What is your connection to Melton?
My wife Glenys and I built our first home here in Melton and we’ve raised our three children here.
How long have you lived in the area?
Moved into our new home in Melton South in March, 1977 – dirt roads and septic tank – fantastic! In October, 1988, we moved north of Centenary Avenue into Kurunjang Drive and we are still here.
What are you passionate about?
March this year we have been in Melton 40 years – I say to people, “I’m nearly a local!” I get annoyed when I hear other “Meltonians” bagging the city and complaining about living here. Move out if you don’t like it! Yes, there are things that need improving and fixing, but, hey, every community has its share of problems. One of the best things was when the bypass opened and the town became a real community – up until then that No 8 Ballarat Highway divided the town.
What I really would like to see some action on is poker machines – some $60 million in losses in this city last year. Melton can’t afford that sort of drainage of hard-earned wages out of the city and they want to increase the number of machines – because our population has increased. We need to stop this madness.
Tell me about your involvement in the community?
I opened my own accounting practice, Dennis K Wright & Associates, in June, 1985. I would believe that I have, since then and up to now, provided an economical audit/accounting service to the many clubs, associations, and other voluntary organisations that are here in Melton. Over the years, I have seen first-hand the hundreds, probably thousands of ordinary Melton residents who willingly give of their time and talents so that the footy, cricket, basketball, netball can go ahead, so that the SES and CFA are properly manned, so those with disabilities are provided for and our children can attend pre-schools and kindergartens.
My main community involvement has been with firstly the Uniting Church from 1981 until 1992 and the Presbyterian Church from then on to now.
Why do you feel like it’s important to be part of this community?
As I said before, don’t complain about your community, get out there and become a part of it – be part of the solution, not a problem.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
They might be surprised to know that, in 1968, at the age of 17, I had my left lung removed and there was no such luck as having a transplant then, so I’ve been running on half capacity for nearly 50 years.
What is the best thing about living in Melton?
I’ve seen a lot of changes in 40 years, but now we have pretty well all that we need here in Melton.(We could add a hospital – there was one here when we first arrived) and the Melbourne CBD is only 35 minutes away by train and that’s getting better too. Also, our children live here and in Gisborne, so the grandchildren are close.