Melanie Watt gets her creativity and kindness from her mother and grandmother – her two biggest inspirations in life.
Some of her earliest memories are of falling asleep to the busy sound of her grandmother’s sewing machine at home in Glengowrie, South Australia.
Melanie, now 54, started life over the other side of the world, after her mum fell in love with a Greek merchant seaman while on a working holiday and gave birth in England.
Three-month-old Melanie and her mum arrived home in Australia, the day before her mum’s 21st birthday, and Melanie was raised by her mum and grandmother.
When Melanie was 21, she moved to Beaudesert with her first-born daughter in tow.
Like her grandmother and mother, Melanie worked hard to support her daughters, taking a job at the mushroom farm and cleaning at Kooralbyn Resort and local houses before working her way into a nursing job at Star Gardens (now Whiddon).
Melanie loved her job as an Assistant in Nursing (cert 3 and 4) and qualified Diversional Therapist for 19 years.
She resigned in October due to her partner’s declining health, but she still carries the inspiration she gained from that work.
“One of the greatest gifts I learned whilst working in aged care was the amount of respect one should show to another. That is a great lesson we should all take on board at this time of the pandemic we are all facing,” she said.
The Queen of England, Melanie’s mum and even Beaudesert’s former Mayor, the late Joy Drescher, are among characters immortalised in Melanie’s collection of hand knitted dolls.
She’s won prizes for her craft work in the Beaudesert Show and can’t wait to enter again.
Melanie cherishes life’s simple joys, like doing yoga and Pilates, being in the garden and going for walks around town.
She donates to the blood bank as often as she can, and Thursdays and Saturday mornings are always for visiting the Anglican Church OpShop for a cuppa and a chat.
Losing some of the people closest to her has shaped Melanie’s life, dating back to her grandmother dying quite young at 55 when Melanie was just 11.
In the last three years, Melanie has lost her beloved mother to organ failure and her father-in-law Maurice Dux.
“I try to live life under the circumstances we are all facing to the fullest and look at every new day as a blessing. One thing my mother and father-in-law did have in common was to both say the greatest gift they could leave their loved ones, was a good name, with which they both excelled,” she said.
“In the past 12 months, we have lost members of this community that helped shape the Scenic Rim. I truly pray that there are people who can truly fill their shoes. I try and put as much back into the community that I live in.”