A Decade of Dedication: Steve’s Volunteering Journey in Coolgardie

Published on Tuesday, 21 May 2024 at 10:45:33 AM

For the past decade, Steve Forward has been a familiar face in Coolgardie’s volunteer community. As an active member of the Coolgardie Volunteer Fire and Rescue, an enthusiastic participant in the Coolgardie Day celebrations, a steadfast supporter of the Driver Reviver program, and a committed member of the Coolgardie Racing Club, his contributions are as varied as they are invaluable.

Steve's venture into volunteering began in an unexpected way. “I found the love of my life and she made me do it,” he recalls with a chuckle. “She didn’t want me sitting at home watching football, drinking beer, and being happy.” What started as a nudge from his wife quickly transformed into a passionate commitment to community service.

Volunteering has profoundly impacted Steve's life. He describes a sense of purpose that was previously missing, and a social circle that has expanded in both wonderful and challenging ways. “I’ve developed new skills, increased my empathy, and seen a significant improvement in my mental health,” Steve shares. “It also sets a great example for our kids, showing them that it’s okay to volunteer.”

Steve's volunteer service has taken him to various parts of Australia, including Yarloop, Fitzroy Crossing, and the Goldfields. Each location has offered unique experiences and challenges, enriching his journey and broadening his perspective.

Reflecting on his experiences, Steve emphasizes the dual benefits of volunteering. “Overall, volunteering is not only a way to give back to your community but also a meaningful and enriching experience for yourself. So why wait? Take the first step and explore volunteering opportunities that resonate with you,” he advises those considering joining the volunteer ranks.

Among his many memorable moments, one stands out vividly. “At my first ever deployment to the Yarloop Bushfires, I was driving a fire truck and as instructed, drove through a field to put out a burning stump. The truck got bogged down in sand, which led to about ten of us trying to dig it out. It cost me a carton of beer!” he laughs. Another highlight was being deployed to Fitzroy Crossing and flying in a Chinook helicopter from Broome to Fitzroy, an experience he describes as exhilarating.

Recently, Steve was honored with a Certificate of Recognition from the Minister, Hon Don Punch LMA, as a WA Volunteer Service Award for 2024. This prestigious award was given in recognition of his ten years of voluntary service in Western Australia. Congratulations, Steve!

Volunteering has enriched Steve's life in countless ways. “It’s shown me there is more to life and I get a great sense of fulfilment knowing I’ve helped someone in need,” he reflects. This sense of fulfilment and purpose drives his ongoing commitment to volunteering.

Looking ahead, Steve’s goals remain rooted in his community. “I aim to always ensure our community’s needs are met, have a beer in my hand, and keep my family happy,” he says with a smile. His story is a testament to the profound impact of volunteering, both on the community and the individual. Through his dedication and enthusiasm, Steve continues to inspire others to join the ranks of volunteers, making Coolgardie a better place for everyone.

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