Calling Lake Mac home after travelling the world

Published on 29 September 2021

For Leigha Gasson, home is about community and belonging.


Growing up in an adoptive family in the leafy suburb of Jewells, Leigha enjoyed the typical coastal upbringing, spending long summer days at the beach and hanging out with friends on weekends.

When she turned 20, Leigha made the move to Sydney to “spread her wings” and joined the food and beverage team at Star Casino.

“It was the year of the Olympics and a really exciting time to be in Sydney and living in a new city for the first time. As a young woman in her 20s, I loved all the action,” Leigha recalls.

After getting married and having children, Leigha and her partner moved to the UK, but decided to return to Australia after the Global Financial Crisis.

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“It was really important to me to find a place where our family – especially the kids – could fit in and feel like they belong,” Leigha says.

“In the time my kids have grown, I’ve watched Lake Mac become more and more diverse, which is fantastic to see.”

“We try to support local where we can and enjoy getting out and making the most of all the great facilities we have on our doorstep, from the beautiful beaches to great shopping at Charlestown and live music at local pubs. As a family, one of our favourite activities is taking a stroll through the local Famers Markets, which is just a short walk from our home.”

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Between weekends, Leigha works as a Human Resources Manager with disability support provider My Goal Australia based at Dashworks, a co-working space in Charlestown. Leigha is part of Lake Mac’s largest industry sector, with healthcare and social assistance employing almost one in five people in the City.

“My whole life I’ve always wanted to work in a field where I can change people’s lives and help them, so to be able to support people in my own community is very rewarding.”

“The location is right for the business too. Charlestown is a central hub for clients right across the Hunter Region, and Sydney is just a short trip down the M1 if we need it.

“And the commute to the office each day is ideal having lived in big cities with plenty of free parking close to our offices.”

It may have taken a global economic crisis to bring Leigha and her family home to Lake Macquarie, but now she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

“Tell me another place where you’re minutes from the lake, the beach and the mountains. Plus, we have beautiful places like the Hunter Valley and Port Stephens on our doorstep.

I always encourage my kids to get out and discover the world, like I did, but I will be happy if they choose to come home to Lake Macquarie.”

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