I had to think carefully about this one because I know that people I know will probably read it. For most of my life I’ve lived in the suburbs and I would say that they have fallen firmly into the “somewhere in between bracket”. I have tended to judge them on the attractiveness of the environment rather than the incomes of the people who lived there.
Now I live in the country and that is different. The area where I live is an interesting mix of old-established families who have always lived in the district, Tasmanians who have left the state to work or travel and come back and more recent arrivals from mainland Australia like myself. I have been here nearly twelve years but by local standards that is not long.
This area, the Huon Valley, has been home to farmers, orchardists, forestry workers and fishermen but in recent times the first three have hit hard times. Tourism has become more important and many of the people who have moved here are “Tree Changers” who came to Tasmania on holidays and fell in love with the place. I was one of them and I’ve spoken to others who have said the same thing when I’ve asked how they came to be here. I wrote about my home town on this blog some time ago as I’ve always been impressed by the friendliness and sense of community here. If we go to a community meeting about any issue there will always be a good turn out of both the old and the new residents. What is noticeable though is the number of grey heads.
I used to volunteer at the local community radio station and during the time I was there I became aware of the diversity of people in our local area. I had not realised there were so many musicians, writers and artists in the district. I’ve met the people who are trying to preserve the town’s history and the people who have lived it and have its stories inside them. I’ve met newcomers who are starting businesses of their own and long time residents who don’t want to see their town die.
This is not a wealthy community, I’d say we range from moderately comfortable to “battlers” who are just getting by but I don’t believe there is an upper and lower class and that’s something I like about living here.