Bribie Island’s Graham Gibb received the top gong in Moreton Bay Regional Council’s 2022 awards, in a streamlined awards program with just two categories – Citizen of the Year and Mayor’s Community Spirit.
The 2022 Citizen of the Year’s also been a volunteer with the Queensland Police Service for almost nine years, giving up more than 2500 hours of his time.
Graham’s proud to be among those recognised in January and equally proud to be part of an amazing community.
“The best thing about this community that I can think of is knowing that if you put your hand up when the going gets tough there’s always someone there to grab it,” he says.
As a senior radio officer with Volunteer Marine Rescue Bribie Island for more than a decade and a member of the organisation’s management committee, Graham plays a vital role in protecting people enjoying Moreton Bay and supporting crews on the water, as well shoring up the future of the organisation.
About Graham Gibb
Having worked for the NSW Road Traffic Authority for about 40 years before retirement, Graham relishes the chance to use his skills with Marine Rescue and as a Volunteer in Policing.
His wife, Rebecca, says her husband’s contribution to the community is fitting.
“He always says ‘when you’re working, you receive and when you finish, it’s your time to repay it,” Rebecca says.
Among Graham’s proudest achievements, he cites establishing Bribie’s annual Emergency Services Expo, which is now the biggest in South East Queensland.
“Last year was its seventh year and the outstanding thing about it is the commitment from all the exhibitors,” he says.
The expo, with live demonstrations of land and water rescues, fires and exhibitors with interactive displays, attracts more than 3000 visitors to the island each year and takes about seven months of preparation to deliver.
Graham is also an instrumental part of the Young Emergency Services Ambassador program, inspiring future generations to join the emergency services and Defence forces.
In his role with the Road Traffic Authority, Graham spent a lot of time working with police and says joining the force as a Volunteer in Policing seemed a natural fit.
In the role he acts as a conduit between police and the community, offering understanding and assistance during what can be a daunting time.
Graham says he couldn’t do the work he does without the support of others, and even though he’s officially retired, he has no plans to slow down when it comes to volunteering.
“Our Coffee with a Cop has been a great success.
“It’s an ever-evolving role and one where what you put in is what you get back.”
He’s also been on hand to work with police at the ‘Turning the Screws on Crime’ events at a Bribie Island shopping centre for many years.
Graham was humbled to be named Citizen of the Year for 2022.
“To be in the presence of the Community Spirit Award winners…some of the things I have done pale into insignificance,” he says.
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