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Local legend recognised for 40 years of service at Bribie

"I just keep going back because I enjoy it. It's as simple as that."

This statement epitomises Bob Hunter, a local Bribie Island legend who has given more than 40 years of service to his beloved community because, to put it quite simply, he loves it.

Hunter's selfless and continued contribution to his local junior and senior rugby league club and touch association hasn't gone unnoticed by his Moreton Bay faithful either, being recognised as this year's Longman Volunteer of the Year.

Hunter's journey first started when he was approached to be the coach of one of Bribie's junior teams.

"I moved from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast and got involved with Caboolture initially, but then there was a position to coach the Bribie Island juniors which they approached me for," Hunter recalled.

"I then got involved with the senior league. They were a huge influence and a great bunch of guys and the whole idea of helping out started from there."

Hunter said there were heaps of benefits from offering a helping hand each year.

"I mean, I don't have to take my wife shopping on Saturdays," Hunter joked.

"But seriously, it's just good fun - you get out and meet people. I know half the people on Bribie through the footy club.

"Helping out is not a hassle at all, especially with the juniors as I look forward to going over there to watch the young fellas develop from under 6 to 16s.

"They might not be the best player in the world, but the most rewarding part is seeing them improve."

Bribie Island juniors celebrating the end of the 2019 season.
Bribie Island juniors celebrating the end of the 2019 season.

Bribie Island junior secretary Nattalie De Rossi was proud to have Hunter involved with her club.

"Bobby is a life member of all three clubs and is currently our junior president," De Rossi said.

"Every year he puts his hand up and does something for us; if it's not a committee position then he'll volunteer and do other jobs like be a ground controller at junior games as well as often come down on training nights and assist the coaches of the littlies.

"He's done the same for touch footy as well. He plays, he referees and he's also back down here on a Wednesday night to give his little bit back to the association.

"He's always happy to help and nothing is never every a problem."

One of her favourite recollections of Hunter's altruistic attitude came near the end of last season.

"Last year we got to host the Sunshine Coast junior grand final and we were sort of hesitant because of how much work there is involved and we were also fully renovating at the time," De Rossi said.

"But Bobby had the spirited attitude to say 'Nah, it'll be right, we'll all get in and help so it'll be fine'.

"He then pulled in all the life members and we had more than enough volunteers to help the club out which was fantastic."

I just keep going back because I enjoy it. It's as simple as that.

Bob Hunter

Being involved in a number of local associations, De Rossi believed volunteers like Hunter were the lifeblood of communities.

"Volunteers are a vital part of any association or community group and ultimately, if we don't have the volunteers, we don't have a club," she said.

"They don't do it for no reason, they do it so they can provide a good place for the community whether it be sporting or otherwise.

"They are what holds everything together."

Inspired by Bob Hunter's story?
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