WHEN Bill and Katy Dunlop relocated from Sydney to make a fresh start in Orange last year the transition wasn’t as smooth as they hoped.
While they have since grown to enjoy the feeling of freedom and space that life in Orange offers, initially it was tough.
Mr Dunlop quickly made connections through his job as the general manager of a local auto electrical business but a heavily pregnant Mrs Dunlop found it difficult to meet new people.
“I found it easy because I’ve gone straight into work but for Katy it’s been hard,” Mr Dunlop said.
Along with other newcomers to Orange in the past 18 months, the couple will attend a welcome barbecue hosted by Orange City Council on Sunday.
The couple welcomes the initiative.
“Evocities does a great job of getting people here but we definitely need to keep young families here with groups and more things for families with children who aren’t at school,” Mrs Dunlop said.
“We really like Orange, we haven’t regretted it for a moment.”
Mrs Dunlop said the family initially struggled to find childcare for their two-year-old son Will, making it difficult for her to find work as a teacher.
“Being unable to work was tricky and isolating,” she said.
“But things are getting better now.”
She hopes to use her experiences to offer support to other families new to Orange.
For Mr Dunlop the move to Orange was a return to his country roots, having grown up in the Young area, while for the Sydney-raised Mrs Dunlop the regional city life was a whole new experience.
“We were both keen to get out,” Mr Dunlop said.
“With a growing family we wanted a bit of extra space.”
Orange mayor John Davis said the welcome barbecue was the start of a council program to help new families settle in to Orange.
“The Dunlop family are a great example of young people who come into town for a job and their future,” he said.
“Employment and development in Orange offers enormous potential for new families.”
The barbecue will be held at the Botanic Gardens from 11am on Sunday morning.
Anyone who would like to attend the free barbecue should contact Orange City Council’s Evocities consultant Cathy Thomas on 6393 8190.