Family tree change in Victoria to Colac

The Barren Family

April 20, 2015

Please tell us about your career backgrounds.


My professional work life has been within the youth sector on a local, state and national level delivering and managing state and federally funded services and programs that support young people making transitions from school to further education, training and employment. I have worked within small youth organisations and also large ones like Brotherhood of St Laurence and Mission Australia. My time now is spent within my consultancy business undertaking small projects in a variety of community spaces.


My journey as a doctor commenced in the hospital system in Melbourne, working with Southern Health and at the Alfred Hospital.  I have also been fortunate to undertake placements across Australia, with a highlight working in remote Australia. It was around this time that I decided General Practice was the career for me. Through my training I also completed my Diploma of Obstetrics. I have worked in various practices both large and small, and am very excited about applying my craft in Colac.

What attracted your family to Colac?

When we made the decision to make the tree change, we knew we wanted to remain in Victoria. Colac was attractive for a variety of both practical, professional and lifestyle reasons. Being very close to our families, we wanted to remain in close proximity to Melbourne. We wanted to have a train that could take us to Melbourne.  We wanted to remain close to the ocean and water – tick. And most importantly, we wanted to have quality services for our family including kindergartens, schools, hospitals, retail and leisure. We think Colac ticks all those boxes very nicely.

You’ve settled near Lake Colac – what’s the most enjoyable aspect of living so close to the water?

Water for us is so important. It is calming and creates a sense of peace for us. Already in the two weeks we have been here, we have walked, run, rode and sat around the edge of Lake Colac. We have met people along the track, which has created a sense of community for us, even though we don’t know many people yet. And the best thing- it is right on our doorstep!

What do you enjoy most about living in Colac?

The best things about Colac in the short time we have been here is practical things like how everything is so close.  It only takes 5 minutes to get to work! There is much less traffic than in the city, which means life is far less stressful. There is also community. We have been taken aback by how friendly people are. We are super happy with the awesome kinder and childcare that our children are now attending. And most importantly, the coffee in Colac is great!

What does the future hold for you and your family in Colac Otway?

The future in Colac for us is very exciting. Our children have settled into kinder and childcare, with primary schooling not far away.

Zoe loves her job as a GP and the work opportunities for me are very exciting. We look forward to getting involved in a variety of community activities and taking advantage of everything that the Colac-Otway Shire has to offer!