Maureen Rundell spent 30 years in the Australian Army Reserves, training officers for their military driving licence. These days, she is a member of the Mernda Rail Extension’s community reference group. She speaks with Laura Michell.

How long have you lived in Whittlesea?


I have lived in South Morang since 2011, so almost seven years. We retired here. My aim was always to go to a retirement village and Arilla is central to all my children.


Where did you live before?


We lived in Diamond Creek for 37 years.


You spent almost 30 years in the Australian Army Reserves. Tell us about your role.


I was a transport sergeant and trained and tested officers for their military driving licence. I grew up wanting to drive trucks but it was the wrong generation and the wrong era.

So, when I was 32 and my children were at school, I decided it was something I still wanted to do. It also allowed me to serve my country. That was something I always wanted to do, but being a girl, my parents didn’t want me to.


What do you like about Whittlesea?



I like this area because I feel really safe. Also the shopping centre and transport are close by. Obviously the new rail line is quite important to us.


What, if anything, would you like to change?


I would like for the Route 86 tram to be extended up to South Morang and for public transport to be improved and the roads to be expanded a bit.

Are you involved in any community groups?


I was on the committee at Arilla as secretary for five years but I retired from that this year. I am still actively involved in the crafts stall and social activities. I became involved in the community reference group for the Mernda Rail Extension in 2014 when it was first announced that the rail extension would be built. I live in a retirement village that backs onto the train line and I became involved so I could put the views of people in the village to the group.

Where is you favourite place to spend time?


If I am going out for a coffee or a quick meal, I like to go to the Coffee Club at Plenty Valley.