Podcast: The big benefits of tiny-house living

16 July 2018

Ever wanted to pack up and move into a tiny house? Learn about the big changes tiny houses can make to your life, and your community, from The Tiny House Company co-founder and UQ architecture graduate Lara Nobel.

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Big dreams, tiny houses 


“What interests me or what I love about the concept Is the broader ideas about being able to have a small space that’s your own and having shared spaces in the community, and relying on each other, and the city.”

Belinda McDougall: Welcome to UQ ChangeMakers, a podcast series where we interview some of  

Katie Rowney: And I’m Katie Rowney. In this space saving and self-sustaining episode we chat with architecture graduate Lara Nobel.

Belinda: Lara and her partner, Andrew Carter, co-founded The Tiny House Company and their beautiful and clever designs are laying the foundations for sustainable and affordable housing options across Australia. Lara welcome.

Lara: Thanks for having me.

Belinda: Now take us all the way back to the beginning. How did you ever get interested or start thinking about tiny houses.

Lara: Well I guess one of the kind of jokes reasons we say is to make the world a better place. But the reality is of course with any of those things is a lot more complex. We had the right skill set, we had done architecture and we transitioned into carpentry, so I’m a carpenter and my partner an apprentice carpenter, and our mate who I did my apprenticeship with Greg Thornton, he’s also a co-founder of the company. He’s a builder of 20 years. I guess Andrew and I had an interest in more social side of architecture. and also having moved from architecture to carpentry, our income was not very great. So I guess there was a personal interest side in the Great Australian Dream and how home ownership is sort of our DNA but it’s also so difficult to achieve, especially if you make life decisions that make if more complex. So all these factors led us to go to the tiny house conference in Portland and that’s pretty much where we decided, ‘look we’re going to give it a crack’. So that’s the kind of the preamble to why we decided to go down that path of designing tiny houses on trailers for the Australian climate.

Belinda: Cause as an architecture graduate all I could envisage is you want to design grand spaces. So big buildings, big homes, and you’ve done the opposite.

Lara: Yeah I think when I first did an internship, even before I began first-year architecture, I went to an office and they set me up with a pen and paper and said, “Design a house.” And I think the house was like many pages wide and pools here, and rooms and offices, like it was just this castle mansion thing. But I think that as you go through, progress through architecture you realise that’s not necessarily and quite often is not clever design. It happens more in the finer moments of a building or an idea. I think we are also interested in the ideas as well as the built from. And that’s where it gets more interesting, and in that case it’s sort of the size doesn’t matter. You can create a space that performs so many different functions if done well, and it can be almost lazy to just make things bigger.

Belinda: So you said over there in Portland you had that moment where you said let’s give it a go.

Lara: yeah, well Greg and I were there because we were invited, and Andrew was at home working, and Greg and I were like, “Would we regret not trying to build a tiny house?” And we decided yes, we would regret not giving it a go. And that’s I guess when we decided we sort of came home and informed Andrew.

Belinda: So did you start with a teeny tiny contract? What did you do to get this business going?

Lara: Well someone did ask us to build the first one for them but we decided we didn’t want to do that. We wanted to take the risk on ourselves because there’s a fair bit of risk in, we didn’t know how to design the trailer, we didn’t know how what the rules and regulations surrounding tiny houses and movement on the road. We didn’t know how the building would perform travelling around, we had so much to learn about it and because it’s quite an investment of time and money and energy we decided we wanted to build the first one off our own backs. We scrounged up all our money and chipped it in and we built the first design, which we ended up living in for a couple of years, and travelled around a lot and put it on display and led to the future builds. And we did end up building something for our client, so he got the benefit of us having given everything a crack first. So that was kind of good.

Katie: Did you grow up in a smaller home yourself or do you come from a big property and this is just a concept that appeals.

