Graeme Athol Otway

Host Profile

    My Property

    Business Type


    Farming methods


    Short Property Description

    Help us to help others. I have a functional neurological disorder that impacts on my daily life with movement, day to day living, speech sometimes, chronic fatigue. Wanting to start a support group for others that are similar. We would like to set up a food forest and sensory garden right here on Russell Island. Woofers help us to maintain the property and to build and maintain fruit trees, raised garden beds, hugelkultur garden, lasagna-method garden beds for a wide range of fruit and vegetables grown in an organic way. Wayne and I are an outgoing couple that like to meet new people and learn from all cultures. We are both chefs by trade but have moved onto the island for a quiet sense of life. We both like to get into arts and crafts. We are both originally from New Zealand and have been living in Australia for ten years. Graeme likes to go fishing and all things outdoors even though he’s got this disability, he doesn’t let that limit his life. Wayne likes to get into music and he’s more the indoor type. We’re pretty easy going people and like to learn new things. At the moment we’re building our house and living in a tiny home at the back. We don’t mind couples Building experience and gardening experience is preferable but not exactly needed. You must be friendly, outgoing, willing to work five hours a morning in exchange for room and board. Please let us know if there is anything you’d like to know about our little island.  

    Full Property Description

    At the moment it’s an empty block but with your help we will develop it into a beautiful edible forest. Its a 700 sqm flat block but with a Conservation block right next door and sea views. We are building our house that’s going to double as a support centre for functional neurological disorder and other disabilities. We’re wanting the garden so that its accessible by wheelchair and challenges all the sensors, as well as being a relaxing environment for people with disabilities and their carers.

    There are about 3000 people living here, an abundance of fishing, nice place to kayak, has all the essential amenities such as supermarket, doctor, library, bottle shop, RSL Club, Bowling Club, Fishing Club, Arts Groups, Museum, walking trails, swimming pool and beach, bird watching, sailing and its only a 20 minute ferry ride to the mainland and a 45 minute trip to Brisbane or the Gold Coast from the mainland. The Gold Coast has many attractions including nightlife, amazing long white beaches and theme parks including Wet N Wild, Dreamworld, Movie World, etc. There is a free ferry service to the other 3 neighboring islands. Its common to see dolphins and you may spot the odd dugong. On the island you will see a wide range of parrots and other bird life, wallabies, goannas, turtles and other wildlife. Its a nice quiet community with plenty of hidden treasures to discover.

    For more information on things to do on our little island please visit

    Organic/Biological methods we use

    We intend to get someone in to show how to do certain types of gardening. We intend to do straw bale gardening, organics, hugel-kultur, lasagna method, espailier gardening, aquaponics, and we intend to make products from our produce such as soaps, chutneys, jams, crafts for the local markets.

    Special Conditions

    WWOOFers must be mindful of the need for a quiet environment to accommodate people with sensory overload. WOOFers are expected to work for 5 hours per day for 5 days of the week, with a preference for weekday mornings, in return for 7 days accommodation. Minimum stay 7 days, no maximum stay.

    We have 2 cats and a support dog so you must be pet-friendly. We can cater to those with food allergies so please let us know in advance. The ferries operate between about 4.30am and 10.30pm Sunday to Thursday and until about 11.30pm on Friday and Saturday. There’s a 24 hour water and air ambulance to the mainland hospital but no hospital on the islands.


    Skills WWOOFers can learn here

    Organic practices & techniques, Permaculture design practices & techniques, Gardening, Composting, Propagating, Pruning, Mulching, Worm farming, Building, Handyman, Bread making, Fermenting foods, Preserving & processing food, Marketing produce

    My Details


    Graeme Athol Otway

    Partners Name

    Wayne Otway



    The Stay

    Can Accommodate

    2 WWOOFers

    Preferred length of Stay

    1-2 weeks, 2-4 weeks, Longer stays by negotiation


    In Our Home

    Other options

    Non-Smoking, No Children

    Meal Procedures

    Eat together

    Languages spoken

    English, Aussie and Kiwi



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