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An interview with William Woodbridge on the Lake Ginninderra teepee

By ConorHickey - 25 February 2012 84

teepee

William Woodbridge is a typical second year university student. He is 21 years of age, has quite a relaxed attitude towards life and doesn’t mind thinking outside the square a bit.

Those of you who use Ginninderra Drive are already familiar with some of his creative thinking.

A floating teepee has become a topic of interest in Canberra and William Woodbridge is the man behind it.
Seeking to escape the monetary shackles of life living on the University of Canberra campus, Will created his floating home.

william woodbridge

“It’s deliciously hippyish,” says Will with a massive grin as he eats peach from the can.

Will tells me that he decided to leave on-campus accommodation after he accidentally set off a fire alarm while cooking. He says the company that ran his residence, Campus Living Villages, charged him $350. I tried to contact Campus Living Villages but their general manager was unavailable for comment until Monday.

After being hit with the fine, he decided that he did not want to live life on campus anymore and so looked for alternative styles of living.

As I sat there on his front porch listening to his explanation of how his raft came to be, a man rows up in a canoe.

The man says that his wife “forced him to check it out.”

Will is completely unfazed by the attention his floating home has gathered in recent weeks.

“I would invite you onboard for a cold drink if the ice in my esky hadn’t melted,” Will says to the man.

After a few minutes of raft relating chatting the man bids Will well and rows back to shore.

supplies

Will tells me that his new home attracts the odd visitor, although not always of the nice kind.

“Everyone has been really friendly and nice so far, which is why the generator was a bit of a surprise,” Will tells me,” says Will.

Will is alluding to the fact that sometime on Friday his generator, which he used to power his television and to recharge his laptop, was stolen from his lockbox on the back of the raft.

Despite this he remains quite optimistic.

“It will probably come back, Canberra is too small a place for something like that to happen and go unnoticed,” he says.

He has created flyers which he has taped to his teepee and lockbox, telling all who venture close enough to his raft that his generator has been stolen.

stolen generator

Our conversation progressed to the inspirations of the raft. He said after having left on campus accommodation, and living out the back of a car, he settled on the idea of a raft.

“I came up with a number of designs I could live in while on the raft, the first one was a square house boat type thing, I looked at, you know, a canvas hutch, various sorts of huts and a straight forward tent, and eventually my uncle suggested a teepee.

”So I looked at the design and ergonomics of a teepee, they can stay quite warm, the teepee because it has a cone shape, it’s very stable and because its rounded the wind doesn’t catch on it.”

teepee

True to what Will tells me, the teepee has held up through the storms of last week. Will maintains the storms were never a problem, and that if they got bad enough, he would simply delay his trip home in his leaky tinny.

tinny

He tells me that the ACT Government has been in contact with him, and has asked him to move along. Will says he has been in discussion with Territories and Municipal Services, he hopes the discussion with them can lead to an arrangement where he stays on the lake.

With a possible eviction notice heading his way, Will seems relatively unfazed. He does not want to leave his teepee because it will mean him becoming homeless. Yet despite the outlook of a grim future Will is completely calm.

Full slideshow here:

What’s Your opinion?


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84 Responses to
An interview with William Woodbridge on the Lake Ginninderra teepee
1
damien haas 7:51 pm
25 Feb 12
#

Pirates on the lake!

Seriously, stealing his generator is pretty low.

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2
G.R.R 8:35 pm
25 Feb 12
#

The irony here being that the same outlets that aired his dramas also aired pictures of his gear (generator included)…

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3
arescarti42 9:23 pm
25 Feb 12
#

Damn, those little Honda generators are worth a fortune, probably $1k+ for that one. Expecting it to find its way back seems very optimistic to me.

If I were him I’d probably be investigating a solar system. A 100w ish panel, deep cycle battery and inverter I would have thought would be enough to do laptop charging and a bit of lighting for around the $500 mark.

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4
arescarti42 9:24 pm
25 Feb 12
#

Solar gear is probably less convenient to steal and harder to sell on as well.

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5
johnboy 10:08 pm
25 Feb 12
#

Heavy though, which is a problem for a raft.

While the teepee is pretty clever for metacentric height issues panels and batteries would present some serious problems for both deck space and stability.

To say nothing of his orientation changing as the wind blows.

(although if he really trusts his water proofing batteries could be stowed under the deck providing improved stability)

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6
screaming banshee 10:36 pm
25 Feb 12
#

He does not want to leave his teepee because it will mean him becoming homeless

You are homeless, idiot!

At 21 its about time you took responsibility for your own actions, if you set off a fire alarm that results in a callout firies or a fire service company to investigate/reset…that costs money.

Take your fifteen minutes of fame and f*ck off.

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7
arescarti42 10:47 pm
25 Feb 12
#

johnboy said :

Heavy though, which is a problem for a raft.

