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Wanderers at heart

Meet David and Jill Critchlow, proud nomads who found their home in Tasmania.

David and Jill Critchlow don’t really believe in settling down. The pair met on a bus trip to Alice Springs in 1968. “And as they say, the rest was history,” David says. 

They’ve had 48 addresses together; travelling the world, working as teachers and spending their retirement volunteering has certainly kept them busy. 

David still recalls his first impression of Tasmania back in 1964, during a visit to Lords Hotel in Scottsdale. “I sat on the verandah and counted about 38 different shades of green. I was amazed.” After years of “wandering” from place to place, David and Jill decided to return to Tasmania and put down roots in Devonport.

And it’s still ticking all the boxes. “It’s beautiful!”

David and Jill in Canberra 1970
David in his element - teaching

David and Jill’s passion for helping others shines through their impressive volunteering CV. They started off as cataloguers for the Robinson Collection at the Devonport Regional Gallery, before a long stint with the Devonport Visitor Centre. “We’d meet and greet people on their first day in Tassie. We’d tell them all about the island and would help them organise their holidays,” David recalls. 

Years have been spent protecting nature at the beautiful Tasmanian Arboretum, as well as preserving history at the Latrobe Court House Museum, Home Hill and Bass Strait Maritime Centre. Jill also spent 10 years driving dialysis patients to Burnie, while David (still a teacher at heart) gives talks to seniors’ groups along the north-west coast on all things history and language. 

Something that has remained constant over the years, addresses and countries is their roadside membership. Growing up in the UK, David’s parents were members of the Automobile Association, so when David moved to Tasmania for his first teaching job in the 1960s, signing up with us wasn’t even a question. 

Jill, meanwhile, has been covered since she was 16 after her parents suffered not one but two flat tyres on the same stretch of road in the Adelaide Hills. Despite a two-year break between her membership with the Royal Automobile Association in South Australia and RACT, all up Jill has been covered by an auto club for more than 66 years.