Bruce Boddington was named as a Wyndham Community Volunteer Award winner earlier this year, in the category of environment or sustainability, by Wyndham council. He started the Point Cook Open Spaces group and is chair of the NatureWest board.
How long have you lived in Wyndham, and how did you get involved in so many environmental groups?
We moved here about four years ago, to Point Cook, we had lived in Caulfield South for about 30 years before that. We moved here to be closer to family. We rented a house in Featherbook and I went for a walk, and I saw thousands of little bits of litter. I rang up the council and said I’d like to do something about it. I ended up taking part in the council’s Building Blocks Community Leadership Program in 2015. As part of the course, we had to do a project. I already knew that I wanted my project to be about picking up litter in Point Cook, and that’s how Point Cook Open Spaces was born. It’s gone from strength to strength since then. We run between six to 10 litter clean-ups in Point Cook every year. We also do re-vegetation work in the wetlands, funded by Melbourne Water.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
I guess the challenge of getting a group together, keeping it viable and doing activities together. I like the orgnisational side of it.
I’m still working part-time in my own business, and I put in about 20 to 30 hours of volunteering per week. I enjoy the on-ground work we do, including quite a lot of planting. I am also mentoring two other groups.
What do you like about Point Cook?
Point Cook is good, I’m involved in the Point Cook Action Group. It’s a suburb, or community, that really gets out and does stuff. In terms of what Susan (McIntyre) and Sara (Mitchell) did with Pop-Up Park was fantastic. And the Point Cook Action Group organises a cultural event every year, the Lunar New Year festival, which Bob Fairclough is involved with.
One thing about Wyndham is that it’s on the edge of a rural and urban area, I quite enjoy that. I drive down to Little River, as I’m involved with a Landcare group down there – I’m originally from the country, so I like the open space.
Wyndham council do a fantastic job supporting volunteers and they’re in the process of doing a long-term volunteer strategy. There is a working group helping out with that, which I’m on. Building Blocks is fantastic, I’m still involved with the program and people. We often help each other out.