While the teepee is pretty clever for metacentric height issues panels and batteries would present some serious problems for both deck space and stability.

To say nothing of his orientation changing as the wind blows.

(although if he really trusts his water proofing batteries could be stowed under the deck providing improved stability)

True. It’d really depend on the size of the system I suppose. Still an option worth looking in to IMO.

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8
Thumper 11:07 pm
25 Feb 12
#

Um… dude…

just do your degree and get used to it.

For the rest if your life you will be f***ed around and f***ed over.

Is it fair? No.

but it will happen.

That’s life.

Sorry to destroy your wordly view.

On the other hand, stealing your gennie is pretty low…

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9
LSWCHP 11:10 pm
25 Feb 12
#

Bugger me. My daughter asked me what the tent in the lake was a few weeks ago and I had no idea. She’s gonna love hearing about this.

And of course, a plague of scabies on the dogs who stole his generator.

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10
johnboy 11:51 pm
25 Feb 12
#

I think some of you need the think bigger.

Imagine a Lake Ginninderra covered in teepee rafts as low cost accomodation.

Just think how cool the parties would be!

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11
gospeedygo 8:56 am
26 Feb 12
#

johnboy said :

I think some of you need the think bigger.

Imagine a Lake Ginninderra covered in teepee rafts as low cost accomodation.

Just think how cool the parties would be!

…..and all the drunken drownings that would ensue.

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12
PearlGem 9:20 am
26 Feb 12
#

screaming banshee said :

He does not want to leave his teepee because it will mean him becoming homeless

You are homeless, idiot!

At 21 its about time you took responsibility for your own actions, if you set off a fire alarm that results in a callout firies or a fire service company to investigate/reset…that costs money.

Take your fifteen minutes of fame and f*ck off.

I know this guy and am sick of hearing things come back to the stupid fire alarm I know for a fact it wasn’t even smoke that set the damn thing of it was steam, I think he was cooking rice.
Also I realize your just trolling because no one could possibly be that stupid If you don’t like what he’s raising awareness for or the stand he’s taking against something we shouldn’t just be lying down and taking up the arse then why waste your time on his “15 minutes of fame”

Report this comment

13
buzz819 10:17 am
26 Feb 12
#

PearlGem said :

screaming banshee said :

He does not want to leave his teepee because it will mean him becoming homeless

You are homeless, idiot!

At 21 its about time you took responsibility for your own actions, if you set off a fire alarm that results in a callout firies or a fire service company to investigate/reset…that costs money.

Take your fifteen minutes of fame and f*ck off.

I know this guy and am sick of hearing things come back to the stupid fire alarm I know for a fact it wasn’t even smoke that set the damn thing of it was steam, I think he was cooking rice.
Also I realize your just trolling because no one could possibly be that stupid If you don’t like what he’s raising awareness for or the stand he’s taking against something we shouldn’t just be lying down and taking up the arse then why waste your time on his “15 minutes of fame”

While I understand the ACTFB will charge you for irresponsible call outs, I don’t think it is fair to charge someone who is already being charged so much to live in a box with a bed. The Uni needs to have a good hard look at who they are supposed to be supporting to continue being able to be a university.

Report this comment

14
chewy14 10:36 am
26 Feb 12
#

PearlGem said :

screaming banshee said :

He does not want to leave his teepee because it will mean him becoming homeless

You are homeless, idiot!

At 21 its about time you took responsibility for your own actions, if you set off a fire alarm that results in a callout firies or a fire service company to investigate/reset…that costs money.

Take your fifteen minutes of fame and f*ck off.

I know this guy and am sick of hearing things come back to the stupid fire alarm I know for a fact it wasn’t even smoke that set the damn thing of it was steam, I think he was cooking rice.
Also I realize your just trolling because no one could possibly be that stupid If you don’t like what he’s raising awareness for or the stand he’s taking against something we shouldn’t just be lying down and taking up the arse then why waste your time on his “15 minutes of fame”

Because the only thing he’s bringing attention to is his stupidity. It’s time that he realises that the world doesn’t owe him free accomodation and there’s no requirement for him to live on campus.

Welcome to the real world son.

Report this comment

15
Mysteryman 10:46 am
26 Feb 12
#

screaming banshee said :

He does not want to leave his teepee because it will mean him becoming homeless

You are homeless, idiot!

At 21 its about time you took responsibility for your own actions, if you set off a fire alarm that results in a callout firies or a fire service company to investigate/reset…that costs money.

Take your fifteen minutes of fame and f*ck off.

Thumper said :

Um… dude…

just do your degree and get used to it.

For the rest if your life you will be f***ed around and f***ed over.

Is it fair? No.

but it will happen.

That’s life.

Sorry to destroy your wordly view.

On the other hand, stealing your gennie is pretty low…

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man” – George Bernard Shaw.

I’d rather spend my time with people like Mr Woodbridge than people who have given up on trying to make a difference.

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