Fostering the ideal of ser­vice

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By YVETTE AUBUS­SON-FO­LEY

IF there was ever a quiet achiever, it is Dubbo lo­cal Doug El­liott, who shared with Dubbo Photo News a snap­shot of his life lived well, with some reser­va­tions about blow­ing his own trum­pet.

Ro­tary mates dobbed him in on the oc­ca­sion of his res­ig­na­tion from their club on Fe­bru­ary 23; an or­gan­i­sa­tion he has served with ded­i­ca­tion for 41 years.

Like us, they think he de­served time in the lime­light be­cause of his ex­em­plary com­mu­nity spirit.

“I first joined Ro­tary in 1958 in Wau­chope, then I moved to Ber­ri­gan, but the clos­est club was in Fin­ley so I used to drive 44 kilo­me­tres ev­ery Mon­day night, over and back, to at­tend,” the 84 year-old said.

By the time he ar­rived in Dubbo in 1968 to take the job of direc­tor of En­vi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices with the for­mer Dubbo City Coun­cil, he left be­hind com­mit­tee and board mem­ber­ships and even an honorary ar­chi­tect role.

Though busy in his new work sign­ing off on de­vel­op­ments like Dubbo Square, Orana Mall and Fletcher’s In­ter­na­tional, he still made time for the com­mu­nity over the fol­low­ing decades.

He be­came a mem­ber of the Old Dubbo Gaol restora­tion com­mit­tee, joined the Fri­day Lun­cheon Club, the Dubbo Show So­ci­ety, acted as area chair­man for the Na­tional Heart Foun­da­tion in 1973, be­came an honorary mem­ber of the RAAF Of­fi­cers Mess, and chaired the TAFE Dubbo Col­lege ad­vi­sory coun­cil for eight years.

Doug was on the Dubbo Base Hospi­tal board of di­rec­tors for eight years and was deputy chair­man for two; he joined the build­ing minded Doug El­liott re­signed from Ro­tary of West Dubbo last af­ter years ser­vice to the or­gan­i­sa­tion.


com­mit­tee for the Dubbo Golf Club, the Ma­sonic build­ing com­pany, the Dubbo Re­gional Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and So­cial Wel­fare com­mit­tee, chaired the Clean Up Aus­tralia Day Com­mit­tee in 1989, was trea­surer of the Dubbo Pis­tol Club, Mac­quarie Credit Union board of di­rec­tors, chief of the health and wel­fare sec­tion of SES Lo­cal Con­trol, and was on the board of the Dubbo RSL Aged Care As­so­ci­a­tion and Lour­des Hospi­tal.

To be fair, Doug is now in his 80s, with plenty of years to get busy and tick all these com­mu­nity ser­vice boxes.

For 30 years he was on the management com­mit­tee and deputy chair­man of the Dubbo Res­cue Squad, was a Lodge mem­ber for 37 years, an as­ses­sor for the NSW Tidy Towns pro­gram for two, and is it any won­der, in 2006, he was awarded an Or­der of Aus­tralia for ser­vices to ed­u­ca­tion, health and the com­mu­nity?

“That was a big one. I was pre­sented to (then NSW Gov­er­nor) Marie Bashir at gov­ern­ment house. She’s a lovely lady. I had my kids there, Karen, Me­gan and Bruce, and my wife Una. (The Gov­er­nor) said, ‘Bring the fam­ily and we’ll have a photo to­gether.’ She was de­light­ful.

“My mum and dad used to buy their clothes at her dad’s store in Nar­ran­dera. I spoke to her about that. She re­mem­bered Nar­ran­dera well. There was ab­so­lutely no airs and graces about her. She was a very gra­cious per­son.”

There’s a good chance she thought the same about Doug El­liot who has also re­ceived the high­est hon­our in Ro­tary in 1986, a Paul Har­ris Fel­low, fol­lowed by a sec­ond Paul Har­ris in 2013.

He served as In­ter­na­tional direc­tor in 1992 and 2002 and was a foun­da­tion direc­tor from 2008.

This is how he de­fines his mo­ti­va­tion: “To put some­thing back into the com­mu­nity that pro­vides my liveli­hood and sup­port for my fam­ily. Hope­fully by mak­ing those con­tri­bu­tions you make Dubbo a bet­ter place to live for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing your­self and your fam­ily.”

Doug hasn’t just put back into the Dubbo com­mu­nity.

“I was co­or­di­na­tor for a re­con­struc­tion party that went up from here to Dar­win af­ter Cy­clone Tracy. It was or­gan­ised by the Unit­ing Church. There was a group home for kids and it got wrecked.

“There was about 26 peo­ple, mostly from Dubbo, and we went up there for three weeks. We worked pretty hard and got the job done. It was pretty spe­cial.

“While we were there, we en­tered into the Dar­win Beer Can Re­gatta. We got sec­ond in the sail­ing and third in the man­power. We only got beaten by a team of ladies from the air force whose sail was a para­chute and the last we saw of them they were head­ing out to sea, we couldn’t get near them.”

A heart scare a few years ago has been a de­cid­ing fac­tor for Doug to start slow­ing down and make the de­ci­sion to leave Ro­tary.

“I didn’t want to be a knife and fork mem­ber,” he said.

While Doug has taken many op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­trib­ute to the com­mu­nity in which he lives, he does have one re­gret.

“I think it may have taken a toll on the fam­ily. Twenty nights out of 30 in a month I’d be at this com­mit­tee meet­ing or that. I would have liked to have spent more time with them. But all my kids still like com­ing home to give me a hug, so that’s some­thing,” he said.

Doug was made an Honorary Mem­ber of the Ro­tary Club of Dubbo West Inc. as a to­ken of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for his hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to this club.

$84 mil­lion for RFDS den­tal and men­tal health

RU­RAL doc­tors have wel­comed the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s an­nounce­ment of $84 mil­lion in ad­di­tional fund­ing for the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice (RFDS) which will, amongst other things, sup­port the RFDS’S con­tin­ued pro­vi­sion of den­tal care as well as the es­tab­lish­ment of an RFDS men­tal health ser­vice.

The fund­ing is part of a wider $327 mil­lion fund­ing com­mit­ment over four years.

“Many Aus­tralians liv­ing in ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas have enor­mous bar­ri­ers in ac­cess­ing health­care, in­clud­ing den­tal care and men­tal health­care,” Ru­ral Doc­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia (RDAA) pres­i­dent Dr Adam Coltzau said.

CCTV to put Nar­romine crim­i­nals on no­tice

COM­MU­NITY safety in Nar­romine will re­ceive a sig­nif­i­cant boost thanks to a NSW Gov­ern­ment grant to in­stall CCTV cam­eras.

Nar­romine Shire Coun­cil has been awarded a $179,088 Com­mu­nity Safety Fund grant to pur­chase and in­stall CCTV cam­eras in six key lo­ca­tions along the main street of Nar­romine.

“Lo­cal crooks have been put on no­tice – if you com­mit a crime un­der the watch­ful eye of CCTV cam­eras, po­lice will ac­tively seek you out and en­sure you are pros­e­cuted to the full ex­tent of the law,” Po­lice Min­is­ter and Mem­ber for Dubbo Troy Grant said.


Com­mu­nity month of Club 41

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