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Last updated on 15 February, 2009
 
 

about me  
 my home

Me

My name is Graham Mercer, I am 55 years old and married. I also go by the nickname of Wookie, which stems from 1977 when the original StarWars movie was released. At the time I bore more than a passing resemblance to Chewbacka the Wookie, with lots of red-brown hair that blended into a bushy beard. In the intervening twenty plus years the colour has faded, the hairline has receded and the length has shortened - but the nickname still lingers.

In 1999 I took a redundancy package after working in the aviation industry for more than 20 years with Airservices Australia. My job entailed providing weather and navigational information to a wide range of pilots, as well as receiving their flight plans and transmitting them to the various Air Traffic Services units that communicate with the aircraft during its flight. During this time I had a short dalliance with clay as a hobby in Alice Springs, 1985 which left me knowing that at some stage, when life slowed down, I would return!

Rediscovered clay when I stumbled upon the most wonderful group of potters who were holding an annual Open Studio event in the Warrandyte-Eltham area. Their passion, enthusiasm and wonderful warmth instantly inspired me and rekindled the embers that still glowed deep within from that initial 1985 encounter with clay.

In 2004 I completed the last year of a Diploma of Arts (Ceramics) course at the Dandenong campus of the Chisholm Institute of TAFE. Until late 2008 I operated a pottery studio at home.

The wheel has now turned full circle and since November 2008 I am back at Melbourne airport working for Airservices Australia again, this time as a simulator support officer. As such I am part of a team that operates the air traffic control training simulator.

me in cellar

 

me snow skiing

 

Our Home

 

Yarra River, Warrandyte

Click for more of our local birds

We live in Warrandyte, a semi-rural environment about 25 kms (16 miles) northeast of Melbourne, which is the Capital of the State of Victoria, Australia. The Warrandyte area was first settled by Europeans in the early 1800's and the first gold discovery in Victoria was made at Warrandyte in the 1850's. The township is located beside the Yarra River and still retains the charm of a small village.

Our home is about 3.5 kms from the township in an area that is still rich in native flora and fauna. The area is called the 'Green Wedge' and forms part of a system of 'lungs' for the city of Melbourne - areas of native bushland set aside between suburban developments.

We are fortunate enough to have a lovely home nestled amongst the trees on the sloping side of a valley. Native birds are abundant and often visit our bird feeder which sits on our outside deck.

Warrandyte is an aboriginal word from the Woiworung language of the Wurundjeri, who are the indigenous people of the Yarra Valley to the northeast of Melbourne.

 

Click for more bird images