I commenced work in 1980 as an apprentice aircraft engineer. In 1984 I completed the apprenticeship and was in the process of completing a Certificate of Technology in Aircraft Engineering. This was accomplished at the Government Aircraft Factories.
I joined Australian Airlines in 1987 and in 1990 was successful in obtaining sponsorship to undertake a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
In 1997, I completed the Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
In 1991 with my new wife, we move to a property in Wandong, where we resided with our two children for approximately 17 years.
Through the years both my wife and I have be active in the local community participating in kinder garden and school working bees, school uniform shops. I coordinated the Assumption College Fete for the years 2008, 2009, 20010 and 2011.
Due to the impact of the Black Saturday fire, in 2010 my family and I re-settled in Kilmore and in response to the community support we received I responded to the request for the establishment of a community lead recovery group.
I was accepted as part of the Mitchell Shire community recovery team and was subsequently elected Chair of what was to become the Mitchell Community Recovery Action Group (MCRAG).
The members of MCRAG, I am proud to say were directly involved in Community recovery programs to the value of (approx) 1.6 million dollars.
An amazing achievement for the members of MCRAG, give each of the members personal circumstance.
I have overseen the formation of MCRAG as a Community Recovery Group through to the transition to a Community Advocacy Group.
As MCRAG, the Mitchell Community Advocacy Group, we have been successful in establishing the MCRAG foundation, established to aid in the long term recovery of our community.
We, MCRAG focus is the development of a Community that is strong, resilient and connected, promoting the spirit that Australians are renowned for, referred to as the ANZAC spirit.
I am proud to be able to say for the year 2014, the first half year as a foundation we have provided funding in the order of $100,000 in support of long term Community Recovery programs. It also must be acknowledged that this dollar value is insignificant in respect to the many other Community support activities that MCRAG has initiated, been involved in or has directly supported in its advocacy role.
I am prouder to say, MCRAG and our Community, within and adjacent to Mitchell Shire are moving forward.
After a short career in treasury banking and foreign exchange Ros completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of New South Wales in 1994. While completing her study Ros also volunteered with the Sydney City Mission to complete social research projects. A welfare needs analysis of the NSW Central Coast was undertaken as was a booklet published on the success of Recession Funding on the Mission’s employment projects in the Western suburbs of Sydney.
After graduation Ros entered the Australian Public Service. Her first role was as a Country Research Officer with the Refugee Review Tribunal in Sydney where her role involved researching and reporting on specific questions posed by Tribunal Members in regards to claims made by refugee applicants. Following maternity leave in 1997 Ros took on a position closer to home at Centrelink at Gosford, NSW where she worked part time with long term unemployed and also as a domestic violence liaison officer.
In 1999 Ros and her family relocated to rural Victoria to live in the Mitchell Shire and Ros re-joined the public service in 2001 as a Paralegal for the Australian Army located at Puckapunyal. This is Ros’ current role and involves being the first line of contact for all members and command that require any level of legal assistance.
In 2005 Ros completed a Masters in Ethics and Legal Studies (Government) through Charles Sturt University and in 2010 completed a Cert IV in Public Safety (Defence Paralegal Services). Ros has been a Justice of the Peace in Victoria since 2007. In 2005 Ros received an Australia Day Medallion in recognition of her Paralegal service to the members of Puckapunyal. In 2013 Ros received the Defence Paralegal Award.
Ros Affleck has been in the Mitchell Community for 15 years. She is married and has two teenage boys. In addition to her paid work commitments she is Chair of Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Program and Secretary of the MCRAG (Mitchell Community Resources and Advocacy Group) Foundation.
Ros has held the position of Secretary for MCRAG in its various forms from day one as the Community Recovery Committee following the Black Saturday fires in 2009.
Ros is extremely passionate about her community. In 2011 she was recognised for her commitment to the Mitchell Community and was awarded ‘Outstanding Woman for Family and Community Services’ in the Mitchell Shire as part of International Women’s Day.
In 2012 Ros completed the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program and has pursued the formation of Rivers and Ranges Community Leadership Program since then.
Phil Searle's career began in 1967 where he held the position of Farm Stockman. Phil then went on to hold the position of Property Manager.
In 1983 Phil took over management of the family farm and continues in this position to the present time.
Since 1966 Phil has been a member of Strath Creek/Reedy Creek Fire Brigade. He was elected Lieutenant in 1973 and held this position for nearly 20 years. Since 1979 Phil has been employed by the Department of Sustainability and Environment as a Fire Tower Operator. In 2001 Phil was the founding President of the Reedy Creek Landcare Group. Phil is the current President of the Reedy Creek Progress Association having been elected to that position in 2010.
