Leaving the hustle and bustle of frantic city life all behind to explore the serenity of rural Australia is something we’ve all thought about, right? 

In a nutshell, this change of scene is crafted through literature to perfection in Banjo Paterson’s poem Clancy of the Overflow. 

This legendary tale published late in the 19th Century has also been a source of inspiration for 65- year old Martin, a participant of our TRACQS WfD Activity, and includes the following verse.

 “And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him… And he sees the vision splendid.”

Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson

A change of lifestyle was something that Martin was so eager to pursue.

So he packed up his things in Adelaide, hopped on his pushbike and cycled 8000 kilometres to try something new by picking avocados and mangos here in Far-North Queensland.

Shortly after arriving in Dimbulah, Martin then teamed up with us at The Tablelands Men’s Shed in Dimbulah, which is our base for the TRACQS Dimbulah Community First WFD Activity.  

Martin is a self-confessed “65 years old a Jack of all Trades and a Master of none.” 

By his own account, he’s also enjoyed quite a life of adventure which has also allowed him to gain some convenient transferable skills along the way.

From studying towards a Bachelor of Visual Arts, getting on the tools as a machine operator, building backdrops for the Royal New Zealand Ballet to travelling across Vietnam and Japan, where he was teaching – and also working in a mortuary.

When he’s not out working on farms around the community, Martin enjoys getting involved in our TRACQS WFD activity, which gives him a sense of belonging. 

Martin after a hard day’s work takes a well-earned break on the Kuranda steam train seats in the process of being restored

He is proud that he is making a valuable contribution to his new-found community, which his TRACQS WFD Supervisor Jason is pleased to point out.

“Martin never misses a day, is a tough and skilled worker and is the first to be involved in any Community project,” said Jason.

Martin also appreciates the comradery of his peers. He has since gained a broader range of skillsets through our activities. He credits Jason, his TRACQS Supervisor, for being “affable with a quick and inventive mind.”