We are a family of three adults, Ken & Robyn plus Robyn’s sister Barbara, living in Olinda in the lovely Dandenong Ranges Victoria. We have been members of (and are still members of) another help exchange program for 16 years and have welcomed people from all over the world into our previous & current property. We enjoy meeting people from different cultural backgrounds, exchanging experiences & information, enhancing all our lives.
Our home in Olinda is very peaceful & quiet, close to the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens and a few minutes walk from the village. We have a huge garden, separate self-contained accommodation for helpers, and a very flexible approach to life.
Two of us (Robyn & Ken) usually spend half the year living in our house in SW France. At the moment we are living in Olinda until Covid 19 ceases to be an issue & we can go back to France for our usual 5 months!
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We enjoy meeting new people, hearing about their lives, their country, their travels, hopes & dreams. We also like to offer assistance to young travellers - we have benefitted from other’s kindness around the world and like to give back.
Between us we have had lots of experiences - in the workforce (nursing, debriefing, travel, environment, science) and have all travelled widely. Ken speaks & writes English, Cantonese & reasonable Mandarin; Robyn speaks English & tries very hard to speak French!
We ask for three hours work per day, 5 days per week, flexible & negotiable. We appreciate help in our garden - raking, weeding, clearing bark for burning, planting, pruning, sweeping etc.
Our home is large, always in need of ongoing maintenance - painting, small repairs, fixit jobs, some carpentry.
Indoors & outdoors, there are always windows to clean, cobwebs to clear, verandas to sweep.
And indoors, there’s cleaning, vacuuming, dusting to do.
We always appreciate workers with specific skills and will try to utilise them. Carpentry skills are always very welcome!
Chinese (Cantonese): Fluent
Chinese (Mandarin): Intermediate
This host offers a language exchange
Would love to improve my French & help you with English.
We prefer a couple or a single person. Our accomodation “the Cubby” (and sometimes our apartment if it is available) has a double bed (queen in the apartment) so is not suitable for two friends. *Both are private & self-contained with simple cooking facilities, bathroom, heating etc.* BBQ available. We provide all cutlery, plates, cooking pots & pans etc. Wifi is ok in the Cubby, not always fast, but you are welcome to pick it up on the back veranda or come inside the main house. It’s good in the apartment. All linen, towels etc are provided, plus access to a washing machine (we mostly use the sun for drying but have a dryer if really necessary). Easy parking on the property if you have a vehicle.
We ask you to provide & cook most of your own meals. We can take you shopping, or you can walk to the nearby shops. We will have dinner together from time to time, share tea & coffee, a glass of wine.
Some great walks nearby, places to run & exercise. Gardens to see, huge Mountain Ash forests, National Parks, all within walking distance. There are buses to the train station (25 minute trip); plus train to Melbourne CBD 45-50 minutes. Local swimming pool within walking distance, plus cafes, restaurants, pubs, also an easy walk.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our internet connection is good in our apartment, should we choose to offer that accomodation to workers. We will discuss that with workers who apply to stay here. If our apartment is not available for workers, we will offer accomodation in the cubby. Internet is slower in the cubby, may not be suitable for online work purposes. We can offer those workers access in the main house.
We have room to park a motor home or caravan but it cannot be connected to electricity or water. Be aware that we are surrounded by large Mountain Ash trees and cannot prevent, or be responsible for, the occasional falling branch.
Maximum 3 hours a day, 5 days a week