Moving from Melbourne to Winton was the result of not being able to find work after returning from Queensland, following caring for my parents for two months. The ‘bottom’ had dropped out of the employment market for older, experienced females, however I landed a position at Winton. Then the move from Winton to Benalla some 23½ years later, to a new home in a town that I had only visited to do shopping, where I knew very few people and had to commence a new life all over again.
At Winton I was fortunate to find a position, living the dream for many years, working at my hobby of motor racing. I was fortunate to be able to live in the caretaker’s house located at the race circuit, work at events, watch the development of young drivers from go karts to Supercars and Formula 1. I experienced the joy of organising events, looking after the operation of the kiosks, organising Corporate Hospitality at major events as well as hospitality for organisations who hired the circuit. I made new acquaintances with users of the facility, local media and the like. I watched the circuit develop into an international facility which was capable of running events such as Supercars, Trucks, and other major events.
I was part of the Administration team at the facility with oversaw the development of the actual facility in the extension of the track from 2.03km to 3.0km, worked with Government departments in relation to the rezoning of the area to cater for motor events such as cars, bikes and rally vehicles. I was a committee member for many years, achieving a Life Membership for my work.
My move from Winton to Benalla was not planned, but due to animosity caused by takeover manoeuvre’s following the sudden death of Winton Raceway’s long-time CEO by those people who forgot the organisation and facility was owned by Benalla Car Club, causing me another bout of ill health.
I purchased a home at the Haven Lifestyle Village (as it is now known), moved in, and as I knew very few people in Benalla and realised that I had to start my life over, once again. I had to get to know my new neighbours, had to find new things to do to fill in my day. I joined the local croquet club, formed the Homeowners group at the Village to try and get everyone to participate in activities and not sit and watch TV. I took on the cause of getting an extension to the existing bus route to stop at the Village, for use by Homeowners, campers at the Tourist Park and Ryan and McNulty employees, which was successful after 6 years of lobbying the State Government. I joined U3A, becoming involved in a number of their groups, became a member of the Aged Friendly in Benalla Reference Group, joined Probus and gradually made a new life for myself and met many people with such a varying array of interests.
Life is good. I now have contentment I have not had previously, am in control of my own life, can do what I want, when I want and how I want. I have learnt some very difficult lessons over the years, but can sit back and enjoy the many years that I have to live.