help exchange   Host 33302
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Help Exchange

Bass Coast Shire nr Melb.
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 0.16 ha = 1/4 acre
Persons: 1 couple or 1 person
Category: Homestay
Host ID: 33302
Region: Victoria

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Last Updated: September 5, 2019

Hello travellers of Australia and Aeotereoa (NZ)

We are looking for couples, sometimes solo people:
- Join us in 2019 - September & November
- One couple is ideal; or one tool-smart single . . . . . . .

We host HelpXers and other volunteers at our highly rated coastal micro-retreat on the edge of our town near beaches, to help with maintaining the site / house, assist Dom (myself, main host) in making improvements to small buildings, gardens, and online presence _ video and photography. Ability and confidence to drive a vehicle in Australia is very desirable (approx. one trip per week with Host )

Currently finishing a multipurpose shelter structure. Upgrading the food forests.

Can you sew (curtains) ? Could you do meal preparation ? Any experience with laying ceramic wall tiles ?
Lots of crafty things to do. Some cleaning. Learn how to repair things. Make compost. Remake a garden bed.

There are two 'owner groups' of our place. Mostly its Dominic who lives at ISL who allows one 13 yr co-foster boy (and some friends) to use ISL as his second home. There is one friendly big Blue-tongue Lizard, a range of free birds and soon two bred ducks. 50 special food trees are also homed at ISL along with another 50 complementary tree.

* You will have a double bed, large desk, in a room of your own , plus opportunity for yoga sessions with Dom or another instructor, including Kirtan (singing yoga); plus simple surfing, local walk/cycle to views, beach for swim/surf, great little shops, aboriginal history, and more.

> Two Week Stays: 5 days helping , 2 days off, 5 days for 5-6 hrs / day
> If you end up staying around 10 days: 5 hours a day / 7 days a week (includes cooking )
> Can help you to start surfing, have wetsuits.

- Our place provides holiday / micro-retreat experience in a homestay 'microfarm' on holiday coast town of Inverloch. Please use links ABOVE and read below, to understand more of what we do at ISL. Thankyou!

- - - - - -

At our place you can gain insights into ecological design, adaptive carpentry, permaculture design, yoga practices and more.

Learn to surf with surfboard and our suits - swimming is good now using our wetsuits; Try beach golf/bocce/beach forest meditation/ sleep !

Working on: Roof on a shelter; finishing a side room; making creative gates; ceramic wall and floor tiling; improvements in gardens (managing trees), relaying the base of vegetable beds. We teach you skills for thriving in a fast changing world.

Other things we do : make up the two guest rooms, harvesting yummy foods, managing the grassy areas, shaping trees in lush food forest. Painting. Fixing things.

Food is healthy, mostly vegetarian (90%) with lots of home-grown and organic foods.

You are very welcome to join Dom on trips to singing yoga (Kirtan) plus the 'regular' local yoga class .

Can arrange surf gear for you (unless already being used).
You welcome to come to Melbourne (usually once a week trip) i can usually arrange accommodation for these city trips with me.

We try to keep internet usage to essentials at the house - so much beauty, beach so close . .
Simple/short use (check email, book tickets) you can use 4G WiFi off a mobile phone, OR use nearby spacious warm Library (5 1/2 days a week) which has your surfboards, books, DVDs, a great colour printer; or - one or two nearby cafes have wifi + decent coffee and newspapers.

Longer stays are welcomed after three day trial.

** Advice for travellers who have never been to Australia / NZ : Working English can be a challenge to learn - so, before working/volunteering it is best you become a 'tourist' in Australia for at least two weeks to improve your communication skills , and sort your 'paper work' out - Bank Account / Tax / etc) **

- Note : we prefer two to three week stays.
- Your room has: 1 comfortable double bed; view to quiet garden super clean air; a reading light plus a big light; a chairs and table, clothes hanging space; clean spare clothes and wetsuits.

