Welcome to CHOISES! This is where you can find out a bit more about our members, our buildings and our philosophy.
We have two buildings, one in Randwick and one in Coogee. Each building has four self contained units, one for each CHOISES member.
Our buildings are our spaces. We decide as a community what upgrades need to be made, and what we would like to develop or improve. For example, we recently completed projects at both buildings to landscape the gardens, resulting in beautiful and relaxing shared spaces for our community to gather and enjoy.
Each CHOISES unit contains the following:
- Two bedrooms with built-in robes
- Updated kitchen with dishwasher
- Private bathroom
- Living space with a heater
Only our laundry and backyard spaces are shared, with washing machines and clothes dryers for everyone’s use.
Meet some of our members
How long have you lived in the coop?
About 4 years.
How did you find out about it, and what made you want to apply?
I found out about it through a workmate who had lived here for a number of years, and loved actively being part of the community and running of the co-op. She spoke about how it was a great opportunity to have secure and affordable housing in Sydney, as well as growing skills through being a board member and taking on various tasks and roles. I came saw it first hand myself whilst pet-sitting for her and loved the space and interaction with the neighbours immediately.
Tell us what you do outside of the co-op
I’m studying a Diploma of Remedial massage full-time, I practice yoga and volunteer as a yoga teacher, I attend as many dance fitness classes as possible, try and go for walk in nature at least once a week, and work as a casual usher at the Sydney Opera House. I am also teaching myself Spanish and Portuguese.
What project have you worked on while in the co-op that you were most proud of?
I really enjoyed being a part of the Successful Community Spaces Grant application for our Coogee building. We all worked together many hours on the application, researching and getting quotes. Once the grant was approved we were beyond excited but it was just the start of a long, sometimes challenging but very rewarding learning process. I’m so proud of how everyone in our building pulled together despite the late nights, early mornings, and working with a team to come together with a vision. My favourite parts were the more practical tasks like emergency trips to the paint shop and picking out plants in the native nursery. We also had a lovely launch celebration with one member singing beautiful music to open the space. As well as the grant application the ongoing maintaining and decision-making about what to plant has been very educational and useful with members sharing knowledge they gathered along the way. I love spending time in the garden and it really is a place for us to all come together and share and grow (literally and metaphorically).
What do you love about life in the co-op?
I love that it’s like an extended share house in some ways, but you have your own privacy. We are a mixture of people with different interests and experiences who can rely on each other to share and work together to manage the co-op and make decisions, but also that we share with beyond the offical duties who support and care for each other like family, and I am so grateful for this.
What do you find can be challenging about life in the co-op?
The co-op definitely isn’t all rainbows and butterflies (although there are a fair few of those). Like anyone working together, different ideas and experience can bring clashes and challenges, but these things are all opportunities for growth and learning and we find a way to come out stronger in the end.