NOT even the famous city of love was competition for Victoria’s south-west when the Gaston family decided to make Warrnambool their home.
Having travelled the world and lived in Paris for 11 years, Frenchman Jean-Philippe and his Adelaide-born wife Kylie decided to return to Australia with their daughters Ana and Arnnelle eight years ago.
The couple owned Warrnambool’s Beach Babylon for several years, but now own and manage Charlie’s on East in Port Fairy.
An active member of the south-west community, Mrs Gaston was recently elected as one of seven councillors for Warrnambool City Council.
She said her and Jean-Philippe’s decision to move to Warrnambool was with their children in mind.
“We wanted to have a better family lifestyle for the children,” Mrs Gaston said.
“We chose to come to the south-west specifically because we heard it was a great place to be and there’s the dairy industry, the tourism; it’s beautiful.
“I think we were a bit over big cities ... we wanted to go somewhere a bit smaller and get a bit more of a sense of community.”
Mr Gaston enjoys the surf, while daughters Ana and Arnnelle make the most of walking the dogs on the beach.
Mrs Gaston said the emerging arts and culture in Warrnambool was an exciting future direction for the city.
“There’s a lot of community happenings, like the Lighthouse Theatre is fantastic, (and) the art gallery is going ahead leaps and bounds,” she said.
“I think there’s a whole lot of people who are interested in art and culture moving to Warrnambool.
“You’ve got that feeling of people coming in that are a bit more diverse, but I also think it’s good Warrnambool has a strong conservative foundation too.”
In her role as councillor, Mrs Gaston hopes to implement a modern city library to create a central hub for the community.
n Read more stories about why people love living in the south-west by picking up a copy of The Standard’s Live Work Invest magazine from local council offices.