“Mt Martha has always been a part of my life.

“While I grew up in Melbourne, we always had a holiday home in Mt Martha. So every Christmas we would spend six weeks in Mt Martha, and we looked forward to it every year. And on weekends in the summer we would leave school in Melbourne on a Friday afternoon, and we’d all hop in the car and we’d be down in Mt Martha. We’d arrive in time for dinner and wouldn’t head home until Monday morning when we’d go straight to school.

“I have a brother and a sister and we were a close family. Our holidays were all based around the beach. We lived just across the road from the Esplanade so every morning we’d head to the beach and set up at our boat shed, then we’d head home at lunchtime for the afternoon and then go back to the beach about 4pm until it was dark. We had a speedboat and we used to water ski as well. We were permanently in the water.

“After school I went to university and studied a Bachelor of Commerce, but after that my life was about my family. I married Dick a’Beckett (Michael a’Beckett’s stepmother) who was a widower. His wife had passed away when she was very young, only 49 and she had three young boys. I had known Dick and his family all my life really. We used to see eachother at the beach all summer. He lived in Mt Martha with his three dear boys, so when we got together it wasn’t as much a meeting as a merger. We married in 1971 and that’s when I moved permanently to Mt Martha.

"The feeling of Mt Martha hasn’t changed really over the last 46 years, other than during January which does get pretty ghastly with the number of holiday makers, but the other 11 elevens are pretty much the same. I still can’t see my neighbours which is bliss, we live on a large piece of land tucked in between Citation Oval and the sea.

“I love Mt Martha. It’s the sea that is so special to me. It’s so peaceful. I do have the best of both worlds because I can head up to the city to the big lights and spend time with family and friends, and then come back to our peaceful life.

“If you are thinking about making the move to Mt Martha, make sure you buy in the right area. There are some ghastly new developments. So if you do want a sea change, then live by the sea – be selective.”

This photograph of the gracious and graceful Bronwen a'Beckett was taken at the Balcombe Estuary, which, as Bronwen says, is quintessential Mt Martha - the peaceful river skirted by gentle bushland with the breathtaking ocean never far away. Bronwen still rows on the river and walks the boardwalk, something she has been doing for much of her well-lived life.

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