Tamborine Times 30 April 2015

Geoff Richardson, one of the most well-known Volunteer Community Educators (VCE) in Queensland, joined the Rural Fire Service in 2008 after moving to the mountain with his loving wife Leigh. As a generous and active retiree at 66 he was still looking to make a difference in the community, which he did.

After an heroic struggle Geoff became a cancer survivor, and made the decision to move his efforts from firefighting to Community Education in 2009, completing his VCE induction in 2010. Unfortunately, during this time Geoff’s beautiful wife Leigh was devastatingly diagnosed with an aggressive neurological disease. This was obviously a very difficult time for the family, but Geoff remained optimistic and never stopped supporting Leigh.

In the years to come Geoff became highly dedicated to the creation of two new mobile education vehicles, which his wife liked to call Henry and Henrietta. These have become a great help in delivering educational messages across the region, assisting incident management teams and delivering community messages during incidents, even today.

Geoff’s dedication to his community and passion for volunteering is what he claimed helped him through the final stages of Leigh’s illness. Sadly, Leigh passed away during March last year. He still remembers her incredible love and support for his work and has kept going to this day with helping our community and beyond, even traveling to Rockhampton to assist with the VCE work after the cyclone tragedy.

Recently Geoff was recognized with yet another award for his work. The Australian Fire Service Medal will be presented to Geoff by the Governor on 6th May. This is a prestigious award given to only two people in all of Queensland. Geoff has been such a crucial part of the Rural Fire Brigade and our community for many years, his passionate spirit and kind heart has touched us all. This is truly a safer place because of you, Geoff. Congratulations on all of your achievements and thank you for looking out for this mountain.

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