I bought my block in 1987 for $9,000. I was living and working in Melbourne but the company I was working for was bought out and I was made redundant. We sold up and moved here in 1989. It took me 5 years to build my mud brick house. I moved to Sydney for work in 2000 and returned to Dereel in 2010.
2. What’s great about living here?
The peace and quiet. I love to watch the birds, the kangaroos. Nature fascinates me.
3. What do you feel passionate about?
I’ve always liked writing, humorous stories, stories with a twist. I have written short stories published in the Rokewood Newsletter. If I get an idea for a story I can’t sleep until I’ve written it in my head.
4. What do you find joy in doing?
Gardening, swimming – I go to the Ballarat swimming centre. I used to like walking, but it’s getting harder now on the knees. I read a lot, mostly crime and mystery thrillers.
5. What is your current pet project?
Painting the bungalow, it’s been going for a while. Last year I got the fascias and spouting done.
6. What community groups are you involved in and why?
Men’s Shed – for the company, and to share my skills with others – I’m serving as Vice President.
7. Tell us about your best community experience.
That would be the Captain Cat’s musical theatre show that was run in the hall a couple of years ago. It was great how it got people together to enjoy a night out, and to have a good feed. The audience enjoyed it, the performers enjoyed it, it was just fabulous to be part of the whole event.
8. How could you see more of this happening in Dereel?
It comes down to more community involvement. Getting the community groups working together.
9. Describe a future vision of Dereel that you would like to see.
I’d like to see the road sides maintained as well as they are in neighbouring towns. When the hall and skate park are completed I’d like to see CERT, the hall, community centre, CFA and the Men’s Shed connected by decent landscaping and gardens.
10. What would we do as a first step to realise that dream?
The community has to really work together as one rather than in isolated groups. We need to advertise more by signs and the use of 3BA who broadcast community events. Not everyone is online. E.g. I know there is a community auction coming up in Rokewood but I don’t know which group will be at the coffee club this week.