Village workshop a hobbyist’s dream

Australis Rossmoyne Waters.
Australis Rossmoyne Waters.

ROSSMOYNE Waters’ Australis retirement complex has reached another community building milestone.

After months of planning, a fully equipped unisex village workshop is poised to welcome creative residents.

Described as being at the top end of hobbyist workshop design, the air-conditioned facility hosts an impressive array of woodworking equipment as well as tools and room for other pursuits, such as ceramics and glass work.

Plans are also under consideration for the development of a separate facility for metalwork enthusiasts.

The village workshop is the latest evolution of earlier humble facilities established by residents of Australis’s adjacent independent-living area.

“I never dreamed we’d be able to set up and have access to something like this,” original workshop co-founder and independent-living area resident Bill Pringle said.

“The first two workshops Jack Higgins and I established were just one bench and some donated hand tools.

“They were places of great friendship though.

“We’d lost a mate in very sad circumstances and knew somewhere was needed to gather, talk and help each other through.

“The most important tools then were the kettle, a cup and your ears.”

Rossmoyne Waters’ village workshop hobbyists (L to R): Vic and Marilyn Roberts, Jack Higgins, Ron Millen, Bob Pringle and John Holland

Co-founder Jack Higgins added: “We had one rule in the early days; no sleeping overnight.

“Some of the guys would lose track of time in there if you didn’t keep an eye on them. We started going around checking on residents who’d lost a partner or whose husbands weren’t well to see if they had any personal items needing repair.”

Bill continued: “Now the ladies are joining us in this new workshop and that is just wonderful; a real sense of care and community lives on.”

Several fellow residents, including Ron Millen and Lindsay Laing, respectively former engineering pattern and cabinet makers by profession, worked with Bill, Jack and

Rossmoyne Waters’ Adventist Care management team to devise the new workshop’s design and equipment plan, as well as its Worksafe compliant occupational health and safety procedures.

“Up to five people can work on the equipment at one time,” Ron said.

“It accommodates far more than that during tool-free-time to socialise or have craftspeople demonstrating hobbies.

“We are not taking the place of building management, it’s a hobbyist’s workshop established to look after minor maintenance of personal items and provide a creative outlet and social space.”

Hobbyist and retired manufacturing professional John Holland said: “The final result certainly has lived up to expectations.

“It’s inclusive and designed to enable diversification, a superb community space that will evolve as Rossmoyne Waters does.”

Australis resident Marilyn Roberts, who with her husband Vic intends to spend many happy hours in the workshop, said the sense of community was heart-warming.

“I really enjoy using the tools and equipment, working together on projects with Vic,” she said.

“My friend Lucy feels very comfortable here too; you’re free to engage as lightly or heavily as you like.”

Vic said the workshop was a brilliant place for people to connect.

“One of the loveliest things is the inclusion of Bill and Jack’s original work bench, joining the old with the new,” he said.

Adventist Care chief executive Gary Blagden said the workshop, which is housed in a soundproofed environment below the complex, would eventually be run by an elected committee.

“Already safety inductions, training manuals, good governance and compliance are in place,” Gary said.

Stage One of the Australis apartment complex is now more than half sold and interest in the remaining 31 two- and three-bedroom apartments, from $475,000-$845,000, is heightening.

“We’re encouraging people to reach out to our village manager Daniel Gallop now and experience the complex’s apartments and amenities, including the Village Workshop, first-hand,” Gary said.

“All apartments are life-long lease with three choices of Deferred Management Fee geared to suit individual circumstances.

“We’re crafting a harmonious, positive community here and we’re doing it in style”.

For more information about Australis at Rossmoyne Waters, call Daniel on 9253 4456 or visit