My Place with Fiona Sewell


Fiona Sewell lives close to a 30-minute drive from Geelong in Teesdale and volunteers for the St Vincent de Paul Society. She speaks with Jena Carr about what she loves about where she lives.

What is your connection to Geelong?

I spent most of my life in Melbourne, but I moved back down to Geelong because I wanted to get a place with more space for cheaper than the cost of the houses in Melbourne.

What do you like about where you live?

We enjoy a laid-back rural lifestyle with lots of space, only half an hour from Geelong. It’s a fantastic place to raise kids; it’s safe and has lots of space to play outside.

I also enjoy being surrounded by nature with all the beautiful birds, and the view of the stars is amazing.

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

There needs to be more public transport as it is really hard to get anywhere around here. Even a train line to Bannockburn or something would be fantastic.

Where is your favourite place to spend time?

I love going to Melbourne to visit my friends, go out, and do things like that, but I’m always happy to get home away from the crowds and the traffic.

What is something people may not know about you?

I don’t have to buy fruit and veggies at the supermarket…as we now grow most of it at home all year round…and that’s a big advantage to living out here and having the space to do all that.

My dad is a master gardener who ran nurseries and things my whole life, and he created several veggie patches here with me. It ignited a new interest in gardening for me.

We’ve got tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, beetroot, radishes, beans and then carrots depending on the season. I’ve also got a big potato patch, strawberry patch and loads of fruit trees.

What do you like about your role with Saint Vincent de Paul?

I’ve volunteered in the past for different organisations, and when I moved back to Geelong, I started volunteering for the No Interest Loans Scheme, which is through Vinnies.

I find fulfilment in contributing to the well-being of others in the community. The purpose and opportunity to positively impact people’s lives is rewarding.

The simple acts positively impact my mental health. It puts things in perspective, and I feel better knowing I’m contributing something positive.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If anyone has some time to spare, think about getting involved with an organisation or Saint Vincent de Paul.

We’re always looking for volunteers, and you can have as little or as much time as you want and will be welcome. It has the potential to impact the lives of people who truly need assistance profoundly.