TWO years of residing in Horsham has convinced Tessa Borchard that living regionally is a good lifestyle choice.
Like many residents, she's happy living in Horsham, and has ideas on how it can be made better.
The Horsham College biology, psychology and general science teacher, 24, is nearing the end of her placement as part of the Teach For Australia initiative.
"I preferenced regional Victoria because I wanted to connect where my family came from," she said.
Ms Borchard grew up at Mitcham, in Melbourne's far east. Her family remains in Melbourne, though she has a grandmother, Vernice, who grew up at Lascelles.
She said working at a regional school had been an experience "way better" than she had expected.
"I find it a very mindful experience living in Horsham and I'm happy here," she said.
She has committed to staying in Horsham for at least another year - persuaded by the calibre of her students, the community and its close proximity to the Grampians.
But it will be other factors that will determine whether she commits to living in Horsham for a longer period.
"Having a train that goes to Melbourne, and which is a bit more affordable, would be huge," she said. "Ideally, when I think about settling long-term, I think I'll move."
Ms Borchard rents with several other Teach for Australia participants. She says how the city could realise its full potential is a regular topic of conversation.
"If Horsham had better restaurants and food, it would be something that would attract us and attract more people," she said. "I think it's got potential to be just as exciting a place as Castlemaine or Ballarat.
"Once you get in and get to know it, (Horsham is) good - but from someone looking at it from the surface you wouldn't necessarily know that."
Ms Borchard said she dealt with stress after first arriving in Horsham, and had to travel to Geelong for support.
"Mental health support is not where it should be for adults," she said. "The program is a lot to take on initially, and there weren't necessarily the supports around in Horsham there could have been."
Ms Borchard has shared her thoughts as the Horsham community works to attract a larger community of professionals to work in the town.
Horsham Rural City Council last month submitted its ideas for economic growth to a Senate inquiry on jobs in regional Australia.
Amy Stasinowsky moved to Horsham from Adelaide with her husband Michael in early 2011.
The couple is raising four boys - Kynan, 11, Campbell, nine, Tanner, six, and Judd, three.
While she works as a relief teacher in Spanish and science at Horsham College, Mrs Stasinowsky trained as a histopathologist. She worked in pathology at Wimmera Base Hospital for her first three years in Horsham.
She said more jobs being available across a range of health disciplines could attract people to Horsham.
"Australian Clinical Laboratories is the only pathology service based in Horsham, at the hospital," she said. "Histopathology is one of the streams of pathology - you also have blood work and microbiology. In Horsham it is primarily blood-related pathology that takes place."
In its Senate submission, Horsham council identified encouraging the clustering of industry as an economic development opportunity.
"For example, intensify health care, social assistance and medical services in proximity to the existing hospital precinct," the submission read.
Mrs Stasinowsky met Michael, a remedial therapist who grew up at Rainbow, while studying her undergraduate degree in biomedical science at Mildura.
She said despite her experience with regional cities, she was initially nervous about moving to Horsham.
"It was the uprooting of the entire family - at that point we only had two young children. For Michael it meant starting up a new business all over again," she said.
"But at the same time, I knew it was likely to provide a better lifestyle for our family."
"Instead of us being career-driven professionals with kids, it allowed us to be a family who are professionals with careers."
Michael previously spent 10 years at Norwood Chiropractic Clinic and runs Horsham Remedial Massage Therapy.
Despite the quality time with family that living in Horsham allows, Mrs Stasinowsky said she could be convinced to move away from the Wimmera.
"It would be primarily based on our children: If they needed us to go somewhere to help them fulfill their ambitions," she said.
"Kynan has high aspirations sporting-wise - he desperately wants to be an athlete in the future - and if it does look like he could do something special, we'd certainly consider a move to allow him to prospect."
Mr Stasinowsky said he would love to see a synthetic athletics track in Horsham.
"I think it would provide both young and old with some great opportunities to keep healthy and active all year round - and also may provide for our local athletes more of a level playing field with those competitors who live in bigger regional centres who have ready access to some of these resources and facilities."
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