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Melanie Rettino

MelanieA career in the country 

A return back to the country for Melanie Rettino was motivated by the opportunity to pursue a fulfilling career.

Melanie grew up on a small cropping and beef cattle farm near Bairnsdale and after studying pharmacy at La Trobe University in Bendigo, she decided to complete her internship year in East Gippsland. Deciding to move home was an easy choice given her connection to the country.

“At the moment there’s more opportunities in the country, particularly in pharmacy,” Melanie said. “At the time I graduated there was a concern there was an oversupply of pharmacists, and there weren’t a lot of jobs in community and hospital pharmacy in metropolitan areas. There seemed to be more demand in rural areas.”

“I’ve never liked the idea of working in the city, I’ve always wanted to be regionally-based and when there was a job going in Bairnsdale, I just went for it.” I’d been working in Bairnsdale on my university breaks as a pharmacy assistant and dispensary technician, and I thought why not move back? I really liked the town so it just made sense to me.”

Melanie takes advantage of being within few hours’ drive of the city, the snow and the sea. She spends summer weekends down at Metung and Lakes Entrance, swimming, walking along the beach and enjoying the nice cafes and restaurants. While winter weekends are enjoyed at nearby Mount Hotham, snowboarding and relaxing at the Ski Club of East Gippsland, a member-based lodge operated by local families.

“I enjoy living in East Gippsland because you’re in the country but you’re not that far away from the city either. We’re not isolated here, but it’s still nice to be living in a community that has some distance from hectic Melbourne. It’s a very scenic place to live.”

“I don’t think I really appreciated it until I moved away,” mused Melanie. “Even though Bendigo is not a city, it’s bigger than Bairnsdale and doesn’t have as much of the community atmosphere. I walk down the street here and I know people. It’s also nice getting to know people at work, such as the regulars and the other health professionals. I find it easier to build rapport with other doctors, nurses and optometrists in the region.”

The 22-year-old said she is enjoying the challenges that come with her first year of professional employment and she’s now looking for ways to become more involved in the community, such as joining Apex or Rotary. While some 20-somethings are lured away by the bright lights, Melanie said she has no intention of trying to find a job in a metropolitan area after her internship year is over.

“I’ve lived away from home. I went to uni, and I couldn’t wait to come back.”