Pauline Walsh moved to Wyndham Vale in 1974 and has seen the area grow around her. The 65-year-old is president of Fashion Awards Australia. She tells Charlene Macaulay about her four decades in Wyndham.
What is your connection to the Wyndham area?
I’ve lived here since 1974, two years after my husband and I got married, and we’ve been here ever since.
We sometimes think of moving – we once put up a For Sale sign – and the kids said ‘we’re not going, our friends won’t know where we are’ – and we decided not to move. Now we think we’ll stay there forever. Where else would we go? I think we’d lose too much if we left.
Why did you move to Wyndham Vale in the first place?
When we got engaged, we decided we wanted to buy a block of land. My husband had one in Melton, but we didn’t want to live in Melton, and we looked around Werribee, and it was just like an old country town. When we built the house, we could see St Andrews from our place, and the cows used to come around. We had no fences for a couple of years, and no neighbours. It was like being in the country, it was lovely.
What has it been like to see the area grow around you?
It is amazing. Personally, I’d like to go back to where we were, but you can’t and … there are good things about it. We’ve got supermarkets out there finally – but I still shop in Werribee.
How did you meet your husband, Terry?
We met through a friend on November 20, 1969. My friend was taking his boat out and invited me, and said, I’m bringing my two friends, Peter and Terry. Anyway, the friends came and I was there and then apparently they were arguing about who was going to invite me out. Terry invited me out and that was it. We went out for five years before we got engaged and married, and then we were married for seven years before we had our first child, Martin, and then about 18 months later we had a girl, Anthea. They both live in Wyndham and are both physical education teachers. I also have one grandchild.
Tell us about your job at the University of Melbourne Vet Hospital.
I was doing the accounts for 38 years, I really enjoyed it. In the earlier days, you had a lot more to do with the animals and sometimes you had to go and help and hold down a dog while he had an injection. I retired two years ago, I took a voluntary redundancy. At first I thought, what have I done? Then, after two weeks, I was fine. Now I can’t believe how busy I am. It’s rare that I have one day home a week where I don’t have anything planned.
You’re president of the Fashion Awards Australia. How did you get involved?
Through Heather [Marcus, current Wyndham councillor]. I said to her ‘what about we do a fashion parade in your shop?’ So we did that, and it was a success, then later on she started doing more fashion parades. We also do debutante balls. Heather is the brains behind it and does the bulk of the work, I’m just a bit of help, really.