Meet the locals: Waterford’s Deb Silvestri brings communities together
February 7, 2023
Deb Silvestri’s love affair with Maitland started in the 1980s when she was resident vocalist at Maitland Leagues Club. It was here she would jump on stage and sing her heart out in her band Detroit, all while making close friends with locals who would come listen to her sing every week.
“That was an extraordinary part of my life,” Deb said.
Her love of singing to the Maitland community was not limited to the ’80s – Deb, who’s maiden name is Mason, has found a way to incorporate singing and bringing people together into her job in property.
Her job is to build communities in new residential areas and she loves it. “My history is bringing people together really, communities,” she said.
“My preference has always been to work with companies that developed residential communities, rather than companies that just sell a block of land, to create a little bit of energy around it.
“You’re creating a safe environment and you’re having fun doing it. Being a singer, I was able to put it into something that not just any real estate agent would.”
Deb runs Christmas Carols at Waterford Living, a community she has had a close hand in building. “I love Christmas carols and everyone loves to get together and sing Christmas carols,” she said.
“That has not only brought me enjoyment and brought me closer to the community, but it’s also added that little bit of extra something to the area. “I do the compering, assist in the coordination and set it up so we give something back to the community.”
Her favourite Christmas song is tough to choose, but Deb said it’s probably either I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Mary’s Boy Child or Amazing Grace. Amazing Grace is extra special, as when she was 12-years-old her dad bought Deb her first sheet music, and it was Amazing Grace. She sang it at a wedding, and she still has the same sheet to this day. Deb said her favourite thing about her role in community building is the smiling faces.
“Everything that I do I care about the outcome and that’s how you make friends, you put a bit more of yourself into it. It’s not just about selling something,” she said.
“It’s about creating something that outlives yourself I suppose.”
Deb is definitely well appreciated by her clients – the walls of her office are adorned with drawings children have made of her.
“It just makes you feel like you’re making a difference,” she said.
When Deb isn’t working, you will find her spending time with her husband Silvano and their grandsons, or connecting with friends and family.
If someone was new to Maitland, the first thing Deb would tell them to do is go for a drive around, and ask people in the community for advice.
“I always talk about the Maitland gallery and The Levee with all the beautiful restaurants, the music we have on the river… we just have absolutely everything and it’s got a bit of heritage, you’ve got a mixture of old and new.
“That says a lot, that Maitland people care about where we’ve been and it’s part of where we’re going.
“There’s all different age groups, all different cultures that we open our arms to because it is all about family at the end of the day.”
As featured in the Maitland Mercury