Victoria has a treasure trove of charming regional towns, and Ararat is a gem of the west that offers rich history and a great social life.
In the 1850s, eager miners descended on the region armed with a pick and a pan when gold was first discovered. Though there was a mass exodus when the nuggets ran dry, a strong future looks certain now thanks to the Victorian Government’s renewed commitment to prison facilities. The great employment prospects borne out of this, and the arrival of new working residents, has given Ararat a new vibrancy and solidified the strong sense of community. Have a quick read of our Ararat profile below to learn why it’s a great place to live and work in corrections.
Good living for less
If you’re looking to buy a home soon, open up a map of Victoria and stick your finger where you want to live. Is it in Melbourne? With median house price figures weighing in at around $900,000[i], finding your paradise in the suburbs is a tough task. If you slide your finger along a little to the left and upwards, though, you’ll run into Ararat, where you’ll find a more comforting reality. Here, you’re likely to pick up a unit for 120K and should find a decent house for 210K[ii]. Saving that much on your mortgage will give you funds for the fun stuff, and there’s plenty of that in Ararat.
In your time off from work, you could catch a new release film at the art deco Astor Cinema, live it up at one of the many festivals that come through – including Australia’s biggest rock ’n’ roll fest, Jailhouse Rock – or get spooked on one of the acclaimed ghost tours at the Aradale hospital. The Pyrenees is also one of the state’s most famed wine regions. There are more than 20 vineyards making great drops near Ararat (Shiraz is a bit of a local specialty), and many have cellar doors offering quality dining too.
‘Community spirit’ is not just the preserve of idyllic fictional suburbs on TV, a sense of togetherness is the backbone of many Victorian towns. And while you can keep to yourself if you prefer, you’ll likely get a lot more out of living in Ararat if you open yourself up to others.
This is the kind of town you’re going to know your neighbours’ names – they may even become your friends. And, if you’re particularly social, you’ll soon find your calendar filling up with sports, fundraisers, balls and many other local events.
For the younger tag-a-longs, there are four primary schools to choose from and a secondary school to study VCE, VET or VCAL. Class sizes are generally quite small too, meaning your child should enjoy some extra attention. If you’re looking for further study yourself, take a look at the courses on offer at Federation University and Melbourne Polytechnic – both have campuses in Ararat.
You either get it or you don’t. Some people see bush walking as an unpleasant cocktail of sweat, sunscreen, bindi-eyes and sore thighs; while others love the crunch of boot on bark, the melodic calls of wildlife, and watching the warm sun set over a mountain range. If you count yourself in the former group, hit the Ararat village centre for some shopping, or jump in the car and check into Ballarat for more intensive retail therapy.
If you’ve got a case of wanderlust, though, head straight for the Grampians. This national park is famed for stellar granite formations, gorgeous lakes and breathtaking panoramic views – just search ‘Grampians lookouts’ and you’ll get an idea of what we’re talking about. Many hotspots are accessible by car, and are a great place to clear your head, while others might challenge you to get your compass out and find your own way there. The Grampians are so expansive and varied that it doesn’t matter whether you love to camp, ride, fish or swim; you’ll be able to find your own corner of the park to cherish.
To sum it all up, Ararat is placed in a beautiful part of the world and has a little something for all comers. If you want to be part of a tight-knit community that understands and respects the work you’ll be doing, then you should think about making a move here.