From Ireland to Tasmania
In 2015, Grace Walsh came to Tasmania to explore its diverse landscapes, better understand her partner, and map out her long term plans for the future. Today, she is a big part of a small community in Tasmania’s north east and she couldn’t be happier.
Originally from Dublin in Ireland, Grace came to Australia planning to take time off and travel around but she ended up spending much of her time in Tasmania.
“It was clear to me early on that this was a special spot”, says Grace. “Before I realised it, the place and its beautiful landscapes had really got under my skin and it started to feel like home.”
Owen Powell, Grace’s partner, is a born and bred Tasmanian. The pair met in Ireland and travelled extensively. When considering their next travel destination Owen’s attachment to Tasmania gave Grace the opportunity to discover more about her partner and his upbringing. Together, they now run ‘the family farm’ outside of Scottsdale, in Tasmania’s north east.
“I was looking for a lifestyle that would be less stressful than in Dublin,” explains Grace, who had spent nine years project managing in youth and community work. “Living on a farm in Tasmania, and having constant access to nature is the perfect balance to the intensity and challenges that community and project work can bring.”
“Moving to Tasmania has been about what kind of lifestyle I wanted for myself,” says Grace, who has done anything but ‘settle down’ in Tasmania. She has become an integral part of her local community, taking a short-term contract managing Tasmania’s Harmony Week events – an event which celebrates cultural diversity in Australia.
Grace also organised A Scattering of Stories – a music and storytelling event in Scottsdale, which included exclusive appearances by Liam Ó’Maonlaí of the Hothouse Flowers. “I was fascinated by the cultural and historical connections between the islands of Tasmania and Ireland, and also felt that my local community could benefit from reflecting a little on their identity, and the richness of the collective story of that community.”
Grace is already a true local, and has embraced Tasmania’s cultural scene with open arms. “There are more events than I can find time to get to. I am a big fan of the Cygnet Folk Festival, and have been to it two years running. It’s a wonderful example of a community-led event. There are so many creative, place-based arts events here which is a huge plus of living here.”
But above all, it is Tasmania’s great climate that seals the deal. “On paper Tasmania is supposed to have a similar climate to Ireland, but I’m pretty sure you get more sunshine here. Even in winter there are so many beautiful blue skies and warm moments in the sun. And I can grow cucumbers and tomatoes outside which I can’t do at home!”
Have you considered moving to Tasmania? Check out the Ready to Make it Tasmania article to find out more about moving here, or read about others who have made a move for the better.