Building a unique venue on Canberra’s doorstep

Toliam Homestead is a very small family business that we launched in August 2020; we don’t even meet the classification of a micro-business yet! Having purchased our property in November 2019, we then saw massive changes in 2020 with my having to retire early from my long-term career due to health issues, and then struggling to find work in a new Pandemic world. So, after more than three months with no income, we launched the new business and I finally secured some contract work to make ends meet.

The Toliam Homestead brand is all about family, creativity and community. We started with woodworking and have gradually expanded that into a range of homewares, giftware and furniture. We make all our products on the property and sell online, at markets and in select retail establishments, but it is slow going.

Now, we are refurbishing our stables and workshop area to be able to host weddings, birthday and Christmas parties and corporate events. In addition, the woodworking workshop is to be updated to establish a teaching area where we can hold workshops on making platters and cheeseboards, woodturning and resin river work, one of our core product lines. Our goal is to share a wonderful and memorable experience with all who visit our property but also to keep it affordable.

The stables (since our horses prefer to live wild in the paddock) are being cleared and updated to provide a unique events venue with seating for up to 60 inside, with area outside to extend to 150 using marquees. In addition, an area to one side where there were yards is being converted to an open courtyard with pergola, smokeless firepit and lighting. The other side (more yards) will become the beer garden with the bar servery area and catering kitchen pod.

We hope to be able to employ a range of staff as we open our doors and create an environment that ensures everyone is provided with an equal opportunity. This means we encourage learning and training of new skills, offering opportunities to many who may have struggled to find work.

Time is running out!

To do all this takes time and money. We’ve been working on the project for over six months now and if we are to be ready for a September 2022 launch in time for Spring, we need your help.

To complete the transformation of the stables, we need to find $7,000 to cover materials and $8,000 to cover specialist trades (electrician and plumber). We can do most of the actual build work ourselves, as we have been, but some things require professional input. The workshop transformation requires $10,000 to enclose the open bays and fit it out for teaching.

And we need to do all this by the end of JULY!

The bar and kitchen pods are actually $30,000 each (minimum), so will likely take another 6-12 months to achieve. However, if we can open in September and bring in caterers as needed for the events, we can start small and continue to grow the business sustainably over time.

If you can help with $10, $20, $100 or more, please consider donating to help us make a brighter future not only for our small (mini micro) business, but for our community. As we grow, so does our ability to employ staff, from hospitality staff to woodworkers, soap makers, candle makers, furniture makers and gardeners. Alternatively, if you make a booking, that also helps us achieve our goals and you can book up to 24 months in advance!

For more information on what we will be offering, or to make a booking, you can visit our website or email us.



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Lisa Weissel 
New South Wales