For more than 33 years, Elizabeth Drozd has worked in community service, only now she feels it is time for her to move on.
Ms Drozd, the chief executive of Australian Multicultural Community Services (AMCS) based in Maidstone, will retire come July.
“I feel like I have reached a stage in my life where I would like more time off than the usual four weeks of annual leave,” she said.
“I am excited to explore other options in terms of lifestyle and interests.”
With an impressive resume, Ms Drozd found it difficult to pinpoint one highlight of her career.
Recalling memories of her time on Brimbank council and her long career at the AMCS, she has loved it all as a proud westie.
“I have always worked in the western region of Melbourne, which is also where I live in the city of Maribyrnong,” she said.
“For me there have been quite a few highlights, I could probably list 10 or 20 events.
“But what really comes to mind first and foremost is the practical assistance that I have provided directly to individuals, families, communities and organisations.”
Ms Drozd said she is also very proud and pleased with the employment opportunities that AMCS have offered to trans people of immigrant backgrounds.
For Ms Drozd this retirement is a bittersweet experience, although she is confident it is the right move.
“On one hand it was a very tough decision which I knew would come, I had decided I would do it this year,” she said.
“I will certainly miss the people I work with, we spend most of our daytime hours with colleagues and I love the multicultural character of the workforce.
“However, everything in life changes, it was a big decision but I am very comfortable with it.”
With no hard and fast plans for her retirement , Ms Drozd said the next year will involve 12 months off.
“I don’t want to make any commitments but also take this time to look at what I want to do,” she said.
“The Japanese have a term Ikigai, which translates to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living.”