Dereel People: Lorraine and Jim Ellis

Lorraine and Jim Ellis

1. How long have you lived in the area and what brought you here?
We have lived in Enfield for five and half years.  We had been looking at properties North of Ballarat but six years ago, decided to look to the South. Then we found and fell in love with our property, so retired here.

2. What’s great about living here?
Both of us love the fact that it is rural, but close to a big regional city. We enjoy the sense of community in the immediate area, and are very impressed with all the facilities very close to us—doctors, shopping, train services, for example.

3. What do you feel passionate about?
Gardening! Both of us are passionate gardeners. We could see the potential in the property we bought and have spent hours improving, extending and caring for the garden.

4. What do you find joy in doing?
Definitely gardening, but also mixing with and enjoying the company of local residents.

5. What is your current pet project?
At the moment we are trying to overcome health issues— so much time is taken up with that…but always there is the maintenance of the garden. At the moment we are setting up the vegetable garden ready for some good weather!

6. What community groups are you involved in and why?
We belong to the Walking Group and through this we commit to some activities with Dereel residents. This includes the Dereel breakfast each month, which Jim cooks for, and also the recent Farewell to Footy pie lunch. These kinds of events help to keep the community in touch. Also fund raising. This year we organised a morning tea for cancer which locals supported to raise money for BRICC (Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre). Lorraine also attends a craft group.

7. Tell us about your best community experience.
It has probably been in organising local events for get-togethers or for fundraising….just seeing the support provided from locals.

8. How could you see more of this happening in Dereel?
More people need to help to organise community events—not just attend them. Helping gives a great sense of achievement and an opportunity for social interaction. If there were more helpers we could have more events.

9. Describe a future vision of Dereel that you would like to see.
To see everyone working together in whichever field they would like to be in. We must all realise we haven’t got the time or the energy to be involved in EVERY group. The groups need to work side by side, encouraging each other.

10. What would we do as a first step to realise that dream?
Have a positive attitude toward working as a community, listen to each others ideas, and try to reach a happy medium.

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