Today marks 20 years since I moved to Melbourne!
I came here as a very young 21 year old, wide eyed, ready for a job in the Australian Public Service graduate program. At the time, I had to choose between two jobs – one in Canberra and one in Melbourne. I chose Melbourne as I had Silverchair tickets in Melbourne the following April, and I worried if I worked in Canberra, I’d miss out on the concert! True. I moved into a tiny house in the inner west, and this city soon became my new home. I have wandered through galleries, attended various cultural festivals (and I work at one!), enjoyed countless concerts and go to my favourite restaurants regularly. I still don’t follow the football. I have made some incredible friends that I’m very grateful for.
Lots has changed since I came to live here – I completed my Masters degree; moved on from the APS; I got married; published two books and have written for several more; appeared on TV; written for national and international news outlets; put on a fashion parade; was awarded an Order of Australia; learnt; gone through some difficult times; grown and hopefully become a better person. I’ve travelled overseas a few times; survived a pandemic; become creative with fashion and colour; and helped create some wonderful communities online and IRL. I found my disability identity.
I am so happy to still call Melbourne my home – though in hindsight, the one thing I wish I could redo is living at home with my parents a little longer when I started working full time – so I could have more easily saved a deposit for a house. That aside, I don’t think I’d have this career, confidence and independence if I stayed in a small town for longer. I do know I can always go home – to my other home. How lucky I am.
Happy 20 years, Melbourne – I’m happy I chose you. Thanks for enriching me & connecting me with the best people.
Image: a woman with a red face, short dark curly hair, standing on a balcony with trees near her. She’s wearing a blue, peach and pink floral dress, pink and silver shoes and a 3D rose jacket over her dress. She’s standing side on, smiling. A peach circle with “20 years in Melbourne!” Is next to her.