After recently celebrating the achievements of our team at our Annual Awards evening in August, it is timely for the team at Merriwa to recognise the efforts and achievements of one of their extraordinary volunteers.

Cliff Wolstenholme is one of the unsung heroes at Merriwa, but his service, commitment and volunteer hours has not gone unnoticed by the team at Merriwa and Park Lane Nursery. Cliff has been volunteering for 15 years as the bus driver for the Merriwa team transporting employees four days a week from Benalla to Wangaratta, covering over 800km per week of travel, and over 650,000km in his years of volunteering.

When talking about his volunteering, Cliff is very much the quiet achiever and would prefer not to be recognised “I really enjoy getting out and about and being on the road, plus I get to know everyone on the bus which is the best part of volunteering. It’s my pleasure to drive the bus each day”.

In his spare time, he continues to contribute to the community and volunteers at Oak FM radio station which he thoroughly enjoys, as well as being involved in ten pin bowling across the region in Shepparton, Benalla and Wangaratta.

Ironically, when Cliff first moved to Wangaratta in 1956, he lived straight across from the site where Merriwa now exists on Greta Road, “We lived straight over the road from the Merriwa site and it used to be a large reserve area where we would play footy, run around and even drive cars around as part of the North East Car Club!”

“It is funny to think I now drive the bus to Merriwa every day and we used to have a heap of fun driving cars around the site and it was just an open space”.

Support Officer, Jo Bate says “We cannot speak highly enough of Cliff and the time he puts into transporting our Merriwa team to and from work. Without his support, our team members simply would not be able to come to work based on access to transport and travelling to and from Benalla several days a week.”