Lara: No I grew up in inner city Brisbane, in Highgate Hill if you know Brisbane. My folks have a very old house, little cottage they call it. It’s not tiny, it had two bedrooms. I’m one of three so we did share rooms throughout growing up. My parents also used to get homestay quests, so we had people from all over the world. They said, I mean this is just an excuse, but they said, “we’ll bring the world to you”, because we couldn’t go on overseas trips. But so there was often, there was a very full house because my dad is a picture framer under the house, so there’s customers coming through all the time, then there was us three kids and mum upstairs, plus usually two others. And then ten year ago or more they built a little granny flat down the back which brought another two people on the property. So it was a high intensity space. It wasn’t tiny, but that was not big either. So I guess that ability to share, there was just one bathroom, there’s none of this, like extra spaces. You just learned how to adapt in the space. You’d be like, you’d leave the door unlocked while you’re having a shower because someone might have to dash in and use the toilet. That was kind of normal. Some people I guess are used to different kinds of setups. You can adjust to that. I don’t think I’m too scarred from that sort of experience.

Katie: Where did you meet Andrew, because obviously you’ve got a shared passion here, not just on work but in other life points. Where did you two come together originally?

Lara: Well we both started architecture here at UQ. Like I think we met at a party. I’m pretty sure we did. I think we were friends for a long time before we were going out, and then I did an exchange to Berlin and then he came over and we hung out in Europe for a year.

Katie: So spending that time in Europe and you mentioned that you’d gone onto Portland as well. Did you see any tiny houses in those spaces that inspired you?

Lara: Yeah I guess without knowing it, even during uni, some of those ideas had been coming to the fore. In Berlin we lived in a small one-room apartment, which we absolutely loved. It had a two squared metre deck or like patio. I also did a study tour to Japan with UQ, some of the professors there, and we micro houses, so small space living. I think the Japanese are quite good at designing some of those spaces, especially vertically. So they used vertical space well.

Belinda: So what is it you like about tiny houses?

Lara: To be honest this kind of bores the tiny house community, because there is quite a movement around tiny houses and groups. But from my point of view, what interests me and what I love about the concept Is the broader ideas about being able to have a small space that’s your own and then having shared spaces within the community, and relying on each other, and the city, and beyond just your little plot which you need I guess for security and privacy. You need a space whether it’s the size of a tiny house or the size of a mansion. I think that people need a space that is our own but I think people tend to think that needs to encompass everything when you can look to the parks or to the cinemas, or to the local halls, or to your city, or to your, you know, the local pub for music, and al these other things that can enhance life. And it kind of gets, you can boil it down, and I think those ideas interest me a lot. But of course the challenge of designing within a box, small spaces was also interesting, something that travels on the road, I mean there a lots of layers to it but yeah, considering it was such a small thing it was quite a lot of ideas come into it.

Belinda: We’ve been talking about tiny houses but I suppose for anyone who hasn’t seen your tiny house or tiny houses can you describe the actual space? Can you put it into something that we might be able to relate to via the airwaves.

Lara: I can try. It’s built on a trailer. It’s two and a half metres by seven and a half approximately. So that’s two car parking spaces end-to-end. It has to be that sized to be able to be towed on the road because it has a number plate. Essentially it’s a glorified caravan but our tiny houses are really quite beautiful. They have a high space inside, the first one we did had a loft at one end. So you’d come in through these beautiful recycled timber doors and then we had a kitchen bench in, well it was sort of multi-use bench space in front of you, with windows. To the right there’s a lounge space with a whole wall of storage about half a metre deep floor to ceiling. And then with an old house mate and us we designed a hoisting bed on an electric, so you’d flick a switch or push a remote and the bed lowers down from the ceiling. The ceiling’s really high which is the key difference aside from the materiality to a caravan. So caravans, the main priority is that it can be towed on the road easily. A tiny house no, you would not do a trip around Australia in a tiny house. Aside from the fuel you’ll waste, but imagine bumping into anyone with that, no. But then at the far end we had a toilet. So there’s basically everything, a toilet and a shower, everything that you‘d need in a house; shower toilet, sink, washing machine, fridge, you know, kitchen, space, bed, clothes storage. Space to dine, space to have coffee. Like it had everything but a lot of the spaces overlapped functions. So our dining table was also our office table, where we designed tiny houses. Like we, the best feature of that first tiny house was I think the deck. We designed a modular deck. So it took us two and a half hours to set up or pack down, so it’s transportable I guess, flat pack. You’d use lots of beautiful recycled timbers, it had a deck, roof, gutter, and it really expanded the space of the tiny house because it was another two and a half metres by four metres. We worked really hard to make it feel a lot bigger than it is and that’s what people say when they step in it and that was done through various techniques, like the high ceilings I mentioned, but also the views, so having long views through the house and views into the landscape beyond. And also of course storage is important in a small space.

