Meet the 2018 Victorian Senior of the Year, Hamish Russell and learn how he is making in impact to his local community.

Hamish Russell, Victorian Senior of the Year Award Nominee:

I’m Hamish Russell and we’re currently in the Inspiro Community Health Centre in Lilydale. I enjoy working with people. I always have. More than that, I guess, I have a basic philosophy, which is if an opportunity comes up, the answer is yes, unless there are compelling reasons to say no.

Sue Sestan, Chief Executive Officer, Inspiro:

I think Hamish’s volunteering has had an amazing impact on Inspiro but also the community at large.

Hamish Russell, Victorian Senior of the Year Award Nominee:

The community has a tremendous need for input. There are always important tasks to be done in the community.

Sue Sestan, Chief Executive Officer, Inspiro:

So, I think Hamish works in the background a fair bit and he is not somebody that is seeking that limelight and that’s why you can’t actually see a lot of the work that he does but what he does is actually builds others.

Hamish Russell, Victorian Senior of the Year Award Nominee:

For me, it’s really important because it gives me things that keep me young, keep me involved, challenge me and I love all that.

Sue Sestan, Chief Executive Officer, Inspiro:

Volunteers like Hamish are really important so that we know they are a mirror to us and to the services that we provide. They make sure that we’re getting it right. They help us understand that and they also help us to … help guide us in where we need to be in the future.

Hamish Russell, Victorian Senior of the Year Award Nominee:

For a number of years, in fact, since it’s inception, I’ve been involved with the Health Scholarship Program and that’s an annual exercise and one of my great joys in life to be involved with.

Sue Sestan, Chief Executive Officer, Inspiro:

He actually is very engaging. He has a strong commitment to building others up and, I think, when you look at that intent, that’s paid off in our organisation in so many ways. As an instigator of the tertiary scholarship that we award, one of the young recipients of that is actually working here.

Brooke Walter, Tertiary Health Scholarship Recipient:

So, I was initially contacted from Hamish, just to congratulate me in that I was selected. Yeah, I suppose it sort of just went from there. So, they’ve kept in contact with me and kept seeing how my progression was throughout the year.

Hamish Russell, Victorian Senior of the Year Award Nominee:

I found, since I retired fairly earlier, amazing opportunities have come up in the community for me to be involved and I just love this and, particularly, working with younger people, I find totally inspiring. It’s just one of my joys.

Sue Sestan, Chief Executive Officer, Inspiro:

And you can see how she’s engaged with him. A young person with an older person who has contributed significantly during his working life but now continues to do that. So, I think it’s wonderful that we can actually acknowledge the work that he has done and it’s lovely to see his smile.

Brooke Walter, Tertiary Health Scholarship Recipient:

His enthusiasm towards his work and his charity, volunteering is definitely something that I aspire to do and pursue, helping out the community. So, yeah, he’s a wonderful man to look up to.

Hamish Russell, Victorian Senior of the Year Award Nominee:

I think volunteering does make you feel more valued. I think that’s a really important thing. You are someone who’s saying hey, your input is actually worthwhile but, more than that, I think hopefully it may well encourage others to be involved and get involved and, if it does that, that’s terrific.