We can accommodate a couple who can sleep in same room, esp. if one person can drive and is over 25 yrs old (for car insurance). Couples will often need to do separate tasks.

Available for helpers:
- Fresh foods from our garden/trees (seasonal).
- Bike(s)
- Clothes and shoes (for outdoors)
- Wetsuits - Surfboards - Boogie boards.
- Phone hotspot Internet access ( one hour a day)- Nearby town library and cafe has unlimited internet access (daytime)
- Our little home library is focused on sustainable home and community living + health and personal development .
- Sewing gear
- Gear for: beach golf; tennis: indoor games.
- Lesson in surfing / various yoga practices / English / Australian dialect.


> Preference is given to people who:
- Know the purpose of HelpX/WWOOF programs and volunteering :
What are your learning goals ?
- Are already in Australia (unless you have been in Australia before)
- Have a solid profile of your own including photos; provide a reference of some kind - like HelpX , WWOOF, or paid workplace reference
- Can commit to staying two weeks, or more . This is for your benefit as well as ours - it takes time to learn .
- Have vehicle driving experience
- Are not vegan or have multiple food intolerances - sorry.

Other things to help with :
> Cooking;
> Assist with carpentry
> Photography / Video / Uploading (got a good camera?)
> There are a range of interesting projects underway . . upgrading the North pond; completing the composting toilet;
(Training provided for those committed to two to three weeks or more)

> We have a comfortable Earth and timber home and urban retreat on the edge of a coastal town on Bass Coast, 140km from Melbourne, one hour from Wilsons Prom. Also right next to a Marine National Park and other reserves.

- Whilst September to May are our usual HelpX months, June to August is possible.

- Minimum of two weeks is normal.
Three or more weeks is deffinitely possible.

> Preference is given to mature people with driving experience and a detailed profile - Photos please ! - Facebook profiles are usually not enough on their own.

- Walking distance to both quiet and surf beaches, wetland reserves, the Bunurong Marine National Park.
Close to Wilson's Prom. National Park, and other National parks, weekend markets, music events.

- Please view our photos (all web links above) the reviews and educational posts at our facebook page .
- Please provide a phone number so we can speak on phone, if you are not comfortable about speaking on phone (still learning English ) don't worry it is still a useful exercise.
- Seeking people who are not addicted to internet; not smoking tobacco / drinking alcohol ; not believers in the superiority of self-interest (e g Randians )

- Mending (repairing/sharpening) - a wide range of items (glueing, screwing, darning / sewing machine)


When u arrive with plenty of daylight, Dom usually gives you a 15 - 30 minute tour of our locality.

Many things to do in good or not good weather. Beaches / walks / swims , house mini-library / town library / Bunurong Environment Centre / tourist info centre.

- for urgent web access, hotspot wireless is available from your Host's mobile phone
- reliable wireless internet is free at our town library, six days a week.

- Our place is a NO cigarette place = no tobacco smoking
- We drink alcoholic drinks in moderation.
- Place is at final stages renovations of buildings and gardens .

- Melbourne and South Gippsland are highly regarded for quality and diversity in many of the fine arts and in quality local and Organic foods - Inverloch has two places to for excellent coffee, one. for hand-made ice cream and much more.
- Weekend community markets (local produce when available)

- As you see in photos, you can cycle / walk to close flat beaches / patrolled surf beach / town inlet beach / local parks ... whole estuary is open for windsurfing, kite-surfing, paddle-boarding, canoeing - walk to nearby urban orchard with cafe / beach yoga sessions with Dom G or other town teacher / local bush-walking / town exploring / wildlife everywhere.

- Access to Dom's library focused on Permaculture design and practices / sustainable living / healthy mind and body - books / magazines / CD's / animals / yoga and self-development; try a new recipe with herbs/greens from our gardens; practice your English with me or local people.

