A bittersweet moment, as all good things must come to an end. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Volunteering Gold Coast Inc. Richard Patterson, announces his retirement soon after the Commonwealth Games.
Richard has been CEO for both Volunteering Gold Coast Transport Services and Volunteering Services Australia, for the last 12 years. Starting out as a volunteer himself, he moved into paid work and management roles, then eventually became the CEO.
Richard was the instigator of many company initiatives, including the start of Australia’s only Community Transport Consortium, which now has over 20 organisations involved. He also implemented the volunteer recruitment organisation, Volunteering Services Australia, which manages over 5000 volunteers annually for events and volunteer positions across the Gold Coast, West Moreton and Tasmania.
Not stopping there, he created Memento Charity Boutique Fashion Store so that members of the community could access high quality clothes at charity prices. Richard also implemented the community training workshops, free for the public, volunteers and members to attend. These workshops were introduced to educate and empower the more vulnerable members of the community including seniors, immigrants, mothers entering into the workforce and the not for profit charities with limited training budgets.
After 12 years of dedication and commitment to the volunteer sector and the community, Richard was rightfully added to the International Who’s Who publication for his outstanding achievements in the volunteer sector. Now, he believes that it is time for a fresh start and new beginnings, for himself and for Volunteering Gold Coast.
“With the most exciting event on the Gold Coast upon us – The Commonwealth Games, I felt it the perfect opportunity to retire on a high. I’m sure everybody will be riding on the success of the Games for many years to come. The positive impact it will have on the Gold Coast will be significant. On a personal note, I am honoured to be part of the volunteer community for so long. To have made such a change, leaves me with a profound sense of achievement.” Said Richard.
Richard has numerous plans on how to spend his retirement. Including a mix of caravanning around Australia, cemented by his recent purchase of a caravan and plenty of overseas travel too.
“I thought I would head off around Australia while I am still fit and well enough to enjoy the adventures and challenges of the outback in particular. Towing a van across vast tracks of Australia at 65 is great, at 75, it could be a problem!” joked Richard.
Richard is also excited to spend some more time with his family. Having two children and five young grandchildren, he feels that working too much has resulted in not enough family time.
“I don’t see as much of my grandchildren as I should. When your grandchildren have photos on their fridge to remind them of Grandad you know you have to spend more time together. You never know what life holds for you,” he explains.
Richard is an incredibly passionate, engaging and inspiring person who has truly put volunteering on the Gold Coast radar, whether it is for volunteering positions and recruitment or volunteering in the transport sector. Richard has created innovative initiatives that have significantly shifted the volunteer sector over the last 12 years. He will be missed dearly by everyone at Volunteering Gold Coast Inc