Belinda: Well that was going to be my next question cause I’m one of those people, everything has a place, cannot stand stuff out on benches and things like that. And you achieved it in the tiniest space I could imagine. What sort of clever things did you have to do or think about to create that, because it had to be a liveable space not a holiday house.

Lara: Yeah, we decided that it had to be, we wanted to be able to design something you could live in full time. That’s not to say couldn’t use a tiny house as a getaway or a, but yeah. I guess having ample storage and then not having heaps of stuff is the combo. We actually had more storage than we needed in our tiny house because we don’t have a lot of stuff. We came from ten years living in big share houses up to seven or eight people in them and found out we were going to have a baby and the housemates said no newborns in this share house, so that’s how we ended up moving into the tiny house. But as a result we never had, we didn’t really own a lot of furniture, or a lot of stuff. My mum works at a thrift shop so there was like, I was like we only need four towels, we don’t need 30 towels.  You know, so we were pretty good at minimising what we actually needed and I think when you sort of do an inventory of your stuff you, even sometimes people would say ‘Oh there wouldn’t be enough space for my clothes’. Well that’s a fair enough criticism but sometimes when they would look at their clothes they’d might say ‘well actually I don’t even wear all of them that often. I could half it and still look great everyday.’ But also if that’s an Important thing too and it’s worth the sacrifice of space then you’d just have less pots and pans, you know if you want to have. SO that was something we were saying that a tiny house shouldn’t mean that you had to be so minimalistic that you don’t have space for your hobbies. We still have a record player, like speakers, still had space for things we though were important. I think that’s just the challenge people will have to do if they want to live in small space. But as you said a place for everything, that’s the key and being able to clear space quickly so you don’t have clutter all around you.

Katie: I was just trying to picture myself in one, and I’m quiet tall. I know that my walking span is about one metre so for me I can go end-to-end of your house in about eight steps. Awesome thing like that which is pretty amazing. How did you go moving from share housing with presumably a lot of shared space to putting your life into that small house. You’ve done a couple of years in it. Did you find there was any particular challenges you hadn’t thought of?

Lara:  To be honest we really loved it when it was just the two of us. Like a lot of people we were out a lot of the day, we were at work. When we weren’t at work we just loved the space, we designed it, it had our stuff, that was important for us too, to have space to put our pictures and the things that we liked to look at so not just having on show pots and pans. All that’s stored in away and then like, beautiful things around us and we had the garden around which we planted out beautifully. And there was the deck space, there was the breakout space. So it worked really well for us. That’s not to say it would work for everyone. Andrew is a lot taller than me. He didn’t find it tight, height wise, because it does have very high ceilings, higher than a normal house. And the bathroom was very functional, the kitchen worked great. We didn’t have any issues like that. One thing we had to adapt to in terms of learning how to live in it was bench spaces and like dumping zones had to be processed. Like you couldn’t just let dishes pile up, which was sort of a bit of a habit in share houses. Not by me.

Katie: Sure. Andrew are you listening?