With his family, Phil has been a life time resident of Reedy Creek. During this time he has been a strong supporter of community development initiatives and is currently a committee, board member and founding member of MCRAG. More recently Phil was integral to the Reedy Creek communities overseeing of the refurbishment to the Reedy Creek Hall through the Project Control Group. Outside of the community, Phil is the current President of the Fire Tower Operators Association.
Alison Holmberg completed her Certificate in Child Care Studies in 1987 at Footscray TAFE. She worked at Moreland Child Care Co-Op holding the position of 2nd in charge for 8 years. She then moved to Sunbury and worked at Sunningdale Child Care Centre for 5 years leaving to care for her own children. Alison went back to night school on 2 different occasions to receive her Associate Diploma in Child Care.
Alison now holds the position of Welfare Officer at Upper Plenty Primary School and has been a representative on the school council.
Alison and her family have lived in Upper Plenty for 8 years and enjoy their time being involved with the Junior Wandong Football Club.
After the Black Saturday 2009 fires Alison became heavily involved with the communities recovery. She became a member of UPCAG (Upper Plenty Community Advisory Group) and MCRAG (Mitchell Community Resource and Advocacy Group) and is also a member on the board.
Her main accolades have been organizing monthly community BBQ’s for community members to develop a support network and connectedness. She also oversaw the refurbishment of the local Mechanics Institute Hall.
Alison is passionate about community welfare and continues to work with communities to encourage engagement and connectiveness.
1960 Royal Air Force (boy Apprentice) Trained as a communications Specialist
1964 to 1972 Completed RAF marine courses and commanded various types of Her Majesties Air Force Vessels primary High speed Air Sea Rescue Motor Launches. Served in the Mediterranean, Middle East, Far East and North Sea (home waters)
1972 to 1974 Enlistment Completed, joined British Telecom as a Technician 1A
Carried out duties relevant to the upgrade of the UK telecommunication (military) systems.
1974 Migrated to south Australia joined BHP mining firstly as a General Hand. Retrained by BHP as a Spectrographic Analyst. 1979 took over as Leading Hand. Special Processes. 1983 took redundancy package when BHP down sized and closed my department. Moved to Victoria
1983 to 2000 Joined Victorian public service and retired in 2000 to take up Cattle farming in which I was successful until retirement in 2008.
My education bears no relevance to being a VOLUNTEER with MCRAG, however
I am the product of an English Grammar School I have 5 GCE’s. Three A levels in English, History, and Geography. Two O levels in Math’s and science during my service career I obtained City and Guilds certificates in Electronics 1, 2, and 3. I completed many Government courses mainly in relation to promotion during my public service career. Whilst a member of the South Australian State Emergency Service I attended courses in Road Accident procedures. I trained with the SA Police Star Force as a Cliff Rescue Absailer.
But the best Education I have received over the past 69 years has been from the University of Life.
I have lived in two states my community work varies from nearly 10 years SES in SA. The CFA in Rockbank for 5 years. I was a Member of Jaycees in SA. A member of Lions in Beechworth. I was involved in various tourism type events in Beechworth E.G open garden schemes etc.
I have been involved with CCAG AND MCRAG since just after the 2009 fires. Our achievements in CCAG have been the upgrading of Waterford Park Recreation reserve organizing and running various community events and workshops and the building of a Community Hall with VBAF funding. I was for a short period a member of a land care group.
Career commenced (year): 2002
Company: Children’s First Foundation
Position held: Volunteer helping in the early years in the building of Moira Kelly’s vision to enable that all children have a right to medical care no matter what their country.
Positions held: Childcare assistant/qualified childcare worker
Dates: 2002 - 2008
Company: Little Hands Children’s Centre/ Seymour Community House/ ABC Children’s Learning Centre
Role: To assist in providing a stimulating and safe environment for children, to develop and provide appropriate programs to assist in a child’s development including their social skills.
Last position held: Integration Aide
Late: 2012 ongoing
Company: Department of Education
Role: To assist children to integrate into the classroom while also assisting the class teacher/s and other support staff.
Completed courses: Diploma in Children’s Services
Year completed: 2007
Karen is a resident of Reedy Creek in the Mitchell Shire for the past 23 years.
Role: Member of the following organizations Reedy Creek Progress Association Inc, Reedy Creek Community Advisory Group and MCRAG
Positions: Social/fundraising committee member for Reedy Creek Progress, Grant writing, event organizer and ideas person for Reedy Creek CAG, MCRAG.
Event involvement: Blue Moon Event ( Reedy Creek CAG )
Karen has also been successful in obtaining funding and organizing the following events:
- monthly BBQs which have been a life line for many in the Reedy Creek and surrounding community after the 2009 bushfire
- an oversubscribed “Blokes Only” boat trip which was targeted towards hard to reach section of our fire affected community
- two well received music & pizza nights at the Reedy Creek Hall
- The Reedy Creek Progress Association Inc., annual Christmas party for the community