When Mike and Sarah Noble made the move from Melbourne to Wangaratta, it was to broaden their career opportunities.
“When my wife and I moved here in 2001 as young lawyers, it was a combination of lifestyle and job factors that attracted us to North East Victoria.
"We thought if we lived and worked in the city we would never see each other.
"The competition for jobs in Melbourne was fierce, yet in country areas law firms were very keen to interview us,” Mike said.
Since that time they haven’t looked back.
“The opportunities for young professionals moving to regional areas are far greater than those in metropolitan areas for people seeking a better balance between their work and personal lives.
"For us, this became all the more important when we had children,” Sarah said.
“Our children are now aged 12 and 10.
"When we talk to friends in Melbourne about their work commitments, commute times and the high cost of living (particularly school fees) it reminds us of how good we have it here,” Mike said.
Diversity of attractions such as bushwalking, cycling, camping, snowfields, wineries and restaurants are all a highlight for the family.
The historic towns of Beechworth and Bright are almost on the doorstep.
Mike is one of the directors at Garry Nash & Co. Real Estate in Wangaratta, having bought into the business in 2010. Sarah has also left the law and is now a part-time Human Resources Manager at the real estate agency and runs two family law mediation practices, Resolve Mediation and Integrative Mediation Australia.
Garry Nash & Co. participated in the Regional Living Expo held annually in Melbourne from 2013 to 2015 and Mike said that chatting to people there he got a sense of feelings of disconnect from community as an aspect of life in the city.
“I speak to people all the time about the benefits of tree-changing and just how good it is. When you talk to locals you find there is a great sense of community in a regional area”.
Indeed, life has been so good in Wangaratta that both Mike and Sarah’s parents have moved from Melbourne to Wangaratta, along with two sisters and their families.