Our Green Queen
by Bill Hudson-McAuley
11th July 2016
ALTHOUGH Judy Green didn’t come to live in Warrandyte until 1969, her family was associated with the area generations ago. Her grandfather Samuel Painter was an original member of the Wonga Park Village Settlement in 1893.
At the outbreak of WW1, Judy’s father Les Painter answered the call and joined the ranks of the Australian Army. Les served in Gallipoli and fortunately was one of the lucky survivors. After the war, Les was in London waiting to be repatriated back to Australia when he met Judy’s grandmother Dorothy. In 1921 they married in London before the young Aussie digger brought his bride back to Australia and settled in Cheltenham.
Judy grew up in Sandringham and Springvale and attended Dandenong High School. She met her husband Cliff Green in 1957 and they were married in 1959.
Cliff, then a young primary teacher, was sent out to teach in country Victoria. For the next seven years, he was a headmaster/teacher in the tiny Mallee town of Rainbow and then at Torrumbarry on the mighty Murray River.
The Greens began raising their brood of four children during their time in country Victoria. Mandy, now 56, Kathy, 54, and Fiona, 50, were born during their time in the country, and David, the youngest, 43, was born in Warrandyte. All children attended Warrandyte Primary School.
Two of the Greens kids have bought houses and settled in Warrandyte and are bringing up their families here.
“We see a lot of the kids, we also have 11 grandchildren and recently we have a new addition to the family, our brand new great grandchild Tayo, who is only six-weeks-old,” Judy says proudly.
Judy drives her son David’s children to and from school every day.
“I really enjoy doing that, it’s great to have the daily connection with them,” she says.
In 1969 when Cliff and Judy moved to Warrandyte, they fitted into the local community straight away. Cliff joined the youth club committee and Judy joined the mother’s club and the Warrandyte Tennis Club.
“We both felt a sense of belonging straight away,” Judy told the Diary. They eventually moved into the brand new home they had built in Webb Street and have lived there ever since.
Judy trained and worked as a medical technologist and Cliff joined Crawford Productions as a staff scriptwriter. Later when Cliff went freelance, Judy learned to type and helped Cliff with his scriptwriting business.
“She was invaluable to me,” chimes in Cliff. “Judy was meticulous about accuracy. She acted as a sort of editor and wouldn’t allow me to exaggerate. As a scriptwriter I was writing fiction, flights of fancy, but with local stories for the Diary, I was supposed to be writing the truth and Judy helped me achieve that.”
When Judy joined the tennis club it became a big part of her life.
“I was fully involved in managing the junior competitions and playing competition tennis,” she said. Judy is now a life member of the club and still plays for WTC in the night tennis competition.
Judy has won the WTC club person of the year “a couple of times”, she said modestly. In 1993, Judy and Keith Wilson co-wrote a history of the WTC. The book is entitled Rallies by the River – A Centenary of Tennis in Warrandyte.
Judy has been very involved with the community garden, a project she is very passionate about.
“We grow our own vegetables and don’t use sprays,” said Judy. “It’s a great way to socialize and being right down on the river it’s a lovely spot to go.”
She also helps with archiving at the Warrandyte Historical Society and volunteers at the Warrandyte State Park Nursery.
Judy and Cliff have made lifelong friends since moving to Warrandyte 57 years ago, including well known locals such as Jock and Di Macneish, Val and Austin Polley and Shelagh and Richard Morton.
What does Judy think of Warrandyte’s future?
“Well,” she replies thoughtfully. “Let’s keep it the way it is. It’s still the same sort of place that it used to be, even though there’s more people living here. We haven’t lost the feel of the place and the community spirit is still alive. Hopefully we can share our future without service stations,” says Judy, making it very clear how she feels about that particular issue.
“I’m also concerned with what they might do to the bridge. Another bridge downstream is desperately needed. Traffic on the bridge is a problem any time, but especially when the threat of bushfire hangs over us for three months of the year. Living here is worth the worry over fire season though, because it’s so good living here for the other nine months.
“Warrandyte’s been a great place to live and bring up our family,” she added. “We love the environment here, especially the river. Cliff and I walk along the river most days unless it’s raining. As a community we must always be vigilant to what’s happening and try to preserve the physical environment as much as possible.”