Manilyn Theobald has lived in the Sunshine area for most of her life after her family immigrated to Australia from the Philippines. She loves her ongoing bond with her family and the amount of Filipino food in the area, she tells Matthew Sims.
What is your connection with Brimbank?
I grew up in Sunshine since I was 11 and still live there. My parents are from the Philippines and we migrated to Australia. In my early twenties I lived in London for nine years, but then I decided to come back and live in Sunshine. I work at the Royal Melbourne Hospital as an administrative assistant in the transition care team, supporting case managers.
What do you like about where you live?
I like the community of it. It gets a lot of negative hype but after living in London I feel pretty safe in Sunshine. I love every neighbor I have. My parents live around the corner from me and I have other relatives who have stayed in and around Sunshine. The Philippine community is quite large in Brimbank and it really shows in the Filipino restaurants, bakeries and shops in this area. I know people from the east come this way to get their stash of Filipino goodies. It’s nice to have this on my doorstep.
What are some of the best changes you’ve seen happen?
A lot has changed in the parks. In general, there are many more facilities in the area, including basketball courts and the skate park, which is just a short walk down the street.
What are some of your favorite places to visit?
The Kororoit Creek Trail is definitely a favorite. During the pandemic, where you could only exercise within five to ten kilometers of your area, the course was a life-saver. You don’t realize how beautiful it is to walk around there. The Sunshine pools are really great. I like the amount of Asian supermarkets along the strip. I think we have a great selection of stores, but I wish there were more stores outside of Sunshine Plaza.
Tell us something that people may not know about you.
I ran a group fitness session at Buckingham Reserve for about three years. We initially focused on teaching fitness classes for moms, but it grew quickly, with sessions attracting more than 10 people to COVID. I hope to be able to restart those sessions again.