Home is Where the Heart Is


Lizelle and Jacques Rossouw moved to Australia from South Africa 22 years ago, residing in Emerald and Moranbah before coming to Singleton in 2014.

Four years ago, they purchased their home in one of Singleton’s iconic, heritage streets and Lizelle lovingly calls this their ‘forever’ home. 

When the couple settled in Singleton, they began their search for a property and Lizelle always had her eye on Walaroi, even when it wasn’t on the market.

“I would drive past and look at it, but the time was never right,” Lizelle said, adding that she must have driven local real estate agents with her property search.

“I would have looked at more than 100 homes and none of them seemed right,” she laughed.

When Wolaroi came on the market four years ago, they booked an inspection and Lizelle said she knew it was her home from the moment she stepped inside the front door.

The emotion of that moment still brings Lizelle to tears.

“I can’t explain it, it just felt like I was finally home,” she said.

Jacques too may have been in tears given the renovation that lay ahead.

There is lots to do and the list of jobs keeps evolving.

Lizelle is true to her beliefs of creating a renovation that is sympathetic to their home that was built in 1910.

She has loved working with experienced builders who are true to their craft.

“They don’t just rip something out and replace it, the whole frame of the windows was removed to be restored, not just replaced with aluminium windows,” Lizelle said.

“It costs more money, but it is done in such a way, such a beautiful job.

“There are cheaper options but with a home like this you want to care for it, we are just custodians after all.”

Wolaroi, built in 1910, was home to members of the Mather family for nearly 100 years.  Mathers is a name synonymous with Singleton’s early cordial factory that operated for more than a century, closing in 1978.

Lizelle is now a little fixated on its history, just another task to keep her busy.

In the year of the yard is the cast iron bottling equipment, a garden feature that now captures the history.

Lizelle’s advice to anyone restoring an older home is to be patient.

“Nothing happens overnight, it can be a constant money pit and as soon as you start to do one thing, you find something else that needs to be done,” she said.

But ask Lizelle if she is happy and the tears in her eyes for her beloved Wolaroi is one question this beautiful woman doesn’t have to answer.

I would guess it is a yes, a home that is definitely not for sale.