Jen and David Waddell
Humans of Woodlea

Jen and David Waddell

Lessons from a rural farm and the power of being vulnerable

Jen and David on lessons from a rural farm and the power of being vulnerable


It’s a common consensus, made evident with aging, how past experiences shape the way individuals think, act and interact with people throughout their lives. This powerful notion is especially made evident through Jen and David Waddell’s story, spirit and passions in life.


A family of four, Jen and David are currently residing in Melton with David’s mother and their two daughters, Esther (9) and Lydia (6) as they await their townhome in Woodlea to be completed. The couple’s memories of their upbringing and prior experience have heavily influenced the way they strive to live and raise their children today.


Jen spent much of her childhood on her grandparents’ rural farm in NSW and it was there that she grew to understand the importance of community, neighbours and family ties. 

“Not only did we celebrate the good times and big milestones together, but when things got tough, which they did; sickness, droughts, floods, everyone was around and supporting each other.”



Importantly, Jen was raised seeing the importance of being vulnerable with the people around you. “Vulnerability in doing life with each other is lost these days as kindness seems to only be shared when you know that someone needs a hand,” she said.


On the other hand, David has lived in Melton his whole life, along with his extended family. Between year 11 and 12 at school, David spent two months in the United Kingdom before embarking on a month-long trip in Africa, which ultimately sparked his passion for teaching.

“I spent a month in Africa and saw the opportunities teaching would enable me, such as working in aid and development.” David relishes working with the amazing community in Melton where he now teaches both maths and science.


Today, Jen is Vice President of Aintree Primary School and David the Membership Registrar of the Aintree Tennis Club and Secretary of the Aintree Table Tennis Club. Jen also loves making jams and condiments, something she attributes to her Nanna. “My grandmother had an amazing larder on the farm, that was full of lots of different jams and chutneys and jellies and all different things.”


With their home estimated to be ready in November, Jen and David are excited for their next chapter and look forward to spreading their community spirit and getting involved in groups, something they felt was lost during the Covid-19 lockdowns. 

“We’ve been getting into the routine of leaving our car at home and walking to school with our neighbours. The exciting thing about moving to a new area is being able to work together to establish that sense of community,” said Jen.


Jen and David’s story is part of Humans of Woodlea, an initiative by the fully integrated master-planned community as a means of highlighting the unique stories of its residents whilst showing its diversity and spirit.