Leo volunteers with the Bellarine Railway three days a week, and he is always so happy “to get done what needs to be done”. It all started for Leo when he asked a man painting a fence if he needed any help; he has been volunteering his time ever since.
After retiring in 2000 from engineering, a career that had him working on the engines of top companies such as Qantas and Singapore Airlines, Leo has found his place at the Bellarine Railway. After years spent in the UK and Mumbai, Leo brings his wealth of knowledge, and his great smile, to every job he undertakes for the railway. He loves being part of the close group of approximately 40 volunteers, and being able to pass his skills and knowledge onto other people.
"It's the opportunities" that Leo thinks is great about volunteering. Here you can come along and be taught anything you want to learn. It is hands on training with some of the most knowledgeable people around – just like Leo. So much so, that you will almost be fully qualified by the end of your training.
Leo is very hands-on, fixing anything that needs to be fixed. He says it is a skill that can easily be put to use at home, is always useful, and there is a lot of variety. One day he can be pulling apart an engine, the next fixing the toaster in the office. All in a friendly and supportive environment, it is a perfect way to learn a new skill, or even brush up on an old one.
At 86, Leo has a lifetime of experience in engineering that we can all learn from. So do many of the other volunteers. It is not about being a train enthusiast; it is about wanting to learn new skills in a friendly, safe and welcoming environment.