10 years on Image

10 years on

Finally the fog lifts on South Wharf

Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree

Chamber update Image

Chamber update

Another great year

Docklander Image


Hats off to you, Premier, but remember, we’ll all be watching …

Docklands Secrets Image

Docklands Secrets

Conflicting speeds

Fashion Image


Top five street style trends

Business Image


Golden Fleece enters a golden age

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

New Owners’ Corporation Bill reads like a “favour for mates”

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Odd couple enjoy waterside company

Precinct Perspectives

Yarra’s Edge - Precinct Perspective

SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

The vertical commons

Street Art Image

Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios


Eat sustainably!

The District

ArtVo returns with brand new art

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Proposed changes to the Owners’ Corporation Act

Abby's Angle  Image

Abby's Angle

The Silly Season

Docklander - May 2017

06 May 2017

Docklander - May 2017 Image

Part-time Docklander lives full life

John Appleton is a “part-time” Docklands resident but considers himself living life to the fullest in this harbour town.

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Mr Appleton had always wanted to explore the world. He joined the British Merchant Navy straight out of school and spent three years sailing to various parts of the world. But it was not until when he was 60 that he finally settled down in another country.

Mr Appleton and his wife travelled to Australia 10 years ago and visited Docklands, which he described as “grassland” at the time.

In 2006, they had just sold their large family home in east London and had been open to investing in a property in a foreign country. They looked at houses in Europe and realised the weather was often too cold, so they decided to cross the equator and came to Australia.

The Watergate apartment tower was one of the first residential buildings in Docklands and Mr Appleton said he thought it was the best apartment in Docklands because of its “peaceful and convenient location”.

For the past 10 years, Mr Appleton, being a British citizen, can only stay in Australia for no more than six months at a time. But he said it suited him just fine because he could enjoy “the best of the two worlds” by travelling between the UK and Australia back and forth.

He and his wife live in their Docklands apartment during the warmer months and go back to the UK for the summer there.

“We have two completely different lifestyles. Docklands is the city life and the UK is the country life,” Mr Appleton said.

Mr Appleton said every time they came back to Docklands after six months in the northern hemisphere, there were always changes in Docklands.

“We have seen it all grow, from the grassland when we moved here to this precinct with great parks and facilities. We see the difference every six months,” he said. “I think Docklands has one of the most well-designed facilities in the world.”

Mr Appleton’s daughter was inspired by her parents’ lifestyle and has also moved to Melbourne.

“The difference between Australia and the UK is a numbers game. There are about 70 million people in the UK, a small island. And there are six million people in Victoria,” Mr Appleton said. “So I think a place that’s not so populated can be much more liveable and the culture here has got more future.”

Mr Appleton is a Watergate owner’s corporation committee member and is busy with organising meetings and helping manage the building.

Though he was only living in Docklands half of the year, he said he had formed a close bond with the community.

“There is always something to do in Docklands. Docklands is so well planned that we can walk or take the free tram to everything,” Mr Appleton said.

Though overwhelmed by what Docklands has to offer, Mr Appleton said he thought there were still some areas of improvement, namely graffiti, homelessness and security issues surrounding short-stay accommodation.

“I think both the residents and the tourists need to be protected in their accommodation. But when the short-term guests are left on their own in a residential building, there can be some security concerns because an apartment building does not cater for tourists like hotels do,” he said.

“Docklands is a very liveable suburb with extremely good facilities and it can be even more liveable when these issues are addressed.”

Stay in touch with Docklands. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Docklands News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.