Lara: No. It just like, you end up putting stuff away quickly. Everything has it’s place. When you work on something and then move to the next thing that you’re working on. Another thing we had to adapt to was the way our tiny house was that set up was that is was half off grid sort of. So we had a grey water recycling, and a composting toilet, and the composting toilet we had to learn a little bit how to use it. Function great, a huge fan. I was sort of sad when I had to go back to a flush toilet. And, but we had to adjust to it and learn how to use it. Same with the grey water system too. You have to use special detergents, and you can just use the shampoo that foams up and up which is kind of really nice. It was like this dodgy shampoo, yeah. Just little things.

Katie: And what ended up prompting you to move out of that tiny house?

Lara: Our one and a half year old.

Belinda: A tiny person.

Lara: Yes a tiny person. We hadn’t designed a tiny house for us as a family. That wasn’t even on the cards and also we hadn’t necessarily designed the tiny house for us to live in either. It was an experiment and a test of an idea. Something to put out there to the market, to interested people. I know there are people out there that do family life is a tiny house and that’s awesome, like good on them, and like also a different design tiny house as well. But I think the thing with tiny houses that people sometimes think that I think that they’re the greatest in the world. But they’re actually something that doesn’t suit everyone at every point in their life. It’s sort of, they’re very versatile and very flexible but I mean it’s no good having a wheelchair in a tiny house. There’s no good having, like, they’re only going to suit certain people and certain times in their life, for certain functions and that’s just the reality of them and I think that diversity in the housing stock is important to have because they are perfect for some situations. And it became a little less perfect for us, for the three of us.

Belinda: I was quite surprised how beautiful it was designed. It really is, it’s got that that architecture design feel to it. There’s nothing kitschy in it, it’s got that sort of scandy finish. It looked amazing, so it’s didn’t look like a dolls house it looked functional. But you talk about the tiny house movement, that they are becoming popular. Can you explain that because I think that some people wouldn’t realise that there is this movement worldwide to downsize into these compact wonderful tiny homes.

Lara: I guess the tiny house movement as I understand it came out of the global financial crisis in America. Lot of people lost their homes and a lot of people had to revaluate their finances their mortgage, what was important in life. It should be known though that the idea of living in small spaces is not new and it’s certainly not an America owned idea. It’s just the, kind of the concept of the tiny house movement and the tiny house on wheels, or they call RV, or Recreational Vehicles. That kind of gathered momentum and gained interest in American around then. And yeah, it brings together a lot of ideas of sustainability about like what, you know, what you value in life, time, money. It brings together ideas of like, minimalism and so on so forth. So I guess through that idea a  few leaders in America putting ideas out there with that and building them, there’s sort of some kind of movement around it, and I guess it gains interest and comes a bit trendy as people try to consider their options. Yeah I don’t know. I don’t know what it means in Australia. I think theirs interest but we have also different conditions and situation, for example when we went to the conference in Portland we looked at the tiny houses with a critical eye and we realised that none of the ones we’d seen there were suitable for our conditions and situation. That kind of was another drive for us to come home and design an Australian version, what would suit us here. What differs what the American situation is and what ours is.

Belinda: What do you see your tiny houses being used for? What do you envisage your market with your tiny house?

Lara: Our tiny houses are pretty flexible by design, especially the latest models we’ve done. People have been using them instead of an extension to their house. So a flexible option to gain an extra bedroom or an extra space. For extra accommodation for dependents, whether it be teenage kids or elderly parents. People have used it as a holiday home getaway, parked up somewhere beautiful. People have been using it as a study studio space. So many different options. People have been using it as a rental, some people use it on rural properties because it’s an easier way to have a place that you can live in up front early, like of grid. And potentially down the track save and build your bigger house and then turn that into something that can either be sold off separately or, you know, bring in some revenue. Some people like the idea of them purely because that’s the amount of space they feel that they want or need and they can manage it well and carefully. They can be more sustainable in that space and build their life around that. I guess there is a limit to who is can suit but there is a lot of option within the idea of tiny house on wheels. Because the fact that it can be transported, so one lady came to us saying she’s got kids in three different states and she wants to spent a year with one and go live in the back with the other and I was saying did you check with them? ‘Are you sure you checked with them?’ So that kind of an idea for people who haven’t 100% settle in a place as well. Fly-in fly-out workers to have a space where they can, just a small space to come to home to that’s their home but then their not there that often anyway. They’re flying in and flying out. Yeah, they are quite flexible.

