In this month’s Your Town with Cass column Move To More blogger and Eugowra local, Cassie Gates, chats with Vicki Scott from Destination Goulburn Valley about her life in the Victorian town of Mooroopna. You won’t meet a more passionate person about her hometown than Vicki!
What’s your Mooroopna story, Vicki?
I’m a ‘lifer’ I have been in Mooroopna my whole life, born and bred. And I will be honest, some people have lived in town for 20-30 years, and they are still not considered a local but for me I am a fully-fledged local, and I absolutely love this place! I did try a short time away in the big smoke (Melbourne), but I decided I wanted to be back home and be around family and this wonderful community. Buy an affordable house, and that’s what I did.
What is life REALLY like in Mooroopna?
I love that I can jump into my car and be at work in under 10 minutes, park my car for FREE, easily. I live in a very central location in a beautiful 1920’s home (initially owned by the McLennan’s family). I did toy with the idea of selling and moving across the river to Shepparton, but when crunch time came, I couldn’t let it go! I couldn’t leave my next-door neighbours! I love my street, and I love Mooroopna! The community here are amazing, and we are all relatively close-knit. We are a town of 8000 people, and we are growing. Lots of families and a mix of young and older ones. And a high proportion of indigenous families.
Unfortunately, last year’s floods were devastating for the town. It was incredible how the community all came together to help each other out, it was beautiful. So, while it was difficult to see our region go through something like that, it makes me proud to be a part of such a beautiful community that helps each other out.
There are so many community projects in town that I am fortunate enough to be a part of, and just this month, we launched the latest mural, a collaboration between artist Tank and the Mooroopna Education and Activity Centre. The project engaged youth from around the Goulburn Valley.
What sort of jobs are available in Mooroopna?
The fruit and food industries do provide many jobs in the region. Things have changed considerably with the jobs available, and they aren’t just seasonal picking jobs; there is work available all year round in those industries. IT jobs are increasingly sought as many farms approach tech for their procedures. Education jobs are available as we have three brilliant primary schools. In Shepparton, many jobs are available, and it’s only 10 minutes’ drive away—the major hospital hires many to service that facility.
What do you do on the weekend for fun?
There are a lot of farm-gate produce businesses around Mooroopna. I always like to pop in the car, and five minutes down the road, you can get the freshest, most beautiful produce.
We have a fantastic theatre and performing arts centre in town called Westside. There are always shows on there to watch, plays, live shows and concerts. The Shepparton Theatre Arts Group (STAG) always put on the most incredible shows.
There needs to be more for the youth to do during the weekends. We are close to many other towns, Shepp, Echuca, Albury and Melbourne, but I would love for us to have more for them to do here in town.
I am involved in a local tourism group with so many great things for locals and tourists to visit and do. Head over to www.destinationgoulburnvalley.com.au to check it out.
Is there a sporting culture in Mooroopna?
Oh my god the footy and cricket are huge here! Netball, gymnastics, tennis, and hockey are also very well supported here. The whole town gets behind the teams, especially during the AFL finals, where people drive around with their cars decorated, it’s excellent! I even remember one year when every pole in town had player photos. Sport is extreme here. We also have a swimming pool for the warmer months, and there is always something on at the pool during the summer for the kids.
Are there some nice restaurants/pubs to eat at in town. Given the fantastic produce grown in the area we are spoilt for choice! I highly recommend Bill + Beat’s for a delicious bite. Flourish is just next door, so when you have finished lunch, you can pop next door to look through the nursery, it’s magnificent. The Mooroopna Pizzeria is one of the nicest restaurants and a must-visit. The food is incredible, very Tuscan and relaxed, I love it. It is always busy on a Saturday morning with group meetings. The local Thai is a must as well. During the day, Taste of Capri is a great place to visit and the food is unbelievable. Beautiful Italian food and a great place to catch up on all the gossip too!
The Royal Mail Hotel has a good counter meal going on. It is our local pub and where everyone goes to have their meetings. You can always be guaranteed to know someone there.
Is there public transport in town?
Buses run throughout town and into Shepparton where more services are available. We can improve our bus services to keep up with the community’s growth. The V-Line does go through to Melbourne from Mooroopna. There is an Airport in Shepp and Albury offering domestic travel. And Tullamarine is only 1 hour 50 minutes for your international flights. There is an Airport Bus Transport system daily to Tullamarine.
What is the housing situation like in the region?
Things get snapped up fast, especially with rentals. The home sales have slowed with the floods from last year, the property market as a whole has slowed. New Estates are on the cards for expansion of Mooroopna.
Can you get in to see a doctor?
Unfortunately, the Mooroopna general practice doctors have recently retired, leaving residents to travel the short distance to Shepparton for medical services. I was able to receive all my cancer treatment here in the area, which was incredible; it made the most significant difference to me. To be here in my community with friends and family during that time was fantastic. The oncology unit came about through philanthropic funding, and I am eternally grateful. I did have to go to Melbourne for surgery, but all my regular treatment could be done locally. Mooroopna has several dentists, which is great. Specialists etc are available in nearby Shepparton.
Our seniors are very well catered for in town, with our Aged Care facility recently undergoing renovations and upgrades. Shepparton also has several facilities for our seniors, which is great because they can remain in their familiar communities.
Ok. Here’s your time to pitch! If you had to give someone one reason to move to Mooroopna, what would it be?
If you want to live in a community that will embrace you, will include you and offer you opportunities, Mooroopna has a plethora of them! It’s very affordable and has a small-town vibe. This community is always there for you through good and bad times.