Glenroy Stories

The Extraordinary Women Of Glenroy

Glenroy is home to many remarkable women with stories as diverse as the people that live here. We wanted to uncover and share some of these stories, so we reached out on International Women’s Day and asked the community, “Who do you think is doing extraordinary things in Glenroy?” We were not disappointed with the responses.

We used the nominations from the community to gather a group of women. We’ve learned about them over the past month, and we’re now sharing 21 of Glenroy’s amazing women and their stories with you in this exhibition.

Some are long-time residents of Glenroy and others are newcomers. All of them have used their challenges and skills to help others. All of them are extraordinary.

To continue the celebration, our extraordinary women are appearing on flags and projections in the Glenroy Centre over the coming months. Keep an eye out!

Free Outdoor Projection Event
You’re invited to be the first to see The Extraordinary Women of Glenroy portraits and artwork projected onto some of the local buildings.
When: Tuesday 25 June, 6pm to 8pm
Where: The park on the corner of Glenroy Road and Hartington Street in Glenroy

We’ll launch the nightly projection artwork with live music, free hot drinks, and activities for the kids, including glow in the dark face painting! Rug up and come celebrate some of the women who are making a big difference to their community.

This project was put together by an incredible team of local creative businesses that have all worked together with kindness and immense talent. Explore the exhibition and honour the strength, resilience, and spirit of Glenroy’s extraordinary women!

Matt and Jenna – Glenroy Foot Clinic

“Jenna used to work here about ten years ago, and when we decided to move back to Melbourne from Wagga the opportunity came to take over the business earlier in the year. We’re enjoying the ride.”

“The neighbourhood is great. We’ve met a lot of people from the surrounding shops and they’ve been really lovely. It’s been a really good experience for us. When I was here ten years ago, the street was very busy, then it seemed to die down a bit, but now its coming back and becoming a lot more vibrant, more people and more businesses opening up. We love the diversity.

“I’m from Griffith, so we really only had Italian and Indian food – but having African, Chinese, Vietnamese and all this diversity in food at your fingertips here is really great.”

“We really love going across the road to Mama Africa and getting her chicken wrap for lunch.”

See Trader

Nikki – The Glenroy Dental Group

“We’ve been in Glenroy for over twenty years, I’ve personally worked here for twenty years, since I was 17. So it’s been great seeing patients come in with their families, seeing them grow up – they’ve seen me grow up as well! We love when patients can come in and it’s familiar. It’s comfortable, there’s the trust there. They’re coming in every six months for their check ups and you can pick up where you left off – ‘oh what have you been doing in the last six months?’ We offer so much in the clinic with all of the procedures that we’re doing now – implants, orthodontics, oral surgery. It’s great that we can offer that to all the patients, it’s nicer for them as well – they’re getting complete dental care within the one clinic. We love being in Glenroy, especially on Pascoe Vale Road.”

See Trader

Gaby – Gabbies Pizza

“I’ve got very good customers. They come, they come back. They send their friends in. Mainly word of mouth. A lot of people. I’m very bad with names. I see them walking in and I know what they have, but not the name. I remember the order, the food, but not the name. You remember what you like. I remember the pizza.”

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Duncan – Lifecare Glenroy

“We’ve been open just a little over a year now. We get people who are just finding out about us in the area around Glenroy and we’re building some relationships in the local GP network as well.

We’ve found you don’t have to venture far to get things in the area – everything you need is right here. If you need to pop out to get office supplies or pick up a gift for birthdays or Christmas. I’m quite a fan of the Vietnamese rolls from the bakery a few doors down.”

See Trader

Wendy – local for over 50 years

“I came up here in ’65, my son went to Bell Vue Park Primary, that was his first school. He was five when we first came up. I’ve had three moves in the area. I first went to Hilton Street – back then there were all unmade roads there, no sewerage or nothing, from there moved up to near the bowls clubs. I do like the neighbourhood, it’s got everything I need. I’ve got a friend who’s 82, who moved to Craigieburn just recently, but I think she’s a little lost there. She’s lost all her friends and services. One day she won’t be able to drive her car and she’s too far to walk anywhere. I’ve got all my doctors, my services here. I’m quite happy where I’m at. I’ve got a bus stop at my door, so I’ve only got to roll out the path and jump on it. You wouldn’t want anything more than that.”

Peter – Fighting Arts Fitness Centre

“This is our 20th year. We teach Kyokushin karate, Brazilian jujitsu, kickboxing and MMA. We’ve been here a long time, we’ve been a big part of the community and seen people come and go. We’ve got people we taught as kids who now bring their kids back to train. People get to know each other. We’ve had people meet their husbands and wives here. Everything’s better when you’re training.”

