Dilraj & Melody Sequeira
Humans of Woodlea

Dilraj & Melody Sequeira

From Mumbai to Melbourne: How this former chef is laying his family roots in the Woodlea community

From a small collection of investment properties in Melbourne’s west to the thriving community it is today, former chef Dilraj Sequeira has been there every step of the way as one of Woodlea’s first founding residents in 2015. Now, Woodlea is home to over 6,000 residents and Dilraj couldn’t be prouder of the community spirit that has developed.


When Dilraj arrived in Australia alongside his wife Melody & twins in 2005, he brought a wealth of culinary experience with him, having been an executive chef in 5-star luxury kitchens across the world, including the prestigious cruise liner ‘QE2’ & the renowned Crown Melbourne. But in order to meet the needs of his growing family, including the daily school drops offs and to further support Melody’s career as an Assurance Manager, Dilraj leveraged his degree in economics and jumped headfirst into Australia’s financial industry, making his way up the corporate ladder from ‘customer service’ to ‘fraud’, ‘Anti money laundering’ and ‘Financial Crime investigations.’


When Dilraj is not fighting financial crime, the proud husband and father of two is busy in the Woodlea community, organising local multicultural events like festivals, picnics and BBQs, or cooking up a storm alongside his wife and 21-year-old twins. 

“I may be a professionally trained chef, but after 23 years of marriage, my wife has learnt and picked up almost the same level of cooking and we share the same values of food,” he said.


“When we cook, it is all from scratch with no sauces or flavours, nothing from a package, and we eat as a family every single night. Even when we go grocery shopping, we do it as a family to teach our children the cost of living and what they need to buy for food every week, as both of them are looking to enter the first-home buyers market in the Woodlea community.”


Dilraj said it is Woodlea’s close-knit community that makes him feel at home and has led to him purchasing a second home within the estate as an investment property.


“Woodlea offers a unique sense of community – we know everyone who lives on our street personally and say hello to them. Although our twins aren’t kids anymore, they use the parks and facilities nearby for morning walks, which allows them to feel that sense of community too.”


Both of Dilraj’s children, Michelle & Maverick, are studying Double degrees at RMIT and are working part-time at Coles nearby as they work towards saving for their first home deposit.


Dilraj’s story is part of Humans of Woodlea, an initiative by the fully integrated master-planned community that seeks to highlight the unique stories of its residents, whilst showcasing its diversity and spirit.