Lancefield’s Pam Ahern is the founder and director of Edgar’s Mission, a sanctuary for rescued farm animals. She chats with Serena Seyfort.
What’s your connection to the Macedon Ranges?
I have been here and gone and come back. Twenty-five years ago I lived in Woodend. I fell in love with the Macedon Ranges then. I moved to Willowmavin for more land for my equestrian career. But needing a new home for Edgar’s Mission saw me look all over Australia to find somewhere that would tick all the boxes for the forever home. We chose a farm here and I’ve been in Lancefield for about four years now.
Tell us about Edgar’s Mission.
I’m an animal lover. In 2003 I rescued a pig, who I called Edgar Allan Pig. And it really was because of Edgar that the idea started. I used to take him for walks in the park with my little dog, ET, and people came from everywhere to see Edgar, marvelling at a pig on a lead. They couldn’t believe how friendly he was. It was watching people’s interactions with Edgar that got me thinking the best ambassadors for changing the way people think about farm animals are the animals themselves. Edgar’s Mission gives farm animals a sanctuary. We care for animals that haven’t got a friend in the world and teach people about farm animals. We now have 14 staff and a number of volunteers that make it happen on a daily basis.
What do you like about the Macedon Ranges?
It’s really peaceful, people are friendly and welcoming. I love that we have so many natural attractions, like Hanging Rock. I love the streetscape of Lancefield, with that big tree plantation of those magnificent old oak trees. There’s just so much heritage here – it’s beautiful.
If you could change anything about the area, what would it be?
Nothing. I think you need things you don’t like because it makes you appreciate what you like. If everything was good it would diminish the good.
How has the area responded to Edgar’s Mission?
The town has been welcoming. Some of the little cafes now have vegan options for people who visit the sanctuary and want to eat in the town, and that’s really lovely.
Do you encourage others to live the way you choose to?
We’re adamant at Edgar’s Mission that we should never tell people what to do and what not to do. I obviously don’t eat animal products. I just really want people to think about that important, life-defining question – if we could live a healthy life without harming others, why wouldn’t we?