Fulfilling lifetime ambition
Colleen Brown now back to her childhood roots
AFTER decades away Colleen Brown has retired to the town where she was born and raised.
She said she had so many memories of shows, campdrafts, rodeos and sports she attended with her parents Don and Coral.
“I was even here in Biggenden the Christmas the hall blew down,” she said.
“After we moved when I was 11 we always came back for holidays to stay with relatives.”
In 2010 Ms Brown and her partner Reg Berthelsen bought a home at Degibo.
But it wouldn’t be until 2015 that they came to live in the area.
Ms Brown said this was the time she and Mr Berthelsen always planned to retire.
“But it didn’t quite work out to plan,” she said.
“Thanks to the financial crash ... it didn’t leave me with as much money as I thought I’d have.”
Ms Brown said Biggenden was always home.
She met Mr Berthelsen, who grew up in the Yerra area, near Maryborough, when they worked for the same trucking company in Beaudesert.
“What has always fascinated me was we knew so many of the same people,” she said.
“The rest is history: we’ve been together ever since.”
Both are keen photographers and are founding members of the Beaudesert Camera Club.
Ms Brown said this all came about from them wanting to learn more about photography.
“I went to one photo shop asking where I could go and take lessons,” she said.
“He suggested the library, so I went to another camera shop in town to be told he had already had some inquiries.
“With this interest we formed the club with six members.”
At the Biggenden Show, Mr Berthelsen was busy snapping photographs which will be used in next year’s show schedule.
Ms Brown said when she came back to Biggenden she wanted to volunteer some hours to a community organisation.
❝ Biggenden was always home to me.
— Colleen Brown
“I originally went to the Biggenden Museum for photographs for the Biggenden State School’s 125th anniversary celebrations,” she said.
“When I realised they needed help desperately I decided I could help.
“I am there of a Tuesday and Thursday labelling.
“There is just so much there it’s amazing.”
Ms Brown loves family history and researching history in general.
Her ancestors, the Summers and Fowler families, were early settlers in the Lakeside area.
She said both families came out to Australia in 1886 and to Lakeside in 1890 where they lived side by side.
“Two of the Fowler men married two of the Summers daughters,” she said.
Her involvement with the Biggenden Show came about when she read a piece in the paper about them looking for help.
Ms Brown attended some meetings and 12 months later ended up as secretary.
She said she enjoyed the recent show where she met new people and families she recognised from growing up in the area.
In the meantime Ms Brown and Mr Berthelsen are hooking up the van and heading north with their cameras.
HOME AGAIN: After years away from Biggenden, Colleen Brown has returned to the town where she was born.