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  • Writer's pictureSheree Hoddinett

Recognition for Dedicated Volunteer

Volunteering for over 20 years, Geoff Murray has been awarded the honour of a park seat in his name.

Geoff Murray has spent more than 20 years dedicated to volunteering within the community. It’s a role that has earnt him much praise from fellow Burpengary Community Association members and also the naming of a park bench in his honour. For Geoff, the path into volunteering came about naturally and in particular his work with the Burpengary Community Association has been instrumental in implementing improvements and projects, helping to make Burpengary the great place it is to live today.

“Being a part of the association has been quite a journey and quite fulfilling in many ways. I’ve met and made a number of friends throughout the community and it’s definitely one of my greatest achievements.”

Geoff is certainly no stranger to life in the Moreton Bay Region, having lived here since 1977. Starting out in Kallangur and followed by Petrie, Geoff and his wife Bev settled in Burpengary in 1991. During that time, he has seen the area evolve into the Burpengary we now know. So, what prompted Geoff to head down the volunteer path? It all began when he retired and was looking for something to help fill the void. Geoff initially became a part of the Burpengary Community Association as a resident looking for assistance in regard to an upcoming local development and grew into something more. He has held the position of secretary and treasurer and is now a life member.

“I’ve done a little bit of community work,” Geoff says with a laugh. “When I retired I just felt that I needed to do something.

“But as with a lot of things in life, it’s one of those things that you enjoy until you don’t and it was getting to that stage that I felt I wasn’t prepared to give anymore and felt my time was up, so I politely resigned. I’m still a member of the association of course, so I’m still around.

“Being a part of the association has been quite a journey and quite fulfilling in many ways. I’ve met and made a number of friends throughout the community and it’s definitely one of my greatest achievements.”

Along with his role at the Burpengary Community Association, Geoff was the treasurer at the Pine Rivers Golf Club for four years, he undertook four years of national service, has been treasurer for the Caboolture and District branch of the National Serviceman’s Association of Queensland and is also a life member of the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia Queensland Inc.

To say Geoff has lived and breathed quite a varied life is definitely an understatement. Long before he was a volunteer, he worked in retail for a number of years before spending the last 20 years of his working life in aged care.

“We had people with dementia, stroke, young and disabled…it opened your eyes to the other side of the world to see how they coped,” Geoff says. “It was a different experience and days were different all the time, especially when it came to dementia patients and responding to their changes in behaviour.

“I have a lot of memories from my time working in aged care, too many to recall, but taking residents out for lunches was always fun and memorable.”

While he may be getting on in age (believe it or not, he’s 85!), Geoff still finds time to do a little bit of the things he loves.

“I’m still with the RSL sub-branch at Caboolture, so I help out there with the Anzac and Remembrance Day selling, sausage sizzles and the likes but I’ve quietened down a bit now,” Geoff says of his once busy life.

“I just take my time now and if I don’t feel up to doing something, it becomes a rest day. I’ve still got a few years left in me yet.”

Down in Ruth McDonald Park in Rossini Street Burpengary, you’ll find the park bench honouring Geoff for his commitment to the community. The dedication took place back on September 9, 2022. Geoff worked alongside Ruth for many years, running the hall committee between them, undertaking bookings for the council and building quite a good rapport. To Geoff, the placement of the bench in the park named after Ruth is quite an honour and he is proud to be associated with it.

“I was quite surprised at first, because I believe there’s still a lot of other people out in the community that are worthy of honours and distinctions for all of their achievements,” Geoff says of the park bench dedication. “But I am extremely proud of it and I appreciate those who have taken the time to make this happen.”


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