Came for love, stayed for work

Duncan Buchanan moved from Adelaide to Canberra because he lost a competition with his now wife. 18 years later, living in Canberra feels like winning on everything that matters.

Duncan, who works as a product manager at software giant Xero, met his wife through a mutual friend while they were both at university—him in Adelaide, her in Canberra.

They formed a long-distance relationship “relying on expensive phone calls and long 12 hour drives back and forth” until they both finished studying and needed to make a decision.

“We decided to have a bit of a competition, the first person to get a job wins. Needless to say, jobs are easier to find in Canberra,” Duncan said.

Duncan now considers Canberra home: he appreciates all the opportunities working in Canberra brings.

“There are so many brilliant opportunities here in Canberra, from big business, government, or even the chance to start your own business.

“Canberra is collaborative, welcoming and supportive. The businesses here are proud of being Canberran, and eager for everyone else to succeed. It’s not pretentious, or aggressively competitive, and there are no huge egos.

“With some of the best universities in Australia, we draw smart minds from all around the globe, which makes our talent pool world-class.

Duncan also appreciates how easy Canberra is to navigate. “You have to love a city where you can leave home at 8:20 am, drop your 2 children at 2 different schools, drive 16km to the centre of the city, avoid all traffic, get a park just metres from the office, and still have time to grab a coffee before 9 am. BEST!”

And speaking of schools, “We’ve had a great experience. Good facilities and quality tailored education intent on making sure all students are looked after,” Duncan said.

Kangaroos and views

Now settled in the southern suburb of Weston with his family, Duncan relaxes close to home by hiking up Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve. “Minutes walk from my house and I’m hanging out with kangaroos with mountain views—beautiful.”

He also enjoys exploring the wineries in Murrumbateman, with its world-class wines, and “super welcoming” cellar doors.

“The Centenary Trail [along the Murrumbidgee River] is great to check out. Tidbinbilla National Park is spectacular and a hidden gem.”

A lot to love

Duncan’s top 3 things he loves about living in Canberra are the sunny winter days, ease of getting around and, being from Adelaide, “delicious tap water”.

His ideal night out starts with drinks at Bar Rochford, at their usual seat by the windows.  After, that, they find a bite to eat.

“We love heading out with mates to one of Canberra’s amazing restaurants – Raku, Temporada, Pilot, 86. We try to head to a new restaurant if we can.

“Normally we’d grab a nightcap before the cab ride home. Parlour is a big favourite, or Molly’s speakeasy.”

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