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SM Accountants and Associates

“In 2015 we moved to Glenroy and we’ve been here since then. I thought Glenroy was strategic for me because of the location and because we have a lot of clients from the other side of town. We have clients that come to us from Knoxfield, Nunawading and Cranbourne, so I thought at least we are close to the freeway. In the past we used to be in Greenvale, and I used to think it was quite a hike. So I thought if we are in Glenroy the exit of the freeway is not far. It’s very convenient for our clients. We’ve gotten to know a lot of people in the area. The mechanic is my mechanic. Upstairs is the martial arts club I try to get to. I know almost everybody on this block.”

See Trader

Barry – local for 30 years

“I moved here when I met and married my wife back in 1988. There’s been quite a few changes since then. I’m retired now so I like to come and sit here in the sun and watch the world go by, all those people walking through. I’ve got friends who work along here so I can pop in and have a chat to them. I’ve got everything I need here, I feel comfortable here too.”

Joe – Balci and Associates

“We’ve been here about 9 years now. So my father, he’s been an accountant for about 45 years. Originally we opened it together, it was his business, now the succession plan, he’s passed it onto me, and we’ll be here hopefully for the next twenty years. My brother is here as a broker. It’s all family. I learnt from my father, it makes a big difference. My brother adds value to the clients, if it’s something they need. Glenroy is a great community to be part of. It’s really evolving, I think over the next 10-15 years it’s going to be very different.”

See Trader

Ashok – Nepal Bazaar

“Most of the people who live here, come from Nepal, from my country. We try to communicate to the community that we offer lots of things, that’s why we named the shop Indian, Pakistani and Nepal Bazaar. So far so good, everyone is co-operating. Everyone values the community.”

Krystyna and baby Mathilda – local for four years

“We love story time down at the library where we meet other mums and bubs. We love the kebab shop on the corner, we pop in there a bit, my three year old loves the meat. We’re so close to the city, we just jump on the train and we’re there in no time.”

Reg and Paul the dog – lifetime local

“I grew up in Glenroy. Heaps of these places have changed, but there’s little things that have stayed. This alteration shop, that’s been there since I was a kid. In the street I used to live, there was a woman who taught my grandma bible studies when she was eight or nine – so everyone really knew each other then.”

Chris – Donnelly Automotive

“We’ve been here over 20 years, we do all mechanical repairs and services. We’ve seen some changes, we’ve seen a few characters come and go. I live down the road in Strathmore but it’s like my second home here. It’s like a family here. We buy and deal with other people in the area, it’s very good, I like it here.”

See Trader

Alex – Speedie Motor Service

“This shop is an established business, which has been here for over 53 years. We are the third owner of the shop. I’ve had the shop just over three years, now we’ve got three shops. When we took over, it was spring time – busiest time of the year. We didn’t even have time to do any advertisement or online promotion. It’s a good business, but just seasonal. Spring time and summer time we are flat out – in winter time we take turns in taking holidays. That’s the way we work.”

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Steev – Sick Rat Photography and Illustration

“I’m a photographer and Illustrator. I moved here about 2015. I had a friend who lived in Glenroy when I was growing up, so I knew it a little. The transport here is great – I don’t need a car to get around. I skate everywhere and use public transport. I catch the train to Brunswick and Coburg a lot, but I love the op shops around here. I often just go and find really good bargains and stuff that can be used in art. They’re probably my favourites, but there’s some really great places to eat too. The Turkish place has delicious food. Cafe 21, they’re really nice, they do great coffee.”

Ramoma and Renata – Polka Deli

“We’ve had the business for two years, but the deli has been here for quite a number of years. It’s been good so far, we try to get involved in things happening in the Polish community, we went to a festival just recently and had a little stall there. Easter and Christmas time is really busy. It’s really about staying true to the culture and traditions and educating people who don’t know about the culture who come in. If people come in from Russia or the Ukraine, we’ll explain what’s different or if we have any of their products. There’s a lot of younger people moving in who are curious about the deli. It gets very nostalgic for people especially when they have a Polish background, they see all this stuff they had as a kid. We have so many varieties of pickles. It’s the little things.”

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Roy – Barry Plant and lifetime local

“There’s been a lot of changes in regard to infrastructure. The Oakpark Aquatic Centre has been great. Lot’s of big, new developments coming up. Talk of changing the railway, that’s going to be much better. Its a great area – proximity is great to the city. A lot of people are finding a lot of value for their money here – there’s huge potential. We’re finding there are a lot of first home buyer opportunities here.”

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Shivaji – Spice Mahal

“The shop itself has been here for over twenty years, but under new management for the past seven months. Its mostly Indians and Pakistanis, Nepalese. We meet a lot of people. It’s been really great. We have free parking at the back which makes it easy.”

Anthony – over 40 years in the neighbourhood

I like the atmosphere of the area. Good neighbours, look after each other. We do the bins for each other, helping everybody out. If people go away, I get their mail, the ones across the road, I get their mail too – thats what its all about, helping each other out.