Katie: One of the things you said in your TED Talk that I really liked was, “I believe physical environments enforce habits.” Did you notice that any of your habits changed when you moved into the tiny house?

Lara: Yeah, I think that was one of the valuable things that tiny houses can offer us. Whether it’s the tiny houses on wheels version or whether it’s a smaller apartment, or you know a town house, or thinking about the size of our housing, I think yes it does enforce habits because, like, I love swimming but I don’t need my own pool. Kind of that idea of like what, you know, having a garden space that, we had a beautiful garden that we built around our tiny house but it wasn’t ours. It was shared with the owner of the block and someone else and they, you become better at negotiating and living with other people. Not just the ones in your tiny house, but the people at the local coffee shop, or that kind of becoming more part of the community maybe. So I think those habits of being more considerate and kind of working on that give-and-take kind of a relationship, like  you know, with diner , with the block, like you know, “Can we park our motorbike under your house?” You know, “sure, no problems”. He was like amazing you know “You can park it under there, no probs.” And you know, when we were doing some gardening we’d mow the lawn, no, just that kind of building relationship to make life better for everyone. I think that’s one of the habits. But of course the habits of, you know, using eco soaps and suds and being conscious of the waste you produce because you don’t have a big garbage bin, so when you bring something into the tiny house in packets and boxes you’re really conscious of it. Because if you buy a fan and it comes in a box that’s the size of the fan once you’ve unpacked it you’ve got this big thing in the space. “So much rubbish in here. Get that out.”

Belinda: Well you touched on sustainability. I found that really interesting. Because even the simplest thing I think, you go down to the shopping centre and you are buying either the groceries or you see some shoes on sale, you really had to think twice before you purchased anything. Did you notice things like that? That your spending went down or you know your electricity usage went down. All those sort of things.

Lara: Yeah definitely. It’s a really kind of –

Belinda: Good piggy bank?

Lara: – tiny house way to live, yeah. Your electricity bill goes down because you only have a couple of lights and you’re charging your laptop. You’re not, you know, air conditioning your big space or our water usage, really good with the composting toilet. It’s just such a shame. I think that it’s thirty or forty thousand litres a year that we flush. Drinking water, which is crazy. And you, yeah, you are more conscious about what you buy. ‘Do I really need that or do I just want that now?’ Or, you know, sometimes I would think there was something coming up where I want a nice dress and call my sister, ‘Hey, do you have something I could wear just for the night? I’ve got these shoes but I don’t have a top that I...’ You know? And she’s totally happy, she’s got heaps of stuff. She’s like, ‘Yeah come around, come around, you can try some stuff on,’ you know. It’s not even just a matter of being stingy because if I wanted to get something I could and I would and I would just have to send something else away, throw something else out. That was kind of one of the rules, is like if I bring a new something in something else leaves, so. But yeah it does do that.

Belinda: When you were here, even finishing up your degree, is this the path you thought you would be on now?

Lara: No. I know I wouldn’t have guessed in fact I was super into large public spaces. Public squares is what I studied and that was the, actually the small spaces on the edge of squares. Like the thresholds between like a shop and a, that was what I was really interested in. Like urban planning kind of stuff. But I think the idea of a home was also of interest especially like, yeah. No, I wouldn’t have guessed. This is a short answer. No. But I didn’t go straight into that. I did the carpentry apprenticeship so I was onsite building, learning how buildings go together and detailing. That side of things and that led to these other things that led to that path, so it was a good merge of those skills. And who knows? Maybe I’ll go back into public squares later. But publics squares full of tiny houses, who knows?

