My place: Gisborne’s Phyllis Boyd

Phyllis Boyd works in the Gisborne Courthouse. Photo: Joe Mastroianni.

Long-time local and noted historian Phyllis Boyd loves being immersed in the Gisborne community. She was presented with Queen’s Birthday honours last year, receiving an Order of Australia medal for her service to heritage preservation. She speaks with Serena Seyfort.

What is your connection to the Macedon Ranges and how are you involved in the community?

I bought land in the valley of Mount Macedon in 1979, and moved into Gisborne 13 years ago. I work for the Gisborne Region Events Activities and Tourism (GREAT) Association, which was set up to entice tourists to the district.

Since GREAT was offered management of the monthly Gisborne market in 2002, I have managed and organised it.

I also work one day a week at Gisborne and Mount Macedon Districts Historical society. For 27 years I was either secretary or president, but for the last two years I’ve been vice president. I’m pretending that I’m trying to ease back a little bit now that I’ll be 80 on my next birthday!


What do you love most about the area?

I love the wonderful, volunteering, community feel. Gisborne has grown exponentially but it still has that lovely country feel. People still say “good morning” to each other when they walk down the street.


What would you change about the area?

I wouldn’t change anything that has happened, but I would like to see a curbing of denser development in the town. We can cope with what we’ve got.


As a historian, what’s something interesting to note about the area?

When Gisborne first started it was principally an agricultural area. But now, unless they have businesses in the town, most people commute to Melbourne for work.