My Place

Samantha Dunne at the Manna Gum Gisborne MCHN service (Damjan Janevski) 411622_03

Macedon local Samantha Dunne talks to Oscar Parry about living and working in the Macedon Ranges.

What is your connection to Macedon?

I have lived in Macedon for almost 10 years, I work locally as a maternal child health nurse, my husband and I have owned a family business for the last 10 years (The Black Forest Motel) and we also live [there]. My mother ran this business for over 15 years before us. I have family also living locally.

What do you like about where you live?

I like the forests and Macedon Reservoir for walking and enjoying nature, fresh air, and healthy living. I also like the country feel of the small town of Woodend – its markets, shops, cafes and restaurants, which food wise, are equal with Daylesford.

What, if anything, would you change about where you live?

I would be thrilled if it was warmer in the winter.

Where is your favourite local place to spend time?

Mr. Cafe Macedon and walking in the Black Forest and around the Macedon Reservoir. I also love walking around the river in Woodend with my dog and the ability to sit outside the cafes with my dog and friends for coffee.

Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.

I am about to go to Spain to complete [the] Camino, The French Way. I have already completed 300 kilometres, so have 500 kilometres to go, of an 800 kilometre journey. I depart late August this year, and I have five weeks to complete the journey. I am training hard to make it, I don’t want to break down or fail, so if you see me out walking or exercising wish me luck, as the chance to repeat it would be years away – so it has to work out!

After you received your OAM, what was the reaction like among your community?

I had happy tears due to the number of people who said “congratulations” and “well-deserved”. It felt both wonderful and awkward – as a maternal child health nurse, you feel its your role to praise and lift work colleagues and clients up and offer them congratulations for all their milestones in their work or parenting journey. Then, suddenly it’s your turn, and it took a day or two to digest.

My family were really proud of me, and that meant a lot, because in all the humanitarian and volunteer work I have done, I have used much of my own personal leave. This is time I missed spending with my own family, and some mother’s guilt comes with that – so, to hear them genuinely proud was cathartic for me, because I greatly treasure their praise and love.