Gen and Matt – Tree change with a difference

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Midwife and Landscaper, Gen and Matt had been looking for a community so they could create the lifestyle they wanted and get out of Sydney.

Having already tried to do the tree change thing on their own, they had relocated to the country with plans to build a strawbale house. But they found being in the country isolating, and Matt was unable to get work, so they had moved back to the city to be nearer to family when they were expecting their first child.

However, they struggled to afford the lifestyle on the Northern Beaches and were still longing for a greater sense of community. When they first found the ecovillage online, Gen describes how they spent several hours the first night, desperately reading everything, afraid they had missed out on it.

They were thrilled to find that Stage One was still under development and at that stage the houses were not yet built, Gen explained.

“I don’t think we’d imagined that the community would be as strong as it is without there actually being anyone living on site, so that was quite amazing to find. A community of likeminded people that we could share our values with and live that life with, but also continue to learn from.” 

Along with many other families, Gen and Matt love the strong sense of community and mutual support. The friendships and shared activities in the parent’s group is just what they had dreamed of. Matt describes how one of the benefits he enjoys is a food swap group, where each person cooks for four families and then you get new and unexpected meals provided three times a week.

Gen said:

“Meaningful conversation is one of the biggest things, and I think as a mother, that was something I looked for and didn’t find in the standard mother’s group.” 

As a landscaper, Matt has enough work lined up for the next few years, as families build in the village, and has ideas for future village businesses possibly in the food arena. He is also building their family home, while currently, Gen and Matt are living with their two children in the granny flat that Matt has constructed on their Lot. They are loving being on site during the construction phase, and find each day brings delightful surprises.

Gen sees great alignment in the village with her passion for midwifery.

“Midwifery – in that sense of making strong mothers. The philosophy I have come to have is that midwifery has the power to create create strong mothers, who raise empowered babies, who have strong families and strong communities… that is absolutely the importance of midwifery in the world. To give these women the best possible experience becoming a mother, because the impact that has on their families and their communities forever is profound.”