Docklander couple believes they have “everything at their fingertips”
For Shane and Sue Mason, the saying “the world is your oyster” has never rung more true since they made the call to move to Docklands nearly four years ago.
Moving from the Mornington Peninsula to the city wasn’t an idea Shane was completely sold on at the time, but with Sue constantly having to travel to South Melbourne for work, it became an option worth considering.
“I didn’t want to leave Mornington, but I said to Sue that if she found a nice apartment we would do it, and then she found a nice apartment,” Shane said.
“Everything is at your fingertips here, and I now say to people all the time that if they haven’t thought about apartment living, they should.”
Now strong advocates of the area, Shane and Sue said they “love the proximity” of Docklands as there was easy access to football grounds where they could support Hawthorn, a team they are “mad” supporters of.
They are also regular visitors to art shows and the Kino Cinemas where they are members.
But what has made the move all the more successful, is their willingness to do their part for the community.
Encouraged by Sue to get more involved in the community as a way of settling into their new city-living life, Shane joined the community garden on Geographe St before also embarking on putting his own stamp on the over-60s community.
“I joined the garden and started meeting people there, and now my job is to water every Tuesday. I also help out the main head gardener as well,” he said.
“I also thought a good way to meet people would be to see if there was a Melbourne group of an Australian-wide organisation I had seen on Facebook called ‘Starts at 60’. But there wasn’t one, so I thought I would create a ‘Starts at 60’ Docklands group and now we have been running for three years.”
With the Facebook page now having close to 50 members, the self-appointed “60s Dockers” members organise to catch up at least once a month for a coffee, a meal and a chat.
The dedicated page also remains active as a support space to encourage one another to connect.
As very involved Docklands community members, Sue and Shane are both making the most of the time they now get to escape their apartment following two years of staring at the same four walls.
Although grateful for the change of scenery, the time inside wasn’t all lost on Sue as it gave her the opportunity to embark on a whole new adventure of reaching her goal of becoming a published author.
Dabbling in poetry and other forms of writing in the past, it wasn’t until lockdown that Sue began exploring her abilities as a children’s book author.
“I have always been a bit of a writer and wanted to do something like a kids’ book, then over COVID through lockdown there wasn’t much to do so I started contemplating how it would go,” she said.
I wrote the first one and then it just went from there. I just couldn’t stop. It’s about a little bear called Mango and how he is trying to find a friend. There are five books in the series, and they are all broken up into different seasons with the final one being about his third birthday.
The first book of the series, which Sue has successfully self-published, is called Mango’s Winter Wonderland and contains both rhyming and illustrations on each page.
Drawn to the main character of the brown bear due to the concerns spread in the media about their treatment in certain circuses across the world, Sue hopes her book can create positive steps forward.
In addition to a donation from every book going towards the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an organisation conducting works to conserve and protect endangered species, Sue has had a couple of books go on to be donated to local libraries and schools.
This included one being donated to Lismore Library following the devastating floods that took place in the NSW town.
“It’s been nice to see people sharing it around the community, and I personally would also like to donate one of the books to the local Docklands Primary School. I think it’s something I could do for the community,” Sue said.
After self-publishing the first edition and noticing the positive feedback she has received, Sue is currently hoping to go through a publisher with the next four books of Mango’s adventures.
But until then, both Sue and Shane continue to embark on their own adventures in Docklands of making the most of the place they now call home.
“We have just embraced [Docklands] and it will be hard to leave if and when we need to,” Sue said •
For more information: mangothebear.com