Vol­un­teer of the Year keeps busy

David Leng al­most didn’t go to North Bur­nett awards night

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S -

DAVID Leng al­most did not go to North Bur­nett Vol­un­teer Awards last month.

“I wasn’t egging to go as I thought it wasn’t likely to in­volve me,” Mr Leng said.

“I re­garded the things that I do as ba­sic and things that I like do­ing for the com­mu­nity.

“Be­ing re­tired, it gives me pur­pose within the com­mu­nity.”

Though Mr Leng said it was a good thing he went, as he ended up re­ceiv­ing the top hon­our, the North Bur­nett’s Vol­un­teer Of The Year award.

“It was a bit over­whelm­ing,” he said.

David Leng I’m more than grate­ful, but you don’t vol­un­teer to win awards.

“I’m more than grate­ful, but you don’t vol­un­teer to win awards.”

Mr Leng vol­un­teers for a num­ber of dif­fer­ent com­mu­nity groups through­out Mun­dub­bera and the North Bur­nett, in­clud­ing driv­ing pa­tients to hospi­tal ap­point­ments out of the re­gion, Meals on Wheels and var­i­ous Ro­tary projects.

He said his favourite part about vol­un­teer­ing was help­ing other peo­ple.

“It’s the ben­e­fit you pro­vide to the re­cip­i­ent,” he said.

“In the case of driv­ing to the hospi­tal, tak­ing pa­tients to con­sul­ta­tions and ap­point­ments, they ben­e­fit be­cause they are not able to get to their ap­point­ments with­out as­sis­tance, or they have to sit on the bus for ex­tended pe­ri­ods when they are not in good health.

“To drive them to their ap­point­ment on time, with­out a long wait, means they do it in as much com­fort as pos­si­ble.”

Mr Leng said he also found a great deal of plea­sure be­ing a part of Meals on Wheels with his wife.

“The peo­ple we ser­vice are so grate­ful,” he said.

“The ser­vice pro­vides them with a proper meal on time.

“In that sit­u­a­tion you could be the only per­son they see in a day.

“To give up an hour of your time to do that, we find that very en­joy­able and worth­while.”

Mr Leng is also a pas­sion­ate Ro­tar­ian and is the main force be­hind the re­gen­er­a­tion of the Bi­cen­ten­nial Park gar­dens.

“It was all de­stroyed in the floods and so Ro­tary took on the project,” he said.

“I’ve main­tained it ever since.”

Mr Leng moved to Mun­dub­bera in 2012, hav­ing pre­vi­ously lived in Kather­ine, Mil­dura and Mel­bourne, among oth­ers.

“I went to univer­sity in Mel­bourne and did a com­merce de­gree,” he said.

“I fin­ished up in Mil­dura, as the fam­ily had some cit­rus orchids there.

“They were sold in the 1990s due to cit­rus in­dus­try down­turn.”

Mr Leng said he went on to open a cit­rus prop­erty in Mil­dura for an­other fam­ily, and later opened a mango farm in Kather­ine, in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

It was ap­pro­pri­ate then that he moved to a cit­rus town for his re­tire­ment.

“I’ve been around a bit,” he said

“I know the prob­lems the in­dus­try faces from time to time and I help out when I can.”

While he is re­tired, he still helps out within the in­dus­try when he can.

“I act as a re­liev­ing driver for one of the school buses, when the par­tic­u­lar lady isn’t able to do it,” he said.

“I even do fork­lift work in one of the pack­ing sheds when on of their peo­ple aren’t avail­able.

“There’s plenty around if you make your­self avail­able.”

PHOTO: TOBI LOF­TUS

SELFLESS SER­VICE: North Bur­nett Vol­un­teer of the Year David Leng.

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