Review by Penny Woodward

The Munro Court Story book coverNestled on the outskirts of Castlemaine, a rural city North West of Melbourne, Victoria; is a small community of people living on their own freehold blocks, in individual houses that are the result of a dream by Sue Turner and Don Wild. Worried about the impact of huge houses on small blocks with few concessions to low energy designs and no room for gardens, Sue and Don wondered what they could do to make a difference. At the same time they noticed that many middle aged friends were contemplating selling their big houses and wanted something more modest and ecologically friendly to move to. Over more than 10 years, Sue and Don purchased a barren block of land with an existing subdivision and transformed it into a thriving community of  eight eco-friendly houses with double glazing, fans, solar panels, water tanks and passive solar designs; beautiful landscaped native gardens that provide privacy and habitat; and a communal area for vegetables and chooks. The book, written by Sue Turner with mentoring, editing and photography by Sally Berridge clearly sets out each stage of the vision. It looks at everything from the finances to landscaping and house design, and at the back are useful lists of plants used, books that inspired them, covenants used and even hints on how to deal with a tax audit! Lovely photographs compliment the text as it tells the story of this unassuming couple who have shown us how it is possible, with passion and persistence, to achieve your dreams. While at the same time, in a small way, making the world a better place. To purchase a copy, go to the Turningwild  website


By Sue Turner and Sally Berridge,, $25