Belinda: Tiny communities.

Katie: If someone was thinking about investing in a tiny house what kind of out look would they expect to budget for?

Lara: We’ve got a new tiny house that’s complete ready to plug in and live in that we’re selling for $79,000. That’s the, a few other companies around Australia that are building and selling tiny houses. That’s around the mark approximately. Some are a little less. Some are a little more. Depends on what’s included I guess. Some tiny house companies or builders are also offering a shell. So we’re doing a shell for $49,000, which is yeah, just to lock up. And then people, because I think a part of the tiny house movement is the DIY side of it and that’s kind of how we’ve worked around, yeah. So people want to kit it out how they want because they want to you know, make it this personalised small space. And not everything is going to blanket solution everything from a rental AirBNB, student accommodation to an elderly, you know, grandparent in the backyard. People need to be able to turn this space into what they want. But also a lot of people are trying to get into it for cost effectiveness. So of course one of the things that is a costs that the tiny house starts with is the trailer, which is a reasonably expensive component.

Belinda: How many people have you fit in your tiny house?

Lara:  About 30.

Belinda: That’s including the deck obviously cause it’s a beautiful deck.

Lara: I think there was, I think there was a bit of a challenge. We actually had 30 in the house but that was, I think, during Woodford or something. We had everyone crammed because we had a loft, so we had a few kids and then we had people, one in the shower and I think we got–

Katie: There was a bit of piggy backing in the vertical spaces.

Belinda: Sounds like clowns in the mini clown car that just keep coming out.

Katie: What’s next for you and the Tiny House Company? What’s your next goal your working towards?

Lara: We’ve been looking at a few option. We’ve got this new one we’ve put out into the market. There’s this Brisbane open house that we’re taking it to, a few sustainable housing events. So we’re going to take it round, show it off a bit. So being able to build now that we’ve invested in a display and model of that type, being able to get a few of those across the line is a priority. But also we’ve been looking at some other designs for a granny flat that’s not on wheels that we can assemble efficiently and cheaply, but just gives that bit of extra width for people who and brings it lower to the ground so it looks at more... I guess it opens up ability for more people. So accessibility, yeah yeah, flexible but it’s more accessible.  A lot more people can imagine themselves in a small house that has a bedroom. So being able to provide a bedroom and then everything the tiny house has in still very compact space, and a top quality build and design. Because they don’t need the trailer. So looking at the kind of, an offering to the market. Although there is still stuff out there in the market we wouldn’t claim to be able to do it any better, but just coming from our angle with the transportability and the modular nature of what we’ve got just sets putting something else out there and seeing what comes of that.

Katie: There’s a great potential with these tiny homes, both the transportable ones and stationary ones. To look into creating change in issue like homelessness or disaster relief or providing a more off grid possibility for people that might not want to be part of a city. Is this something that you guys have looked into?

Lara: yeah we have. We’ve been involved with a whole bunch of conferences and discussions around with Q Shelter and other housing providers that is around looking into housing for those that really need it. There’s still a ways to go with that but I think there’s a space within that where tiny houses can help, so I do believe in that. It’s just that so many factors and being able to make it work and that’s what, it takes a while. But I guess that good steps have been going forward. Disaster relief as well. I guess the tiny houses have the ability to be able to be bought in and taken out so they can be even, if they’re in an area of flood prone, they can be removed in time or you know, be put where they’re most required. So they do have that capacity. It’s just about where the investment is. More people looking at, on like a broader view of it. Yeah, I do think that we need to look at some options for those situations that are not, that have something that have you know, dignity and style and class, and a lovely lifestyle. And a world design, good insulation. I’m not just talking about world design as in they look pretty. I’m talking about like a quality home because that’s the starting, that has been world proven starting point for people getting their lives back on track too. And being able to have a safe place that, you know, they can be. So yeah, there are people that have done some work in that. We’ve done a lot of work talking to people, but to be honest at this stage all I can say is talk. There’s nothing that we’ve built yet that can, you know, provide for those needs yet. But you know, soon maybe.

