Red Cross South East and Riverland regional services manager David Walshaw has retired after three and half years in the role.
He was farewelled during a morning tea attended by Red Cross South East staff and volunteers and Riverland members who called in via video chat.
In his time with the organisation, Mr Walshaw has contributed to numerous projects and responded to many collective trauma events in the community such as a double tragedy at Kalangadoo, a head on collision on the Princes Highway and local bushfires.
He has also overseen the Commonwealth funded Home Support Program and the state funded Community Passenger Network which has seen volunteers travel over 300,000km taking people for social outings and vital medical appointments.
“I was part of the team that implemented the driver mentor program which has helped deliver nearly 500 driving lessons to people who would not be able to receive them otherwise and have worked with the team to help over 67 migrants’ jobs through the Red Cross’ Local Jobs program,” Mr Walshaw said.
“I was very interested in the impact Red Cross initiative ‘In Search of Safety’ had on school children which teaches kids to understand why refugees are in Australia and why they should understand their journey.
“This is a very important story to be told and most schools and some workplaces across the Limestone Coast have now had a session.
“I think it is also important the support Red Cross offer to people in terms of consumables including the feminine hygiene products, breakfast cereals, dog food and toiletries.”
Mr Walshaw said as much as he enjoyed the work he cannot do it forever.
“I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and handing the baton onto someone else to continue the positive work that has been happening down here,” he said.
“I am excited for someone new to come in with fresh ideas and look at things with a different perspective, allowing the organisation to go from strength to strength.
“I am going to miss the Riverland and South East teams, the 160 volunteers spread out across both regions who do amazing work on a daily basis, Limestone Coast Vice Patron Libby Furner for her amazing support of me and the support from the team in Adelaide.
“I am looking forward to volunteering for Red Cross in the future.”