The Elek Family




“Bellendena” house; the possum- and rabbit-proof fenced vegetable garden down the hill and vineyard behind the house (out of sight)






Andrew                                   Jane               Holidays

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Catriona   and her husband Simon moved from Sydney to Alice Springs at the end of 2004. Catriona was managing the social services at the Tangentyere Council, which is the umbrella group for aboriginal town camps around Alice. Simon was a criminal defence lawyer for the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid service. They bought their first house there, and settled in with their two dogs. They enjoyed the camping and outdoor lifestyle of the Centre for four years. Then they decided on a change of scenery and, after a lovely three months travelling, have now made a big move to Melbourne. They have settled into an Edwardian semi-detached house in Northcote, just out of the city centre. They are enjoying the city lifestyle, cycling to their respective workplaces, and establishing a water-economic native garden in their small backyard. Their lifestyle changed again with the birth of Niamh in November 2010.

Catriona and Simon beside the Yarra River, Melbourne

Sophia    spent a year with the UN Human Rights Monitoring body in Kathmandu, Nepal following a couple of years working in similar fields in Sri Lanka, learning a lot.   She and her husband Adrian enjoyed a Himalayan wedding in June 2006, and then decided on a complete change of scenery and have moved to live near Adrian's family in the UK, living in a 16th century house in Totnes, Devon. Adrian completed a Masters on alternative housing materials and is now advising local councils on environmentally-friendly housing. Sophia started training with the British Probation Service. They have now bought a slightly younger and bigger house in nearby Dartington Estate, to house their expanding family. Son Janu arrived in March 2008 and brother Bo was born at Tinderbox in December 2012, during a year's sojurn in Australia.

Sophia with son Janu in the UK, September 2008

Soju recently joined our family after we sadly lost Mello who was Andrew's constant companion at home and in the vineyard. Both dogs were rescued from the Hobart pound. Soju is a cross between a beagle and Jack Russell with a bit of dachshund somewhere to explain her long body and inordinately short legs (runs in the family!). She has characteristics of all the breeds - very strong willed and obedient only when it suits her but is also extremely lovable and loves laps and cuddles. However she forgot to tell us at the pound that she hadn’t any experience in keeping the rabbits out of the garden and the birds out of the vineyard, which is how she is meant to earn her keep.... so she has been on a steep learning curve but seems to enjoy it, as long as it doesn’t cut into her resting time beside the fire or being taken for walks.