Brendan Lowry and Trish Kearney
trade corporate life for a Bruny Island pub

Trish Kearney and Brendan Lowry
Trish & Brendan

Viewers of Channel Seven’s The Real Seachange followed Brendan and Trish in episode 12 as they left six-figure income bank jobs and took over the Bruny Island Hotel at alonnah in Tasmania – Australia’s southernmost licensed pub.

Although they had never run a hotel, bar or restaurant before, they chose to leave the security of corporate life and moved from the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, together with their four-year old daughter Tess.

“We found out through friends that the business was for sale,” they say. “We had been looking at caravan or holiday parks in Victoria but anything on the water in mainland Australia is about two to three million dollars to buy.”

In a two-month negotiation they got the asking price for the hotel down to $750,000, which includes five acres of freehold waterfront land.

“We had to get out of the rat-race,” says Brendan. “We were working ten hours a day for a boss and spending another three hours a day in traffic. We had no time. More than a business, we bought a life.

“It’s still hard work. Very hard work. But we can take time out to go fishing or bike riding.”

“Tasmania is not isolated like it was five or ten years ago,” says Trish. “Airfares are cheap, so we can visit family and friends. And the internet keeps us in touch.”

The last word goes to Brendan: “We’re not smarter than the average person and if we can make a go of this then anyone can.”

See the personal profiles page for more real-life T-change stories.

Visit the bruny island hotel website.