ethics of low-impact living Would suit individual, couple, or family with some basic farm management skills who want to live simply on the land. More info below – send any questions to [email protected]
WHAT IS ON OFFER
Wurruk’an is a 20-acre property 130km’s East of Melbourne in the hills outside Moe. The property contains 12 acres of lush sclerophyll forest populated by a seasonal creek, tree ferns, messmate and peppermint gums, wallabies, possums, and the occasional emu.
The 8 acres of cleared land contain:
• A four-bedroom brick veneer home with multiple bathrooms and living areas
• Over half an acre of established garden beds
• Bountiful fruit and citrus orchards of about 30 trees including apple, pear, cherry, lemon, lime and grapefruit
• A large work shed with a set of communal hand and power tools
• A communal living space retrofitted with recycled materials, cypress benches, kitchen amenities and an Everhot woodfire stove
• A cob pizza oven and two outdoor rocket stoves
• Detached ‘Tiny House’ spaces suitable to Air BnB including a Cob Cabin, Earthbag Round House, several recycled timber ‘houses’, and a mini-Earthship.
• 2 shipping containers stocked with timber and other salvaged building materials
• A composting toilet block
• A tree lined 80,000L dam
• A paved tennis court/cark park
• A large earth-berm larder below the house for stable storage of produce and preserves
• A winters worth of chopped firewood
The original Ecovillage experiment featured in the 2015 documentary ‘A Simpler Way’ http://happenfilms.com/a-simpler-way/ is winding down as the land owners consider new directions for the Wurruk’an project.
WHAT WE WANT
The property is looking for a skilful and enthusiastic individual, couple, or family to manage the 8 acres of cleared land and existing infrastructure in exchange for free board and the capacity, if desired, to use the land as a base to start a business. The outgoing ecovillage members will provide transitional support to train the caretaker in the systems and management of the land. The owners, whilst not living at Wurruk’an, are friendly, flexible and visit from Melbourne intermittently. They will be able to provide ongoing assistance with the property management.
The ideal caretaker/s would be confident in their ability to undertake small-scale farm/land management, or as general handyperson. They would be self-directed and preferably have an established or transferable set of skills for land management, maintenance and/or homesteading. This would include the capacity to use farm equipment such as tractors, chainsaws, and lawn maintenance tools. They would be comfortable with a time commitment of about 10-20 hours per week to maintaining the property.
There is the opportunity for caretaker/s to utilise the property to draw an income if they desire. This enterprise would ideally have a low impact, environmental focus. We feel that a business at Wurruk’an would lead to greater stability for the caretaker whilst also reinforcing the demonstration aspect of the project.
Some potential sources of income might include:
• Market gardening
• Tiny house on wheel building
• Retreat space/forest tours/workshop space
• Managing our existing tiny houses as Air BnB’s
• Sustainable craft or production
If you would like to see and assess the property to inform the business proposal of your application we will be having an open day as per the details below.
For the past three years Wurruk’an’s primary focus has been as an intentional community, refining our simple living systems. Over this time we have varied between 3 and 10 residents and have hosted many working bee’s, workshops, and supported aligned community groups such as Earthworker and the Food Sovereignty Alliance. With a large number of the current residents moving on we have decided to wind back our focus on maintaining a community. The four of us currently living at Wurruk’an will likely be moving on within the year.
Though the community is winding down the Wurrukan project aims to continue into the future. Nick Lampel, environmental officer at Mott McDonald, will be leading the project and managing the property on behalf of the Lampel family. The Lampel’s live in Melbourne and request to keep a room or two free in the house for intermittent visits. They will carry responsibility for certain maintenance tasks, the details of which will we talked through in the interview process.
Additionally, Dr Samuel Alexander— Research Fellow with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, and lecturer at Melbourne University—has collaborated on the project since its inception and will continue to assist Nick and remain involved in some capacity.
Currently, the Wurruk’an Project is investigating what it might look like to transition Wurruk’an toward a non-distributing co-operative and/or collaborative space with the Gunai-Kurnai traditional owners. While it is not necessary for a caretaker to participate in this transition, an interest in co-operatives or Gunai-Kurnai collaboration would be a major advantage. Furthermore, Nick and Sam may wish to run workshops or tours around the simple living components of the property. Having flexibility to work with future events and public outreach would be greatly appreciated.
Because of the many factors involved in this position a meeting with Nick, Sam, and the ongoing community members would be needed after the email application.
APPLICATION PROCESS AND KEY DATES
We will have an open day on Saturday the 3rd of March to inspect the property and ask any questions. We will host a morning session between 10-11am and an afternoon session from 2-3pm. If you are interested in attending please send an RSVP email to [email protected] and we will send you the address.
Please send through a 1-2 page application addressing the following to [email protected] by March the 16th:
– Who are you? What’s your story? Where are you from?
– What makes you want to apply for this role?
– What skills and experience can you offer?
– Do you have past/current engagement with environmental sustainability and low-impact living?
– Do you have a business idea you would like to pursue?
– Do you have an interest in participating in the transition of the Wurruk’an project?
– What would be a potential timeline for you to consider moving to the property and how long would you plan to stay?
– Do you have any physical or other requirements to be aware off?
After the application closing date we will be in touch by the 31st of March
If you are unsure whether you are an exact fit for this position, please send through an application in any case. We welcome original ideas and will be more than happy to discuss any interesting counter-proposals.