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A Father’s Legacy Continues – Mel Gomez’s Story

Melissa Gomez has a look of pure pride on her face when she speaks about her late father, Orlando Gomez, who emigrated with his wife and family from Colombia in he 1970s to seek a safer life for his family.

Over the years they would use money earned in Australia to buy property and build four apartments right next to the house that had been Orlando’s family home for many generations.

Today this apartment building – named ‘Melissa’ as is customary to do in Colombia – provides a comfortable retirement for his widow, and the financial base to educate the granddaughters he never actually met since succumbing to cancer in 2011.

It will always be hard for Melissa Gomez – the third child born here in Australia – to talk about the father she loved so much. The family is the very definition of close.

“Without dad setting up his will the way he did, using his super to pay off the Melbourne home mortgage and ensuring the Medellin properties would provide ongoing return, mum would be in a very different position today.

“Dad was only 61 years young. He had become a grandfather for the first time and truly wasn’t ready to leave us. But he left knowing he’d put his arms around his family in a protective financial sense.”

With two young daughters of her own, Melissa knows the Gomez family legacy will one day help education these young women – and, no doubt, fund a few special trips home to their motherland.


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