MY PLACE: Fran Wigley

Fran Wigley. Picture Joe Mastroianni

Fran Wigley set down roots in Kyneton, but her heart goes out to people further abroad, as far as East Timor. The long-time resident and business owner spoke to Esther Lauaki about her community work.


What’s your connection to Macedon Ranges?


I have lived and worked in the Macedon Ranges for just over 20 years. I grew up a country girl, married a city lad, John, and with our two sons we lived in the city for the next 30 years. We enjoy living here and would find it very difficult to return to city living.


What brought you to the area?


I first came to Kyneton to attend a bed and breakfast workshop with Paul and Mary Reid at Kyneton Country House. Within two years, my husband, John, and I moved to Kyneton from Melbourne to establish an in-house bed and breakfast in one of the most beautiful homes in Kyneton. We opened at the end of 1996 when the first Visit Victoria jigsaw campaign was launched, and hosted guests visiting the Macedon Ranges for 12 years. I established Country Habit in Kyneton just over 10 years ago.


What other hats do you wear?


In the city I was never really involved in volunteering. Now I am president of Macedon Ranges Friends of East Timor group. In 2005-06, when my husband was district governor for Rotary, I encouraged all 72 clubs in the district to collect pencils and school materials for the primary schools there.

I am also president of the Friends of the Kyneton Museum group … we have been working on a project where, after much research, we have installed 50 plaques on some of the many significant buildings and sites in Kyneton.

Discover Historic Kyneton, the book, will be launched at the end of March.


Why is it important to be involved?


People are what makes a community, and I enjoy meeting and working with people with similar interests, or learning about new things … we are all different, and the opportunity to share our thoughts and ideas contributes to a healthy community. A smile costs nothing, but can be worth so much when you share it.


What’s your favourite place in the shire?


I enjoy my busy life, but quiet time in my garden at home is very special, it gives me time to “smell the roses”, and occasionally deadhead them too. We now live a few kilometers out of town so we see and hear lots of birdlife, (sometimes too many cockatoos) enjoy kangaroos visiting, and the peaceful surrounds.


What may surprise people about you?


I have been a Paul McCartney fan for many years … I follow Rod Stewart on Facebook, and more recently have become a follower of Tim Minchen – there is more to Tim than

Matilda the Musical.


What’s the best thing about Macedon Ranges?


We live in the centre … more like the heart of Victoria. We have the privilege of living in a rural community within easy reach of many country towns, but the cities of Melbourne, Bendigo and Ballarat are not too far away.