- is committed to practical design & management methods that build Natural and social capital, leading to community, household and personal sustainability.
- is called 'Inverloch Sustainable Living and Learning' and is a family friendly urban cul-de-sac in a court near edge of beautiful town
- has beaches in walking distance, warm in Winter/cool in Summer (no fossil fuels burnt to achieve this) ; lots of clean air, trees and wildlife; is an ideal place to get deeper insights into sustainable living

- We define sustainable living as:
conscious design, creation and management methods to fullfil needs of present and future generations > using safe Natural energy and safe materials > three-generations and multi-ethnic inclusiveness >home produced food and fuel, healthy eating habits - ie: less meat, more nuts, eggs, tahini, beans; fresh and preserved vegies, nuts, and soft fruits grown biologically (no industrial poisons )
; reducing desire for self-damaging and enviro damaging habits
; less packaging = re-using / recycling containers
; responsible choices in transport [we used commercial soy-diesel in the diesel wagon until the Sept-October 2015 rise in Federal excise killed access to biodiesel] bicycles; walking anywhere (will get you somewhere)
awareness of the effects of our own actions , and awareness of the thoughts that pre-cede these actions
living within Nature's means - eg using energy and water captured at the home;
a conscious use of our own own bodies (less strain & pain)
; conscious use of resources (opposite of "the throw-away society" )
; using Yoga / swimming / TaiChi type practices to stay well (and warm) in body and mind (rather than relying on Osteopath or Chiropractor or Doctors to solve everything )

- Improve your English and learn Australian lingo
- Amazing water sports available - estuary & beaches all walking distance (or use bike)
- our street basketball court, bikes, bowling balls, golf clubs, surfboards available at town Library for free hire
- other beach water activities - like stand-up paddle boarding - can be booked at Info Centre in Inverloch

PLAN AHEAD: if you plan ahead two weeks or more - it works out better for everyone :-)

- Dominic (myself) is a qualified educator/carer for children with a two decades of experience in design and application of ecologically sustainable home / micro-business / environmental design (site design) / green building design & construction / sustainable product design.

We eat well and we always have fresh greens and other foods to harvest straight from garden.
Our fresh foods come from mostly from our gardens / weekend local farmers markets /a nearby urban farm
Exchanging ways of cooking/preserving and language, is a strong part of our place.



Winter Caretakers - May to August - are selected on the following :
- Couples or independent individuals > 25 yrs old.
- References required (University, Previous Volunteer or Paid position, HelpX references)
- Minimum four weeks stay.
- Caretakers do less hours per day than other times of year, BUT take more responsibility than other Helpers - e.g. 2-3 hrs per day of tasks, use some house foods plus supply yr own.
- Dominic or a neighbour will 'show you the ropes' and there is a Caretakers guidebook to read.
- There may be some paying guests to attend to (though not many) - use prepare rooms/make up room for next people.
- There will be some gardening, perhaps some painting.
- Caretakers have excellent communication skills and can judge who to get help from if they need it (the other owners/neighbours / myself) and can resolve issues as they arise (e.g. unblocking rain pipes or removing faulty electrical item and turning power back on after a switch is tripped) and prepare for any coming storms (check roof gutters and down-pipes for blockages, tie up plants, etc.)
Preference given to couples over 25 yrs old.

Dominic Gilligan

Big tips for travellers still outside Australia and never been here:

1. Pack as little as possible - two bags at most, 1 backpack or suitcase + 1 small-ish bag for on-board plane. AVOID BRINGING HUGE SIZE BODY PRODUCTS - too heavy - also cheap to get in Australia or your host will have most things.
-Clothes are easy to find here : lots of cheap clothes in "Opportunity Shops" and 'On Sale'; Borrow from Hosts (Many clothes and shoes for use in Inverloch)
2. Plan to spend your first one or more weeks in Australia exploring Melbourne city/ local mountains, this will settle you into Australia, improve your English speaking ability.
3. THEN do volunteering / and search for paid work while you volunteer.

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