Vanuatu next stop for seasoned traveller

By Julia Iles

When Marlene Szepsy got a call from her pharmacist, she thought they were chasing her to pay a bill.

Instead they called to say she was the winner of a luxurious five-night holiday in Vanuatu.

For a person who claims she never wins anything, it appears her luck has changed.

"I couldn't believe it ... I am really excited, when they called I thought they wanted me to pay an account, I completely forgot I had entered the competition," she said.

The trip won't be the first time Ms Szepsy has travelled abroad; she spent more than 10 years living in Europe and has travelled extensively. But this will be her first time to Vanuatu.

"I am looking forward to laying by the pool under a palm tree with a cocktail in my hand," Ms Szepsy said.

The competition was run by Guardian Pharmacies, and the winning entry was from Guardian Southside Pharmacy, in South Grafton.

The prize includes return airfares, five nights' accommodation at Le Lagon Resort, breakfasts, recreation vouchers and airport transfers.

Ms Szepsy is from Sydney where she wrote educational material and taught part-time at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and for a TAFE College. She moved to Grafton two-and-a-half years ago to be a full-time carer for her parents, who both died in the last six months. She plans to stay in Grafton after coming to the realisation 'that although Sydney had provided me with a livelihood, Grafton has provided me with a life'.

"I've been made so welcome here and I could never have imagined how generous and kind the people are," she said.

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