‘The idea is not to live forever, but create something that will’-Andy Warhol
The Roost’s Story
Tinhe Roost’s land was originally part of a 320 acre property purchased in 1964 by Basil & Ruby Sinclair for the sum of 7,500 pounds. The Sinclair family decided to make the sea change back then, leaving behind an accountancy practice in Melbourne in favour of life working the land. The property was originally very run down. So, they set about the huge task of developing it into a dairy farm.
John, the son of the Sinclair’s, left school at age 15. His plan was to help his parents with the development of the farm, which proved to be a very successful partnership. Many hours were spent cultivating and sowing to improve pastures. This caught to eye the John F Hughes award judges. This award is for the most successful of eradication of vermin and noxious weeds. During a 9 – year period the Sinclair’s: highly commended, then place 3rd and finally won the award 1974.
John met a local girl from Gellibrand, Carolyn Pearce, and they married in 1980 and purchased a 100 acre block at Lavers Hill. Over a seventeen-year period John & Carolyn dedicated time and effort to addressing the soil erosion problems and land slips which were prevalent on the steep slopes.
When Basil & Ruby reached retirement, their property no longer had the value as a dairy farm, so they looked at their options to extract value for the land so they could enjoy a stress-free retirement. The answer was being able to subdivide 3 small lots off the original title.
In 1997 they sold the bulk of the land (295 acres) to a Melbourne based businessman who leased the bulk of the land to a timber company, Midway. This was for the growing Bluegums. John & Carolyn Sinclair purchased the 3 small lots which were carved off the original title. So as Basil & Ruby retired to Barham in NSW to play golf & dance at the local RSL Club, John & Carolyn set about the development of the small lots.
In 1999 John & Carolyn built the first cabin Seaspray (Now Cabin Two) followed by Cabin Eaglenest (now Cabin One) in 2000. The Sinclair family operated the cabins as Johanna Bluegum Holiday Cabins (now The Roost) for 2 years before leasing both cabins to Joy Evans of Johanna Seaside Cottages.
At the end of the 12 year lease to Johanna Seaside Cottages in June of 2013, the Sinclair family fully refurbished both cottages, and continued to operate them for 7 years.
In 2019 the cottages were sold to Dave & Tom. Based in Geelong the fellas had plans of using the cottages for their families who loved the surf & the great outdoors. However, life got in the way of these plans, and with the families being unable to stay in the cottages as much as they planned, they decided to sell them.
In 2021, along came Ralph, Liz & Rani (your Hosts). They saw the opportunity in the cottages and decided to give them a new lease on life and upgrade to more sustable technology and lower water and energy use. All going to plan, guests will leave thinking & living a little greener, and will come back to stay again.
Your hosts are continuing the Sinclair’s legacy of land rehabilitation and have also purchased 100 acres across the road. Their first steps, a 5 year program of revegetation and week eradication.
Meet Rani, Ralph & Liz…
Ralph has a background in commercial photography & sustainable development. If you have met Ralph you will know he is a passionate bloke with an eye for detail and a habit of pushing the envelope when it comes to being green. Check out his 5 X 4 Project.
Liz has long year career property development. She left her high-falutin role looking for a greener outcomes. Having grown up in rural WA, she decided it was time to return to the country and put all she had learnt in the big smoke to good use.
Rani is a rescue dog from Warrnambool. Understanding the challenges of traveling, it was her idea for of friendly accommodation. Her focus is now on finding the perfect stick whilst keeping clear of the local kangaroos.