BUSINESS and pleasure mix well in Warrnambool for Richard Montgomery and his family.
After completing university at the Sherwood Park campus, he always knew he would come back one day.
And he did. The principal of WHK accountants and financial advisers has called Warrnambool home for the past seven years.
Originally from Bright, Mr Montgomery enjoyed a rural upbringing. He first moved to Warrnambool to study a commerce degree and after finishing he had to look further afield to begin his career.
Due to the recession in the late 1980s there were no positions available in Warrnambool, so he moved to Ballarat instead.
There he honed his accountancy skills for 10 years and became a partner in a local practice.
Family and the great lifestyle options eventually brought Mr Montgomery and his wife Elisa back to Warrnambool in 2005.
Mrs Montgomery grew up in Warrnambool and met her future husband while he was studying.
“Moving back was the best thing that we ever did,” Mr Montgomery said.
“It’s an exciting place to have a business because Warrnambool is an exciting business environment. There is always a lot happening, it’s quite a prosperous area.”
He established the WHK accountancy office in 2006.
“There is lots of opportunities both in town and in the farming community. For accountants it’s a really good place to set up a business.”
Throughout the region WHK has nine offices and employs more than 340 people.
“Today we have grown to approximately 30 staff in the Warrnambool office,” he said.
“It has been very successful for us to open up in Warrnambool because there has been so many growth opportunities for the business.
“Warrnambool is such a vibrant, growing city and WHK is riding the wave of that.”
Mr Montgomery is also the president of Commerce Warrnambool, which he founded after he returned to find a chamber of commerce did not exist.
The group now has more than 100 business members.
Mr Montgomery said Warrnambool was a great place to live because of the lifestyle it allowed.
“If you were looking to make a change away from the city then look no further than coming to Warrnambool and the region because it offers so much,” he said.
“We have everything we need within the serviced environment in Warrnambool.
“We have great beaches, great restaurants and great work opportunities.”
He also enjoys various outdoor activities and his love of surfing enables him to spend time with his son, while professionally there is more than enough scope to achieve his ambitions here instead of in Melbourne.
“The city offers so much, but I would rather have the lifestyle and raise a family in an environment like Warrnambool.”
He also lists the education opportunities and excellent healthcare facilities as major benefits of the town.
“Where else can you find a university in a town of this size in Australia?”
n Read more stories about why people love living in the south-west by picking up a copy of The Standard’s Live Work Invest magazine from local council offices.