What is your connection to Diggers Rest?

My wife and I previously lived in Westmeadows and we looked all around for somewhere to move to. When we took a drive through Diggers Rest, we thought: “That looks like a sleepy little town” … we wanted to have a lot of land because we are both gardeners.

How long have you lived in the area?

I’ve lived in Diggers Rest for the past 17 years.

Tell me about your how you became involved with the Diggers Rest Residents Association (DRRA)?

I became involved very early when there was a residents’ protest about a proposed caravan park. I’ve always been a person very close to residents’ concerns, having been in local government for 31 years. I became a member of the DRRA after the objection to the caravan park, and later became the president for the first time in 2006 and have been ever since.

Where did you serve in local government?

I spent three and a half years in local government at Swan Hill and another 27 and a half years in what was then the City of Broadmeadows, later to become City of Hume.

What are residents’ main concerns in Diggers Rest?

We’ve got a lot of issues in Diggers Rest. When we first moved into the area, there were 1800 people. It is now projected, with all the development, to increase to about 10,000. Socially, it was always going to change from what was a dormitory town to what is now going to be a vibrant small township. With that comes some problems, the main ones being traffic. The other concern is the provision of services.

What are you passionate about?

My wife and I are keen gardeners – although I am more the labourer than anything else. I was the inaugural president of the Broadmeadows and District Gardening Club and have been a member for the past 36 years. We also have a passion for community radio. Both of us have been executive members of Northwest FM (based in Glenroy). I am also the president. We love travelling, as well.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

A lot of people don’t know that I had military service. I spent six years in the Royal Australian Survey Corps. For a short time in Duntroon, I saw a lot of Vietnam from 12,000 feet. I was working on air photographs, preparing map models and preparing maps of Vietnam prior to the formal introduction of troops into the country in 1962.

What is the best thing about Diggers Rest?

What is the best thing about Diggers Rest?It is a town removed from the larger centres, but accessible enough to them. It is quiet and convenient to the freeway.