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08 Oct 2015

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A love for inner-city living

Having moved to Southbank seven years ago, Sovereign resident Paul Doyle said he and wife Jacqui had fallen in love with the inner-city lifestyle.

As a production co-ordinator at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and having served in various production manager roles throughout the arts precinct, he said it couldn’t get much better than living in Southbank.

“Now that I’m working across the road at the VCA it’s as convenient as it can get and I can even take a big long break in the middle of the day and it’s an easy decision because it doesn’t cost me anything,” he said.

“In my role I’m very much the first person to get there and the last person to leave. I’m often pretty fatigued on the way home so living near work is wonderful.”

Having grown up and worked on a rural property in Western Australia, Paul said the most appealing part of apartment living was the low maintenance factor.

“I had a very fortuitous upbringing where we lived on a five-acre property about an hour out of Perth. I had a father with an excellent work ethic so my weekends were very full taking care of the property,” he said.

“That formed my opinion that I don’t really need to ever live somewhere where I have to own a lawnmower ever again! I’m done with all that sort of stuff for life!”

While he and wife Jacqui are no strangers to the inner-city lifestyle, having lived in several apartments in Perth, he said they had always imagined living in Southbank since moving to Melbourne in 2007.

Paul said after first discovering the Sovereign apartment building, the pair had been determined to live there despite missing out on an opportunity the first time around.

“It actually took us a while to find something in this building, which was the top one in the area at the time. One of the first apartments we looked at was in this building but we missed it,” he said.

“We spent the best part of a year looking around and always thought: ‘no there’s nothing quite as good as that one’. We came back again though and got one!”

“We’re actually one or two floors above the one that we would have bought initially so it all worked out for the best.”

Over the years Paul has become an active member of the community not just through his love for the arts, but also through his building having recently launched a cinema club for his fellow residents.

He said the best thing about the Sovereign was that its enthusiastic and involved owners’ committee and building manager had always ensured that it was a wonderful place to live.

“I really appreciate this building and how well it’s cared for by the people who live here,” he said.

“I appreciate that it’s a bit of an older building for the area but it’s been well looked after and reinvested in several times over its lifetime.”

“I guess it’s always easier to convince owner-occupiers to invest in it because they get a benefit from it straight away.”

As a career production manager, Paul’s experience has incorporated roles with the Melbourne Theatre Company, the Arts Centre with Orchestra Victoria and various other positions working with symphony orchestras, opera, ballet and theatre companies.

In recent years, he has also played a pivotal role in the production of White Night Melbourne as a technical director, which he said he was “ludicrously proud to be associated with.”

Now assisting the next generation of artists on various projects as production coordinator at VCA, he said he looked forward to many more happy years both living and working Southbank.

“As a centre for culture Southbank is amazing. I can’t think of another place in this country where someone like myself who is so addicted perhaps to working in the arts and cultural events industry would want to work and live,” he said.

“Melbourne promotes itself as the events city and it’s amazing but it’s philosophical here in that we invest in infrastructure and events to create something special.”

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