How Dr Dan Trevena bought a first home twice

We helped doctors Dan Trevena and Jacinta O’Neill realised their dream of a city crash pad and country retreat at the same time.

  6 minutes

Many of the medical professionals who approach BOQ Specialist are mid-career doctors striking out on their own in private practice—they’ve completed the long and involved process of earning their professional stripes and they’re learning about becoming business owners. By contrast, Dan Trevena and Jacinta O’Neill are still in the midst of their medical training journey.

The couple sees this as a busy but exciting time in their lives. They are about to undertake their respective fellowship years and they have just become first home buyers—twice over.

Working in chaos

“I’m a final year anaesthetic registrar and Jacinta is a mid-training general practice registrar, so compared to other medical professionals who deal with BOQ Specialist, who are opening their own practices, we’re still a few years further back down the path,” says Dr Trevena. “It’s chaotic—for us at the moment it’s all about night shifts and exams and balancing work and study.”

Career-wise, all options are still on the table. Dr O’Neill has trained in emergency, and the combination of this specialty with general practice has given her a certain level of flexibility and control over her hours. Dr Trevena, too, hopes that his work will eventually allow him time for other pursuits, but he enjoys the cut and thrust of a busy public hospital.

Despite their current busy schedules, Drs Trevena and O’Neill have managed to travel extensively, and make time for volunteer work as medics on call at sporting events. “They live and breathe their profession and have incorporated it into their hobbies as well, which is really impressive,” says BOQ Specialist’s Krista Adams.

Nature lovers

Though both Drs Trevena and O’Neill are doctors at similar points in their careers, they didn’t meet at medical school, but rather through their shared love of physical activity and the outdoors. “We met through running on the Great Ocean Walk trail, years ago, and it’s just pure coincidence that we both studied medicine,” says Dr Trevena.

Having a common career path has helped the couple contend with the challenges, idiosyncrasies and rewards of their profession. “It definitely helps that we can talk to each other about the challenges of the job,” says

Dr O’Neill. “I don’t think either of us ever thought we’d end up with another doctor.”

It was their love of nature that led the couple from a ‘sensible’ property in Fitzroy, in inner-city Melbourne, close to the hospitals and all the urban trappings, to a gorgeous, rambling property in Porepunkah in northeastern Victoria’s great alpine High Country.

The great escape

“We go up to the mountains quite a lot—we always have, throughout our relationship,” says Dr Trevena.

“We go there for skiing, for paragliding and for rock climbing—the mountains have always been our happy place, where the soul is, and we go there any chance we get. But at this stage, and potentially long-term, work is in Melbourne, in the city, so our life is there. We decided to buy an apartment off-plan in Melbourne a couple of years ago, which took a long time to settle.

“By the time that came around we had found a couple of places up in the country. And we thought, well, maybe rather than buying a big house in Melbourne like everyone else does, for the same money, perhaps we could have a small apartment in Melbourne and a little shack up in the mountains for roughly the same price, that is what works for us and what we are happy with."

Sharing the dream

Drs Trevena and O’Neill were thrilled to meet a financial specialist who understood their long-term dream.

“We’re not very money driven or financially savvy, but we knew what we wanted, which was this dream in the mountains. We’re lifers—we’re never going to sell it. It will be somewhere for future generations to enjoy.”

Krista shared the couple’s vision and was able to make it happen. “She did this not just by signing on the bottom line and giving us a mortgage, but by guiding us through,” says Dr Trevena. “We could very easily have been taken for a ride, but we had a financial planner and between him and Krista they were both such good people, talking us through things and allowing us to dream and telling us what was ridiculous and what was possible.

“The reason we liked working with her was that we trust her.”


Thinking about buying a property? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for purchasing your first home. Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 160 160.

Subscribe to Best Practice

Our bi-annual magazine which features case studies from our clients and gives you first hand examples of how we can help you to grow your business.

Subscribe now


  • Important Information

      The information contained in this webpage is general in nature and has been provided in good faith, without taking into account your personal circumstances. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate and opinions fair and reasonable, no warranties in this regard are provided.