Lesley Ould, a Laverton resident of nearly 50 years, has been described as a “community treasure”. She speaks with Goya Dmytryshchak.
What’s your connection to Hobsons Bay?
I’m a ratepayer and I’m involved in everything that goes on. I’m on the Laverton Community Association, the garden club, highland dancing. I’m still a Cub leader. I think I’m too old, but the kids seem to want me there. Anything that’s involved in Laverton, I’m always on the committee or going to it or whatever, because I live here and I want to make sure everything’s OK. I was citizen of the year for Rotary and later on for Hobsons Bay. I’m lucky enough to have an OAM too – I don’t know why, there’s a lot of people who deserve it before me.
What do you love about Laverton?
It’s easy to get to everywhere, easy to get to the city. The train services are good. I go to the football every week, mostly on the train, so I don’t have any problems getting there. I find, even if I want to go to Geelong or if I want to go anywhere else, it’s not hard to get to or from Laverton.
What would you change about Laverton?
Oh, the traffic congestion of a morning, if it’s possible. Maybe just a few slight things – Woods and Lohse streets need probably a bit more of a shopping precinct for some of the older people in Laverton, because it’s a little bit hard – if you’re on one side of the railway line and that lift breaks down at the railway station, they can’t get across to the other side. That’s probably one of the downfalls of Laverton because we’re sort of cut in two with the railway line, and it makes it hard sometimes if you’re on the other side and you don’t drive.
On the whole, it’s fairly good. The lifts have only been out a few times. But we could do with some more shops that sell everything, not only groceries, because you’ve got to go out of Laverton to get clothes or even to get a needle and cotton.
What are you passionate about and why?
Anything to do with kids and Laverton itself, to make sure that we get the best of everything. Remember, we were the back end of Werribee council, and then we transferred over to Hobsons Bay, which naturally you have to be the bottom end of it until you can get yourself up and running. I think we get a fairly good go with Hobsons Bay now. We mightn’t have at first, but we didn’t with Werribee at first either, but we do now, so it’s quite good.
Do you have a motto or philosophy that you live by?
Just to be there if anyone wants me, I suppose is my motto. If anyone asks me to do something I try and do it. If I can’t do it I get someone else to, and I certainly would like to think I’m there for all my grandchildren and great grandchildren and my family.