Danthonia Community • Elsmore, NSW

Contact Information

Danthonia
4188 Gwydir Highway
Elsmore NSW 2360
Australia
Tel: (02) 6723 2213
Email:  danthonia@bruderhof.com

Established: 1999

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About Us:
Danthonia is a large Bruderhof settlement made up of a lively mix of families and singles, young and old, who live, work, and worship together. Children at Danthonia are home-schooled, and most adults work within the community. We support ourselves with Danthonia Designs, a business that makes a wide variety of signs, from hand-carved and sculptured to LED digital signs.

Setting:
Set in the rolling hills of northern New South Wales, our rural homestead includes the original 1950s wood-and-tin house, which has been added onto over time. However most of our residences are now apartment buildings, and our several communal buildings include a dining hall, kitchen, laundry, and workshops. Because we enjoy warm weather nearly every day, we conduct morning or evening worship outside, overlooking the valley toward Swan Peak. During the rare rainy or cool days, the dining hall doubles as a worship space.

Connecting with Neighbors:
Our community welcomes hundreds of visitors every year. Retirees, clubs, school groups, and environmental groups frequently join us for lunch and a tour of our sign-making workshop. Friends and neighbors attend our events and festivals throughout the year, as well as Saturday evening dinners and other special times of celebration. Local organizations often ask to use our dining hall and kitchen for their functions. Several of us are part of the local fire fighter service. Our members regularly volunteer at the local aged care home, hospital, and centers that assist Australia’s indigenous children. We try to stay actively involved in the lives of our neighbors, especially in times of drought, fire, and grief.

Point of Interest:
Danthonia was originally owned by a homesteading family that ran sheep and cattle on the paddocks and did occasional cropping. In recent years, our Bruderhof community has planted more than one hundred thousand (!) trees on the property.

Residents’ Voices:
Several current residents describe life at the Danthonia Bruderhof:

BenZimmerman

Ben: Half a day’s drive from the nearest big city in a remote corner of New South Wales, Danthonia might be considered more or less unreachable. But many find their way to our Christian community here and we feel well connected to a worldwide network of fellow seekers. I love the land and the climate and especially the down-to-earth warmth of the Australian people. Most days I work in our custom-made sign manufacturing business but my better hours are spent out of doors turning the compost pile, helping my wife with projects for the community school, or supporting her passion for gardening. What could be more rewarding than living together with brothers and sisters who are committed to a loving, practical way of communal living, in service to Jesus Christ?

MariaCMaria: The climate can be harsh in rural New South Wales, but the challenging beauty of the open skies and hills and the friendliness of rural Australians contribute to this being a fantastic setting for our Danthonia community. I love working as the dentist in the community’s dental clinic, where my office windows frame a view of trees planted decades ago by homesteaders, and beyond them the panorama of hills bathed in brilliant sunlight that have been home to indigenous Australians for tens of thousands of years. The sounds of children playing outside compete with the songs of kookaburras and butcher birds, and even occasionally with the drumming of rain pouring down, which is always a cause for celebration in this land of droughts. Networking with the local dentists provides great support for my practice, and when work is done, I love to spend time with neighbours and friends in our nearby town of Inverell, with families here at Danthonia, or out enjoying a bushwalk.
BillWiser

Bill: At sixty, my wife, Grace, and I relish the adventure of exploring our new Australian home. We may be found working with the pastoral team at this Christian community of some two hundred souls, meeting with the ministers’ fellowships of Inverell and Armidale, or visiting a local prison. Our circle of close friends includes those of the First Nation Aboriginal people with 60,000-year-old roots in this land, as well as those whose ancestors arrived on the first fleet of convict immigrants in 1788. And the passion we share for the continent’s avian community has taken us south to a rock jetty in Melbourne’s St Kilda to watch Little Penguins coming home to roost at sunset and north to the Top End to find the secretive Rainbow Pitta foraging on the forest floor.