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I was a colony baby in the very early 80’s.

My early childhood memories are of playing in church, being scared of the outside toilets before they got their new roof, sliding down the stairs on cardboard and managing the curve like a rally car driver.

I remember the toys were kept in the first room at the top of the stairs on the left, with my favourite being a peg board. I remember my amazement the first time I was in ‘the big room’ upstairs and seeing the levered escape stairs lowered. Mind blowing for a tiny child.

I still clearly, 40 years later, can remember the brown and orange, typically 70’s, tiles on the kitchen walls, and that magical coffee machine that everyone would always be using to make me my favourite frothy milk drinks.

There was a door that went to the side room where the pool table was. And weirdly it sticks in my head that the door was lower than a normal door. I don’t know why that memory sticks so well. I used to lay under the pool table while the adults played and enjoyed the sound of the balls clunking around.

I remember so many different activities I would watch the adults participate in, with my favourite being the time they did a stained-glass picture making workshop. I stood on a chair and watched as the adults made beautiful art.

There was always so much going on, people doing different things, and there I was, not yet school aged and I remember how much everyone belonged.

Not a feeling my young self understood at the time, but all my memories are full of people, coming and going, and belonging. The music was pretty fantastic too.

Years later my first real job was at Colony, and it felt like I had returned home. I worked at Collins Street for 6 years. I was such a baby still when I started, having only ever been at school and casual work. But it was an incredible 6 years. I met some lifelong friends, learnt so much, and grew up.

It was a weird and strange and an incredible place to work. I can honestly say that I haven’t worked in a workplace quite as special. The first time I walked back into the church in Davey Street I got teary. It was like returning to a childhood home. Much had changed inside, yet it was all still there too. It even smelled the same.

In about 2003/2004 a heap of old photos and records and such were pulled out for a celebration, and I received an email to pop down to visit Davey Street for a surprise. And it was great. There amongst all the photos were photos of me as a baby, a toddler, sprinkled through the pages of all the amazing earlier years. Little baby Megan.

What years were you involved with Colony 47? 1980-1985, and then 2000-2006

Your favourite thing about Colony 47? Things change but the bones remain.

Any memory/story you’d like to share from your time with Colony 47? I remember camping with a large group at Marg Rushton’s shack at Nubeena. Marg Rushton was like a grandmother to me for my early years. Campfire, lots of music, burnt sausages, my first ever camping trip. I’ve hated camping passionately for 40 years since then.

Any advice you’d like to give present and future staff of Colony 47? Know what has happened before you, where Colony47 came from. And decide how you are going to be a part of its now and future. What part of something 50 years special will you play?

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