By Jessica Micallef
Sharyn Snook loves Sunbury. She loves the town so much she is one of the founders of the annual Sunbury StreetLife Festival which showcases the town’s businesses and local people. She chats with Jessica Micallef.
What is your connection to Sunbury and/or the Macedon Ranges?
I moved to Sunbury in 2009. I was married with two children. Since then my husband and I have had two more children and started a local business in Sunbury. My kids go to local schools, our friends are locals, and even my parents are locals. I feel like Sunbury is where my roots now are, and even with Sunbury’s growth, I still love our town.
What are you passionate about?
Other than my friends and family, I’m passionate about community. I’m involved in the school community, my business HomeGrown Gifts is a community of makers, and being a part of something like Sunbury StreetLife drives me as well. One of the things I love about Sunbury is the people – how they support one another, how you still can have a chat down the street. It still has a great community focus.
How did you become involved with the Sunbury StreetLife festival – what is your role?
StreetLife is something that came about through my passion for community. I have been one of the drivers of StreetLife since the start seven years ago. I’m actually one of the founders. I love being a part of it. I’m currently the president of the committee, and I try and make sure that everything gets done. In previous years, I’ve been one of only four on the team – from the promoting, to organising, to line marking the night before, and picking up the rubbish after the event. Thankfully this year we have a larger group of volunteers helping, so we can share the jobs a bit more.
How long does it take to organise the annual event?
We start planning for the following year almost as soon as the previous one is over. It has become a much larger event over the years and does take more time than you might expect. From August to November it does get hectic
What do you look forward to the most during the festival?
I think seeing everyone come together. I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces, the laughter of the children, talking with fellow business owners, and that feeling you get at the end when it was a great day that everyone was able to enjoy. However there is something to be said about a sneaky wine at the end as well.
Are there any challenges that you come across trying to organise the event?
From permits to cancellation, from finding volunteers to join the teams, to making sure that the vendors are all in their right spots on the day. There are so many issues throughout the organisation process, and spot-fires to put out on the day. Keeping everyone happy is never easy. But at the end of the day it can be worth it.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I lived in Papua New Guinea for the first 10 years of my life and I loved it. Growing up in another country taught me about being appreciative for what I have, about looking after those that need help. And although I have lived longer in Australia since, I think that the start of my life has had a large part to play in shaping me into the person I am.