My Place

Manilyn Theobald lives in Sunshine West with her daughter Grace,16, and son Jonah, 14. (Supplied)

Manilyn Theobald has lived in the Sunshine area for most of her life after her family migrated to Australia from the Philippines. She loves her ongoing connection with her family and the amount of Filipino food in the area, as she tells Matthew Sims.

What is your connection to Brimbank?

I grew up in Sunshine since I was 11 and I still live there. My parents are from the Philippines and we migrated to Australia. In my early 20s, I lived in London for nine years but then I decided to come back to live in Sunshine. I work at the Royal Melbourne Hospital as an administration assistant in the transition care team, where I support case managers.

What do you love about where you live?

I love the community of it. It gets a lot of negative hype but after living in London, I feel quite safe in Sunshine. I love every neighbour that I have.. My parents live around the corner from me and I have other relatives that have stayed in and around Sunshine. The Filipino community is quite large in Brimbank and that’s really reflected in the Filipino restaurants, bakeries and shops that are in this area. I know that people from the east come down this way just to get their supply of Filipino delicacies. It’s nice to have this available at my doorstep.

What have been some of the best changes you have seen occur?

There have been a lot of changes to the parks. Overall, there are many more facilities throughout the area, including basketball courts and the skate park, which is just a short walk down the street.

What are some of your favourite places to visit?

The Kororoit Creek Trail is definitely a favourite. During the pandemic, where you were only able to go and exercise within five to 10 kilometres of your area, the trail was a life saver. You don’t realise how beautiful it is to walk around there. The Sunshine pools are really great. I love the amount of Asian grocery shops along the strip. I think we’ve got a great selection of shops, but I wish there were more retail shops outside of Sunshine Plaza.

Tell us something people might not know about you.

I was running a group fitness session at Buckingham Reserve for about three years. We initially focused on providing fitness classes for mothers but it quickly grew, with sessions attracting more than 10 people until COVID. I hope to restart those sessions again.