Cathy and Jay – drawn to the ‘thickness’ of community

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With backgrounds in social change movements and progressive governance Cathie and Jay were drawn to Narara Ecovillage for its use of sociocracy, and what they call a ‘thicker’ experience of community.

“As social change geeks, we liked the large scale of Narara”, says Jay. “An intentional community of 200 people means working together through differences, and exploring beyond a culture of pure agreement or reliance on institutions”.

Hailing from Dublin and Melbourne respectively, Cathie and Jay value the richness of intentional community for their two young children, and Narara’s proximity to a progressive Montessori school.

“We want our kids to experience home as a web of relationships across generations”, says Cathie. “The independent learning genius of kids gets unlocked with Montessori, and here at the Village their home and social life supports their independence”.

With Strickland Forest and Australia’s oldest arborteum on the Village’s border, nature was also a drawcard for Cathie and Jay moving to Narara.

“The state forest on our doorstep means more time in nature, more time connected with the earth amidst busy lives” says Jay. “And the Central Coast beaches, rivers and lakes are a revelation for us—we think it’s Australia’s best kept secret”.

For Cathie—with a background in permaculture, natural building, and craft—the intergenerational richness of the Village calls to mind the culture of Ireland, where craft, connection and learning go hand in hand.

“Back home we gather a lot for music, for craft, and in my old permaculture community to find connection while working with our hands”, says Cathie. “So finding that connection across generations and cultures here in the Village just feeds my soul”.

That theme of connection—across differences, between generations, and through the many threads of Ecovillage life—have made the big move to NSW and Narara Ecovillage a worthwhile one for their family.