There is a quality of life here that doesn’t exist around the world. There is a stronger sense of community and place here than anywhere I’ve ever been.
The word ‘community’ is talked about by many, but there’s no doubt about what community is on Kangaroo Island.
Just as we are connected to nature, Islanders are inextricably linked to each other. Kangaroo Island is a place that provides the space and time to rebuild and reconnect with the people you love and to build new relationships. Our small island population must work together to achieve its goals and the lifestyle we all want, so everyone’s talents are appreciated and new people are welcomed.
Once you move here, you can expect an invitation soon after: to play lawn bowls, to join the Walking Club, to bring your kids to netball or footy practice, to attend an art gallery opening or a farmers’ market. The list of possibilities is endless and you can be as involved as you want to be. Whether your interest is in sport, the arts, the environment, taking up a leadership role in the business community, service clubs or volunteering, your contribution will be valued.
There are regular events on Kangaroo Island where you can celebrate the community spirit. They’re not large and glitzy (but sometimes they are). For the most part they are run by volunteers and bring the broad spectrum of the community together, from farmers to childcare workers, bank staff to chefs. On weekends, many Islanders get involved in sport, as players and fans cheering from the sidelines – it’s a great way to stay connected and catch up with one another.
There are two agricultural shows, one in Parndana and one in Kingscote. Thoroughbred racing at Cygnet River, the Picnic Race meeting and Kangaroo Island Cup Racing Carnival are terrific and enduring events for the Island and bring many visitors from the mainland. The Penneshaw Biannual Easter Art Show showcases Island talent. Stokes Bay Fireworks are a highlight in November and the Hospital Fete brings everyone out in March.
In recent times the Island has hosted opera under the stars, high-profile concerts, food festivals and even a surf carnival and music festival. We hosted our first full-length international marathon in the unparalleled environment of Flinders Chase and in 2017 the world’s annual Small Islands conference.
Community isn’t all about a role in public life or attending an event. More importantly, it’s about your strongest connections. When you need your neighbours they will be there for you, whether you need a hand on the farm, a lift into town, your shopping collected or someone to talk to.
But on Kangaroo Island we also know how to respect each other’s privacy. There is a delicate balance between looking out for each other and giving one other space – and there’s certainly plenty of space when you need some time alone!
Your community is waiting for you – what are you waiting for?