Margaret Garrett is not one to shy away when the Bunbury community puts out a call for a helping hand.
“Marg”, as she’s known, grew up in Alice Springs and, thanks to her parents, has been involved in serving the community since she was young.
After spending much of her life over East, Marg moved to Bunbury in 2011 and found herself falling in love with the community.
Nine years later and her love for Bunbury is just as strong.
“I like living here because it’s convenient to Perth — I can go and visit my family and they can come and visit me — and I love the community,” Marg said.
There’s been opportunities for me to serve the community in different ways.
As someone who thrives on lifting other people up, Marg has been involved with several important community groups over the years and presently works as a relief teacher.
“In the longer term, it’s fantastic the relationships you can develop with children,” she said.
“It’s an opportunity to back up teachers and keep the kids working, which is an important thing to do.”
When Marg made the move years ago, she found comfort in Bunbury’s religious community and joined the Uniting Church.
“I’m very committed to my faith and the church community here is one I really enjoy,” she said.
Bunbury gives me the opportunity to do all of those things and still have links across the community.
Marg also joined the Bunbury Rotary Club soon after moving to the city and said she loved learning about how the organisation works.
“I love the things that Rotary does across the world,” she said.
“It’s a very complex organisation and I’ve loved learning about that. We do a number of smaller projects with Rotary and each of those has been very worthwhile.”
The club offers the chance to be a part of something bigger, according to Marg.
In 2017-2018, Marg served as the first female president of the Bunbury club — a badge she wore with honour.
Marg’s impact has not gone unnoticed.
She was recognised as the Rotarian of the Year in 2015 and awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship at the recent Bunbury Rotary Club changeover dinner last month.
“The award is about your community and how you’ve contributed to Rotary,” she said.
“I’m very excited to have been recognised as a fellow.”
Throughout her life, Marg has had a passion for helping others — something which stemmed from her childhood making sandwiches for fundraisers.
She presently serves as the chair of the board at the South West Refuge, which she considers “a very important community service that does amazing good work”.
“I’m particularly proud of my involvement with the Reconciliation Network in Whyalla,” she said.
We were able to do some really good work about raising awareness for the need for that in the community.
While in Whyalla, Marg was involved with the Friends of Whyalla Conservation Park, which helped to manage 200ha of bush close to the city.
“It was heavily vandalised and we turned it into a place which was much better,” she said.
“I think my work in that I’m particularly proud of.”
With a wealth of experience and achievements under her belt, Marg reflected on what it meant to be successful.
“I think it’s about knowing you’ve changed the world or a person for the better,” she said.
“Whether it’s working in nature or mentoring a child at Carey Park or providing support to a community, it’s where you know whatever you’ve done has made a difference in some way.”