Katie: So you have an unlimited budget. What do you put in your tiny house? Unlimited budget and engineering and architectural wizards at yours disposal. What do you put in there?

Lara: A friendly people.

Katie: No, I didn’t provide you with nice humans. I just gave you money and skills. What would you put in there?

Lara: I think I would put design energy and even though that can account to cost it doesn’t always have to. And then just carefully considering how the space is though through and designed, that is more important than any gold tap fittings or expensive tiles, you know, hard wood floors or any of that and it’s like more important that things are carefully thought through. How the space is used. Yeah, I think a deck is a really nice breakout space that’s pretty essential.

Katie: Especially for that Australian lifestyle too.

Lara: Yeah, subtropical Queensland or you know, north or even down south it gets warm too. People need to be able to breakout onto something.

Belinda: So we’ve reached the end of the episode but before we go we have a tiny segment that we call ‘Spare Change’ in which we get to know you a little bit better with some rapid fire questions, so are you ready?

Lara: Yep.

Belinda: Okay, so here we go. First one is what’s the one fact that listeners wouldn’t know about you?

Lara: In that TEDex talk we were talking about I was so nervous. I almost, I froze up and I pretty much couldn’t keep going. I think they cut that bit out.

Belinda: So what is the one question you’re sick of being asked?

Lara: Well actually it’s a really good question but it doesn’t take away the fact that I’m sick of being asked. “Does the house come with the trailer?” The tiny house is built on the trailer, yes. It comes with the trailer.

Belinda: The whole point of it.

Lara: Yep.

Belinda: If you could go back in time by ten years, what advice would you give your younger self?

Lara: Well, I don’t know because it’s hard. I like looking at what’s next and I like looking forward and a lot of the time when I make decisions I don’t like to think about the, how things could have gone the other way. So I probably wouldn’t even give myself any advice, if that makes sense. Sort of like –

Belinda: So you’re not a sliding doors type person.

Lara: No it’s just like, ‘Well that’s the way that went.’ So I don’t really have much advice. Be like if you took some chances maybe you could have done some stuff better that weren’t that good. Whatever. You’re here. I don’t know.

Belinda: Just go with the flow.

Lara: Yeah, it is a bit like that so I don’t have much advice. Maybe I would say when people say that having a kid will change your life and you won’t be able to do all the hiking and climbing that you thought you’d be able to. Listen to them because it’s true. I don’t know if that would have meant that I still probably would have had her.

Belinda: There you go. So speaking of fun things like that, who or what what is your biggest influence in life?

Lara: I’m going to have to wrap a couple of people into one. My folks and Andrew, my partner. They’re my big influences.

Belinda: And the littlest influence now?

Lara: My littlest influence, yeah she’s, little Charlie she influences too many minutes of my life. In a nice way though.

Belida: Now this is the tough one that most people get stuck on but if you had to choose a piece of music that would best describe you, which song would you play?

Lara: I’m not sure that this would be the one that would best describe me but on the spot I’ll go with Pink Floyd’s album Wish You Were Here.

Belinda:  That’s the end of another episode of UQ ChangeMakers. If you want to learn more about the Tiny Hose Company visit our website at uq.edu.au/changemakers, where you can also subscribe to ChangeMakers magazine. I’m Belinda McDougall.

Katie: And I’m Katie Rowney. Our podcast was produced by Michael Jones and Jessica Mcgaw. If you enjoyed this episode tell your friends or colleagues, leave a review on iTunes or email us at changemakers@uq.edu.au. If you want to create change tune in next time when we interview another inspiring member of the UQ community. Thanks for listening.