What’s your connection with Melton?
I have lived in Melton for most of my adult life. My children were born here and grew up here. My grandchildren also live locally, meaning that I have a vested stake in the local community.
How long have you lived in the area?
About 35 years.
Tell me about your background.
I am an ex customs officer, having been retired for 10 years. The last 10 years, since leaving work, have been extremely busy. When I retired I found myself with a great deal of free time, especially as the kids had already left home to lead lives of their own. My first grandchild was born shortly after I retired, giving me more of an incentive to work toward protecting my environment.
How did you become involved with the Melton Environment Group?
I realised that the environment in and around Melton needed protection. I felt the need to become personally involved in my local community.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my family, my local community and the environment, especially the natural environment. I am also passionate about the need to protect our local wildlife. However it is not enough to merely have laws protecting native wildlife. To do this effectively it is necessary to protect their habitat.
Wildlife are like us, they cannot survive with nowhere to live. I would like to leave my local region a better place than I found it. We can all do this. Everyone who plants a tree does this.
What other hats do you wear in the community?
As the children were growing up my wife and I were involved in supporting local institutions such as schools, Scouts and Girl Guides, and bands.
What’s your favourite place to spend your time in the area?
My favourite place to spend time is at our grandchildren’s’ home, spending time with them. After this I like to spend time in our local bushland, as well as along our local waterways. The Werribee River and our local creeks are havens of tranquillity, and home to a surprising diversity of birds. We are fortunate that Melton has managed to keep large numbers of old, picturesque trees beside our creeks. These old trees are not only beautiful to look at but they provide vital homes for native wildlife. Many other communities have lost these, and are the poorer for it.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
People may be surprised that an ordinary person can make a difference to their local area. Anybody can do this, anybody can make a difference
What is the best thing about Melton?
Possibly the best thing about Melton is its sense of community and its strong spirit of volunteering. As well as a flourishing group of volunteer environmental groups, the Melton community also supports a host of other community activities.
If you could change anything about the area, what would it be?
More respect for natural environment as the western region becomes more developed. A greater awareness of the value of our unique local native grasslands. There is little appreciation of these and they are seen mainly as real estate, valuable only as building sites. There is less than 0.06 per cent of our native grassland left, and we seem hell bent on destroying the pitifully tiny remnants that remain.
Our local woodlands are similarly in need of protection. Many of our local woodland birds are totally dependent upon woodland habitat. If we lose these we also lose these unique birds.