The amazing story of the man "living off the grid" in the centre of Australia

When you are on the road you come across people that are a bit different or should I say alternative. Some of them are to the extreme.

I heard about Joseph previously living on the outskirts of Birdsville. Joseph lives completely “off the grid.”

Joseph Szczepina was born in Poland in 1947, two years after the second world war. He studied psychology at the Sorbonne in Paris.

At the age of 25 he felt that he got a calling from God to represent his wishes on earth.

Joseph is Jewish and interprets what is written in the old testament as was promised, the land of milk and honey, which actually means to him, the entire world. He was looking for the safest place on earth. He thought Australia was the place because it is surrounded by water and was then safe from invasion. To add to this he felt that the centre of Australia is the place to settle and he has been here for the last 20 years.

Joseph is an inventor, environmentalist mixed with being a philosopher and story teller.

One of his thoughts was to divide the land in the world in gradings from 0-20. Zero being the bare desert and twenty would be like the jungles of the Amazon.

Joseph believes that his mission is to head into upgrading every piece of land to a higher grading than it is at the moment. He is definitely leading by example by planting 1,000 olive trees and palm trees in the desert.

By living off the grid Joseph built a huge water tank by himself filling it with the water from the river.

Most of his materials are sourced from the local tip of Birdville as he believes that everything has a use and was made by peoples work and efforts and should therefore be respected and re-used.

One of his inventions is the bricks that he calls KIBLOK, which are made by him using a mould that was designed by him, and cement. Using these bricks he then built his own house. According to Joseph the way these bricks are put together allows structures to withstand earth movement and extreme weather conditions.

Joseph purchased one square kilometre of land. Out of this land he fenced off 10 hectares that will never be touched and he sees it as it belongs to God. Another 10 hectares is fenced off for anyone that needs a piece of land to share. The rest of the land is his.

Joseph smiled and said , “I know that people think I am crazy, but I am not.”

I believe him.

We just need to remind ourselves that people called Galileo Galilei crazy.

There is so much more to add to this story, and I hope to add more in the future. (written by Lindsay)

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