The Wheels of Change


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His day starts at sun-up with a walk along the beach followed by a swim, then a 30 second journey to work instead of his previous life that included 1.5 hour drive to work each day.

Who is this self-confessed nerd who has 20 half-built computers at home and has no interest in watching television? We introduce you to father of 3, Greg Copeland aka “Copey” the Service Manager for Bribie Island Meals on Wheels.

Where apparently, pure luck and nosey neighbours allowed him to become involved with this organization. He started as a volunteer for the organisation in IT Support and managed to put on the hat for most other roles within the organization before taking on the position of Service Manager.

Enabling change in this local Not for Profit from old school pen and paper to a more upgraded version whilst still providing meals to some of Bribie and surrounds vulnerable, disadvantaged and elderly. On any given day they service 170 clients with the help of 110 volunteers doing 8 runs covering Island and surrounding mainland. Copey says “without the volunteers,they wouldn’t be in operation”.

For 35 years of his working life, before living on Bribie Island, Copey was working in the IT industry, mainly telecommunications in state government and private enterprise.

An early childhood habit of pulling presents apart to see how they work lead this 1970’s influenced 16 year old to build his first computer. So what does he get from this role? On a personal level, Copey loves the opportunity to meet people in other services throughout the 140 Associations in Queensland. It gives him the opportunity to learn from them and see what can be incorporated into the services offered on the Island.

When asked if Meals on Wheels has the capacity to reach and help more people, Copey answered “Yes, historically Meals on Wheels is seen for the older generation, but that is not the case, as anyone can walk in our door and purchase the meals. It doesn’t matter if you are 16 or 60”. Plus it’s worth noting that NDIS participants may not be aware that they can receive fresh cooked meals as part of their NDIS package. Copey says his most interesting adventure occurred in 2015 when he allowed his 16 year old learner driver son with only 30 hours of driving experience under his belt to 4wdrive most of the way to Cape York over a period of a month. The story of this father and son became somewhat of a novelty as many fellow travelers were keen to meet the duo and understand why this crazy dad would take on such a huge adventure with his son. If he could change one thing “Locally, I would prefer there weren’t so many people here on the weekend. Ironically, I like telling people how good the Island is, the problem is if you do that you get people thinking, maybe we should move to the Island.”