An interview about life and community at
Nightingale Ballarat
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How did you hear about Nightingale and what aspect of Nightingale are you most interested in?

Some good friends live in Brunswick on the other side of Anstey Station, so The Commons and Nightingale 1 was visible from their home. I remember seeing the washing on the roof one day and being curious as to ‘what sort of building has washing drying on the roof in the middle of Melbourne?’ I was told it was a Nightingale project and I became fascinated and enthused about the concept. The idea of fair housing, that is environmentally sustainable and actively facilitates bringing together a community of like-minded people, really appealed to my values and how I wanted to live my life.

Can you shed some light on your balloting experience, what are your tips for others thinking about entering a Nightingale ballot?

The balloting process was very easy. I drove to Ballarat one freezing winter day (just to remind me of what Ballarat weather can be like!) to meet with Jen and Camilla from Nightingale and Breathe to ask questions about the project. I visited the site and had a good look around Ballarat before deciding to apply. I sat down with my family and discussed which apartments I wanted to nominate on my ballot paper and ended up nominating six potential apartments based on their size, orientation and my budget. As I’m a teacher, I was in the priority ballot and was very fortunate to get my first choice of apartment. I was so excited on ballot day when I got the call about the apartment in between teaching classes. I did a little victory dance around the classroom, which prompted a few students to laugh at me!

My tip is to do your research and be open to nominating a few apartments that you want, to increase your chances of being selected.

You will be moving to Nightingale’s first regional project.  What made you decide to move to Ballarat?

I’m originally from the Central Highlands and Ballarat is where my family are. I was looking to move to Ballarat within the next decade but the right place located in central Ballarat was hard to find. After reading an article about Ballarat’s ‘urban sprawl’ I noted that Nightingale had the support of Ballarat City Council and were speaking to potential residents about the forthcoming ballot. I took the leap pretty quickly — it was the right home for me, in one of my favourite parts of the city and close to everything I needed. There are things I will miss about Melbourne, but we’re very close to the Ballarat railway station, so I’m not far away.

Are you looking forward to catching up with residents at next month’s topping out ceremony?

I can’t wait. I started a new job in Ballarat in January, so I’ve been driving past the site as it has progressed and met some other Nightingale residents and our neighbours in the street. It will be good to finally get a sense of the size and scale of the building and see the whole resident group in person again after a year of Zoom meetings.

Published April 2021

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