By Jessica Micallef
What is your connection with the Sunbury and Macedon Ranges area?
I have a lifelong connection with the area. I spent my childhood at Mount Macedon and attended the Mount Macedon Primary School for six years. When I got married we bought a property in Macedon to raise our family and we lived there for 25 years. I moved to Sunbury in 1998 and have lived here for the past 20 years.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my volunteer work in Cambodia. I am an ambassador for the 4 Winds Cambodia Project. This is a rural community development project in a small village of 3000 marginalised people. The main focus is health, education and income generation. I have been going to Cambodia for 15 years and have witnessed miracles. I am also constantly amazed at the progress of these beautiful people through education, care and love.
Tell me about your involvement with Phoenix Art and Craft Group.
I have been a member of this group for four years. I am currently the president. Our group is made up of 15 talented members creating a large variety of art and craft. We have two exhibitions a year, in March and December, at the Old Courthouse in Gisborne.
Tell me about your interest in art and the pieces you have created.
I have a passion for glass. I did leadlight for many years but have been doing hand painted kiln-fired glass for 10 years. I consider myself a glass artist. I create kiln-fired glass framed pictures, cheese platters, plates, coasters and jewellery. All of the money I raise from the sale of my glass pieces goes to the 4 Winds Cambodia Project.
What other hats do you wear in the community?
I am an active member of the Woodend Art Group, Phoenix Art and Craft Group in Gisborne, the Sunbury Art Society and I am also a member of the Bacchus Marsh Art Cooperative.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I think people would be surprised to know I have travelled extensively to 53 countries so far and have parachuted, abseiled, water-skied, aqua sailed and gone ballooning.
What is the best thing about the Sunbury and Macedon area?
I have wonderful memories of the past, living at Mount Macedon and Macedon and working in the area, I worked for seven years at the Kyneton Hospital and 20 wonderful years at the Sunbury Community Health Centre, until I retired eight years ago. We have clean fresh air here, beautiful trees, flora and fauna and we still have a lovely country feel.
If you could change one thing about the area what would it be?
I would like a nice big shopping complex in Sunbury like they have at Watergardens. I think everyone in Sunbury would enjoy not having to go out of the area to shop and it would keep our money local. I also think we need better parking here.