Maha and Betual – Sunrise Zatar Bakery – locals for over 7 years

Its getting busy round here. Were going to be extending our hours in the afternoons. Come join us! Its a bit of a social life here for us at the moment. We live in Epping, we go home and sleep and thats it. Its been the best decision, we never regret it.

Maria – local for 15 years

Ive just finished work, before I go home I come down here and have a sit down then duck next door for my shop.

Peter – A.E. Gibson and Co Real Estate

Im the fourth generation here. The familys been here since the 1880s – theres been someone either working or living here all that time. This office opened in the early fifties. My great grandfather, Alfred Ernest Gibson, was the one who started it all. He bought the business in 1882 and changed the name to AE Gibson. Its now the longest running business name in Victoria thats been in continuous use.

Mohit – Local for 7 years

I live in the next suburb, Hadfield, but I park at Glenroy station each day to catch the train to work, then if my wife wants something from the shops I can just pick it up from here afterward. Its very convenient.

Paul – local since 1966

When I came to Australia I went to Ascot Vale, then my brother bought a house here and we shifted here. Its all here, its like a one stop shop here.”

Tony – Owner of Glenroy Sports and Trophies for 31 years

“This is my 31st year with the business, but I grew up in Glenroy. I’ve seen Glenroy really change from when I was living here as a kid to what it is now. 

When I first started I used to sell car and aeroplane models as well as footy gear. The kids that came in, they were only little tackers, 5 or 6 years old, those guys have now got their own kids. They bring in their sons and say ‘Meet Tony – he used to sell me my footy boots back in the day’.” 

See Trader

Wally – Owner of Wally’s Barber Shop for 8 years

Ive been here for nearly 9 years, and I know so many people here now. People from all different cultures come in to see me, get their haircut and have a chat. Im like a psychologist. Everyone likes to talk to me. I like to be social with the people, talking to everyone, connecting with the community.

Marek – Local for 23 years

“It’s really great to see everyone here from all different cultures – we are learning how to all live here together and we all have something to learn from each other.”

Elie – Dairy Queen – 31 years in the neighbourhood

“Dairy Queen has been around for 31 years – it’s a family run business, four sisters and one brother, that’s me. We got brought up in this place. I walked in at six … and we’re still here! Haven’t left! There’s a lot of history in this place. We know everyone, it’s a big community here. The older generation are still around. They’re the community, they’re the ones that keep it together. The oldies. They all know each other too, which is good. So they all come in here and they meet. You see them, you come in at lunchtime and you see big groups of them hanging around. It’s good. I like their old school ways, that’s the beauty of it.”

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Adisorn – Local for 2 years

“I’ve lived here for two years. It’s peaceful. My place is just a 6-7 minute walk to the station so it’s nice and easy.”

Aidan – Glenroy Osteopathy Hub

I know the area really well, my grandparents are around the corner. I had a lot of people who I hadnt seen for many years reach out to me when I opened up and said Hey youre back in the area, Id love to come see you for an appointment. All the support has been fantastic. Ive come back to where I belong, it feels like home. 

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Melissa – local for 17 years

I love the rice paper rolls from the bread shop – the best in the area. I work at a local school two days a week and I went and bought rice paper rolls one day for lunch – now Ive got an order of 15 on a Tuesday. I put my order in the morning, I let Neil know, I walk here at lunchtime – theyve now bought me a staff trolley because I couldnt carry them all! 

Nino – local for 2 years

When I go to the city I park here because its so convenient to just catch the train. 

Amy – Amcal Pharmacy – over 25 years in the neighbourhood

I grew up here as a child. Then I moved away about four years ago but I keep coming back here for work. My grandmother lives just down the road so I have lunch with her every day. We go to the Dairy Queen. Thats our spot – it has been ever since I was a kid. Its nice to know the streets and be surrounded by so many familiar faces here. 

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Allison and Fabian – 35 years in the neighbourhood

We come down here fairly often, we go to Coles all the time. That and the little two dollar shop round the corner. He loves the two dollar shop. 

George – Owner of George the Cobbler for 28 years

“I’m actually one of the oldest businesses still here, I’m one of the old ones. I’ve seen a lot of changes. 

I like the diversity. The good thing about Glenroy is that it’s a main hub and everything runs off here. It makes it easy. 

I’ve got people come from everywhere to see me. People come from interstate to visit and they bring their shoes with them. But most of the regulars are local. I know them.  

I’ve been here 28 years. I’ve seen little kids and now they come in with their kids. I’ve seen them grow up. I really enjoy it. I enjoy what I do, the people are nice to me, it’s made it all worth it.” 

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Margaret – over 20 years in the neighbourhood

I come through here all the time. The post office is what brings me in today.