Albury/Wodonga: Initial Impressions

For those who have not met me and my point elbows within the clinic yet, I have now reached the three month mark at Osteohealth. I believe this tenure still qualifies me as “the new guy”. Apparently one of the responsibilities of being said “new guy” is contributing to the blog.

So after a fifteen minute mental scramble, I decided the easiest topic was to write about my lovely new city. But first, the Ross Hamilton back story.

I’m from Melbourne originally and due to my absence of hand eye coordination I participate in endurance sports. I can be found participating in cross country skiing in Winter, out on the bike (roady) in the finer weather and occasionally a Park Run on Saturday mornings. Before making the move to live in Albury I spent a couple of years working in Shepparton. I really enjoyed the variety of rural practice. However, I also lived in Melbourne.

As any FIFO worker or interstate truck driver can attest, the time away from home eventually grinds you down. So the logical step was to either move back to Melbourne full time or to up stumps and move to the country. Low and behold a position came up at Osteohealth and all I had to do was organise moving house, finish up my responsibilities in Shepparton and sign a contract promising not to take away any of Tom Barry’s Strava segments.


It was only in the last fortnight that I visited Melbourne for the first time since moving and it gave me the opportunity to reflect on the upsides and downsides to each location.

Albury/Wodonga: The downsides

  1. The prawn dumplings aren’t as good as Melbourne
That’s about it really.
Sorry Albury, Melbourne does win the dumpling competition
Albury/Wodonga: The upsides
  1. Close proximity to the snow, wineries
  2. Community – you bump into people you know at the Supermarket
  3. Short commutes
  4. Amazing roads to ride
  5. The air is noticeably cleaner
  6. Affordable housing
  7. Sport is much more organised and has greater community participation
  8. Nobody seems to be in a constant hurry with leftover road rage boiling in their veins
  9. It’s prettier
  10. People are friendly (they also actually do their take home exercises)
  11. You can cross the street diagonally!!!
A much nicer way to start the day instead of being crammed into a train like a sardine

My list could go on, it’s been a real culture shock seeing how relaxing it is living in the country. My ten minute walk to work is now so natural to me that I can’t get my head around the one hour commute Melbournians regard as normal.

Sport seems well organised and has good levels of participation. I can’t figure out if it’s the facilities, the people or something else that is responsible. From an osteo’s perspective, Albury has a rather healthy population.
That also seems to carry over to people just being friendlier. I grew up in a city where urban solitude was respected above all else. You didn’t make eye contact with people on the train out of some strange sort of respect. Whereas in my first month here, I was confused by all the strangers smiling and asking how my day was. Here I was, a city boy wondering how I knew these people and feeling embarrassed that I had forgotten their names.

So after three months here I can only ask myself, “Why didn’t I make the move 10 years ago?”

Lastly, can anyone explain to me why the pedestrian crossings all through Australia don’t let you cross diagonally like they do on Dean Street?


-Ross Hamilton