A boat named Boomerang
For Melanie Lindayen living on a boat in Docklands lends itself perfectly to her “itinerant” lifestyle.
Originally from a small town in Ontario, Canada, Melanie moved to Australia two years ago after she was named a Rotary Peace Fellow.
“The Rotary Peace Fellowship is a program for emerging leaders in peace building,” Melanie explained.
“Folks who have already been working in one facet or another of peace building and collaborative development.”
“That can be a range of different things like humanitarian international development or disaster response, journalism, diplomacy, medicine. For me it was always international development with a focus on health and education.”
Having completed development fieldwork around the world including Africa, South America, Istanbul and South East Asia, amongst others, Melanie was no stranger to living overseas.
With six peace centres around the world, Melanie decided to undertake her fellowship at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.
And that’s where the boat, Kintail the Boomerang, comes into the story. Melanie and her partner John bought the Adams 31 yacht in Queensland, living onboard while Melanie completed her fellowship in Brisbane.
“It was a long-time dream of my partner and myself. He’s been a sailor all of his life and I’m a water spirit as well,” Melanie said. “I used to be a canoe guide and lifeguard back in Canada but sailing is a whole other scale for me.”
When she secured a job at World Vision in Melbourne last October they sailed the boat down to Melbourne with the help of a skipper and have been living in Victoria Harbour ever since.
“It appeals to us because it allows us to be itinerant,” Melanie said. “We have the freedom of movement and we can live off the grid with our solar power.”
The pair spend most weekends sailing and Melanie said Docklands’ convenient location made it easy to head out to the bay.
The next plan is to journey north and eventually sail the boat to Asia where Melanie intends to focus her development work. “We’re slowly working up to larger passages,” Melanie said.
“It’s been great living in Docklands,” Melanie said. “It feels like a very new community but I love the history of the sheds and I’ve learned about the rave sub-culture. It’s fascinating.”
“The Docklands Rotary Club has been very supportive of us and it’s just so convenient to be close to transportation.”
Melanie said, while the Brisbane boating community was much larger than in Melbourne, she had enjoyed getting to know the other boat owners in Docklands.
“Especially at New Year’s, it was kind of like a floating trailer park,” Melanie laughed.