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Gold medal move - Giaan Rooney trades goggles for gumboots

16 June 2023

As a gold medal winning Olympic swimmer Giaan Rooney knows a thing or two about how to control her breathing. However, no amount of training could prepare her for the way a farmhouse, on a plot of land in northern New South Wales, would take her breath away.

Giaan’s move to a macadamia farm in the Northern Rivers is the subject of eighth and final episode of season one of You Moved Where?! - a podcast featuring the stories of Australians who’ve made the move from the city to the bush and are now loving life in the regions.

Host Bec Bignell – a film and tv producer who recently returned to regional Australia after years spent in Sydney and abroad – chats to Giaan about her swimming career, meeting her country born-and-bred husband Sam, and an unexpected detour on a road trip that changed their lives forever.

“It was this little farm with a gorgeous old Queenslander house on it and horses in the paddock. The kids fell in love, and we instantly fell in love,” Giaan said.

Soon after the family’s relocation came consecutive devastating floods in the region, which led to an instant connection to the people who call the Northern Rivers home.

“It’s just made me fall in love with the community even more, because I’ve watched this little area slowly rebuild and regain its confidence. It highlights why we call this place home,” Giaan said.

“There’s something that is so restorative about having room to move and the room to breathe with space around you, and I think that only comes from being in regional Australia.”

Listen to Giaan’s story in Episode 8 and subscribe to You Moved Where?! at Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Season 2 of You Moved Where?! is due to be released later this year.

You Moved Where?! is a part of initiative, which is powered by the Regional Australia Institute and supported by the Australian Government. Move To Move partners include Domain, Muval, nbn Co and SEEK.

For media enquiries contact:

Regional Australia Institute 
Melinda Hayter
Ph: 0498 373 300
E: [email protected]