Say Hi to Maree Anderson, the Community Transport Coordinator at Graham House Community Centre and this month’s Local Community Hero!
Maree recently celebrated 15 years working as the Graham House Community Transport Coordinator. Maree began her work at Graham House in 2008 when her family farm experienced severe drought.
“We were running a family farm through a very severe drought and with 4 school age children, I needed to find work to help keep things at home going.”
Since then, Maree has been overseeing and supporting the 5 staff and 48 volunteers that keep the transport program running. Graham House Community Transport is a Queensland Transport accredited service that provides low-cost door-to-door transport for community members.
“We have our own fleet of 15 vehicles using volunteer drivers. We take clients to their medical appointments, shopping, visiting family and friends or just take them for a drive to get out of the house.”
Community Transport initiatives are vital to the health, wellbeing and social fabric of communities. Graham House is located in Murgon, a rural town in the South Burnett region of Queensland. Rural communities often experience more limited transport options compared to metropolitan areas, which can make socialising, accessing health services and day-to-day movements difficult for many people.
“By providing clients with transport we are improving their health outcomes; transport is often a barrier to people seeking and receiving medical advice and treatments. Having access to transport also improves people’s social connectedness, it reduces loneliness and isolation and encourages community involvement.”
Maree cares deeply about the work of the Community Transport program and the life-changing impacts it has on the community.
“I remember one of my early client registrations, the client had not left her small town for 15 years as she could not drive. It struck me how crucial transport is and how lacking it is in our region. We were able to assist this client with regular shopping trips to other towns, long overdue doctors’ appointments and other specialists.”
Maree speaks highly of the people and community she works in and is inspired by the dedication of the staff and volunteers to ensure their community is healthy, accessible and inclusive.
Thank you for supporting your local community, Maree!