Melek “You’re kind of winning”

For its historical natural assets, young community and thriving economy and culture, Parramatta is increasingly recognised as one of the most beautiful and exciting areas to live, work and raise a family in Sydney – just ask Melek Sanli.

“I love Parramatta,” she says. “Along the river there’s always people out, families out. You get your different variety of age groups – old people, young people with young kids, love birds hand-in-hand. The shopping is up with Pitt Street and everything is in one central location.”

Melek, who is a local, is raising two children with her husband and expecting another one this year. She works on Phillip Street as a Project Co-ordinator in Education, and enjoys the many advantages of living in such an accessible city.

“There are more opportunities for local people to live close to where they work, and to have a better work/life balance,” she says. “Parramatta suits me perfectly because it’s only a three-stop train ride. In terms of public transport you’ve got it all. With trains, buses and ferries, you’re kind of winning.”

As someone who has grown up in the area, Melek loves the momentum and vitality of Parramatta, and the way the community and space has transformed over time.

“It’s a central hub now where you don’t have to travel so far to get what you need,” she says. “It’s all so modern. Since I was growing up it’s really changed. It’s much more of a family-friendly environment.”

Although Parramatta has such a long and rich history, the average age of residents in the area is now 35. For Melek, it’s the ideal place to spend time on a Sunday afternoon – think of family time over dinner, a spot of wildlife, and a scoot along the river.

“As a family we go to Volcanos Steakhouse,” Melek says. “The menu has a wide variety of options, i highly recommend eye fillet. On Sundays kids eat free and they have face painting and balloons, so they get to feel a little bit special while mum and dad have five minutes of conversation.”

“If they’re feeling energetic after that we’ll get their scooters out and they’ll have a ride along the river, or look at the ducks. If it’s not too dark we’ll take them to the park. The kids call the park Mummy’s Work Park, because it’s just across the road from where I work.”

When they’re not enjoying the river, the green space, or the great restaurants, Melek says her family loves getting involved in one of the many cultural events or festivals in Parramatta.

“There’s definitely a great sense of different variations and celebrations for everyone to enjoy,” she says. “There’s so much more happening in terms of seasonal events. We don’t celebrate Christmas as such, but when we went to a Christmas event the kids just loved it because it was so colourful with all the lights. It’s just nice to be in that atmosphere and experience it.”

Melek Sanli

Melek Sanli
Project Coordinator, Partner & Mum